I grew up surrounded by plants and green space. It is something that I crave and need to relax. One of the reasons I love South East London is how leafy and green it is. I would love a garden of my own but my flat, alas, has no outside space and allotments are hard to come by these days. So I dream of garden, building my plant knowledge slowly and saving links to Pinterest in anticipation of the day I get my first proper garden.

I have been thinking recently about how to live more in the now and so I have been thinking how to scratch my gardening itch. In my front garden there is a tiny patch of neglected land, so small and insignificant it has scarcely seemed worth it. But working in the Elephant and Castle I have witnessed first hand the lovely planting that Richard Reynolds has created with his careful tending of unloved spaces. London could be transformed if everyone did something nice with their front gardens rather than concreting it over and filling it with cars and bins.

Our space hasn’t been very loved. It was full of brambles and rubbish.  It doesn’t belong to me but I have decided to cultivate it and show it some love with a few plants anyway.

Today, under blue skies the first plants are in the soil. Hurrah!  The sense of achievement is great – this small place will be perfect to practice some gardening. Today, Mum and I planted hollyhocks, lavenders and thyme to see what happens. I kept also some stray pretty flowers from next door.  It has poor soil and I wanted plants which could quite happily thrive in dry, stony conditions. I hope that the lavenders and thyme might spread. I also wanted plants which would be bee-friendly and aromatic so when we brush past we catch a whiff of something nice.  I think there might be space for some fennel, purple sage and some nasturtiums in the future but we will see.

It felt great – hands in the soil, sun on my face, chatting with my mum as we planted the area. I’m excited to see what grows. Gardening can teach us so much; it is full of hope and love. I’m hoping this little patch flourishes but for now it is full of anticipation and possibility.

3 Responses to Garden dreams

  1. shivani says:

    I remember how ropey the front garden was when you moved in. Your new planting sounds lovely (I love love love hollyhocks!) I can’t wait to see how it progresses through the summer – please post updates! x

    • Lara says:

      It then went through a really ropey stage where it looked completely awful. I have a range of hollyhocks (dark red, pink and white/blush ones). They are doing ok, fingers crossed but I’m worried that something will happen to them. Will keep you posted and yes there will definitely be updates! Lx

  2. […] Planting up the front garden. […]

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