Last week I began the process of resurrecting my little garden and so this week I thought I’d resurrect this blog just to keep track of my garden progress.

Like many people all across the world, I found that one of the few positives of all the lockdown periods was the opportunity to devote all the new-found free time to nature. I didn’t actually do anything to our garden during the first lockdown as I spent most of the time in the woods building (semi) watertight dens just in case we couldn’t keep up with the rent, but last year I finally got our garden looking lovely and it quickly became a haven from all the many worrying and annoying issues going on in the world (and the ones closer to home).

My cosy poly tunnel den

I planted so many different sorts of seeds and probably had an equal success and failure rate which was obviously a great learning curve. It was great watching my little seedlings coming to life and turning a dull roadside space into a sea of colour; that was my main aim with the garden, adding colour. My favourite thing was the fact that I didn’t plant my sweet pea seeds until June which meant I was miraculously still picking sweet peas right up until the end of November (in Scotland!), although I have started a lot earlier this year. And now I can’t wait for all the tulips I planted last year to bloom – not long to go. I also planted a few bulbs of my favourite flower, anemones, so I hope they will all come up soon.

So, here are a couple of pictures of my progress so far this year:

Because I turned our poly tunnel into a den, it meant we had to buy an extra one last year so that we could use it for what it was intended for – growing plants. I can’t even remember everything I have planted so far this year – various salad leaves, lupins, delphiniums, hollyhocks, sunflowers, sweet william, petunias, foxgloves, poppies, bunny tail grass and more. This is all for you, sweet butterflies and bees.
Each cane marks a tiny apple tree which I grew from pips during the first lockdown. I’ve planted nasturtium seeds beside them which I hope will grow along the wires which connect the canes and form a ‘summer fence’. In the tyres I’ll plant sunflowers like I did last year, but hopefully not lose as many as I did to slugs and strong winds.

Since the world is so clearly bananas right now, having this little bit of space feels like such a blessing. It’s not exactly peaceful, what with it being right beside a main road, but that doesn’t stop me from being grateful for having it – very grateful indeed when you consider what so many people are losing right now. It hurts to think about it.

It’s not a particularly smooth segue, but being grateful for what you have leads me to something else which weighs on my mind a lot. You see, I began this blog when we were trying to make the dream of living in Scotland a reality (hence the blog name) and I still feel very proud that we made it come true. But of course, all dreams come at a price. It would seem that one of the costs for my dream coming true is that I either have to learn to put up with seeing a lot of litter every day (impossible – I’ve tried), or spend a lot of time picking up said litter from the roadside, which is what I have to do.

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours along a 400 yard stretch of the A76 and got 3 full bins bags of shite – soooo many Red Bull cans I stopped counting at 50, along with Irn Bru cans, Monster Energy, Tenants, Scrumpy Jack, Coke, Diet Coke, sooooo many crisp packets and empty diazapam/tramadol/paracetemol blister packs, various McDonalds shite including what looked like a 101 Dalmations Happy Meal toy, Costa cups, yogurt pots (even an unopened Fruit Corner!), blue face masks, rubber gloves, 4 partial hub caps etc etc. Also a neon green Trance Nation CD, a Manic Street Preachers Greatest Hits CD and a Lewis Capaldi CD (although I still don’t condone littering, I totally understand why someone would want to throw that last one far, far away – seriously, someone needs to tell that dude to use his incredible voice on something other than the dirges he currently pollutes radio waves with. Like, why not try a bluegrass or a country rock LP?).

3 of my favourite finds from today – how old is that Pepsi can?!

Anyway, as well as keeping track of my garden progress, I will also monitor the litter situation simply because I realise that no one else is going to do it. I’ve emailed Red Bull to see if they’ll give me a branded bin which I can put at the spot where I seem to find fresh Red Bull cans every day so we’ll see if they get back to me and if it makes a difference. If I can get just one person to stop littering then at least I will have had some positive impact on a beautiful area which deserves to be taken care of so much better than it is. I just wish more people were grateful for what they have.

In summary: STOP LITTERING YOU SCRUFFY BASTARDS. Also, my garden is lovely.