Today, the breeze from the sea is blowing and the birds singing, the day is bright and clear and full of sunshine. It's just lovely.
We planned it with loving the Earth in mind. We have a little pond for the amphibians. We feed the wild birds and the foxes and squirrels and they love our garden and feel safe here. We keep the wild plants in check, but we do let them grow — for the health of the soil and for the diversity and for the pollinators, but also for ourselves. Bittercress, cleavers, dandelions, plantain, feverfew and so many other plants are good food and good medicine. We have planted as many trees as we can cram in, because trees are the angels of life, slowing down the movement of water through the landscape, protecting against drought and flood, protecting us against extremes of wind and sun, moistening the air in the summer heat. What would we do without trees?
I've never had a lot of money, and every home I've lived in has been chosen with a view to having a Plan B in case I completely ran out. So in our garden here we grow apples and pears, plums and blackcurrants, gooseberries and blackberries, ramsons and different kinds of herbs for teas and seasoning and medicine, as well as the vegetables we plant year by year. And we always have laundry lines, water butts (and filters for the rainwater so we can use it for ourselves as well as for the garden and the toilets), an open fire and a wood stove. We set all our cardboard packaging aside to make short temporary fires so the house walls stay dry, the rooms aired and the chill taken off. Our house is old (Victorian) and damp, with shady rooms so we can stay cool even in the hottest summer without air conditioning. We have an attic room which is sunny and hot, good for drying washing when it's raining outside. We have solar tubes to heat our water on the roof and solar panels for electricity (both for our own use and to sell to the government).
It's not a great big garden, just a modest urban plot. I think it might be eighty feet long, maybe less. We save pee and use bokashi bran to make humane composting safe, as well as composting any food scraps we generate. So our garden is well fed and lightens the burden we place on the watercourses and landfill sites.
Every day when I go out into our garden, all year round, every day of every season in any weather, it lifts my heart and fills me with joy and I think, "This is so, so beautiful."