What can help
What can help

Storytelling is one of the foundations of our culture. We can create connections by sharing stories – especially those that offer inspiration and hope. Recovery in mental health is not always well understood; sharing your story makes personal recovery come alive. It also supports values and strengthens lessons learned from life experiences. It helps to build community and create connections.

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The Joy of Nature

Louisa Whorrod
09 June 2022

The Joy of Nature

Like a lot of people in the last couple of years I’ve started gardening and begun to appreciate how plants and nature are more complex than we once realised. Did you know that trees communicate with each other via the vast underground fungal network? Fungi are incredible beings and are neither plant nor animal but are nearer to animals to best describe them. Plants are also extremely competitive; watch ‘The Green Planet’ to see just how aggressive they can be with each other, surprisingly animal like in behaviour themselves! As well as learning more about nature I have started buying and growing a collection of plants inside the house and in the garden. Everything from air plants which love the humidity of my bathroom, to my beetroot plant grown from seed which nearly died in the frost but is now thriving in a plant pot; the only thing is I can’t decide is whether it’s ready to harvest so keep putting off taking it out the ground! There have been a fair few failures as well as successes but I get a lot of joy looking after plants and seeing them grow; it always gives me hope that life carries on despite the many challenges, and it even thrives.  

The West facing garden I’m lucky to share is well established with a border of mature shrubs and flowers, but the side of the house has always been very bare; being north facing it has very dry and poor soil. Bored with its unloved look for years, I tried to think of anything that could be done with this scruffy land against bare bricks. Earlier on this year at a garden centre I saw a box with the words Meadow Garden on which show beautiful wildflowers and I assumed that the poor earth I had wouldn’t be good enough to grow on but luckily, I found out that wildflowers are really hardy and will grow almost anywhere, even better it is great for bees! So, I bought the pack home and went about preparing the area to sow the seeds; cutting into the scraggy grass about a foot wide, raking the soil, shaking the seeds out of the box, watering thoroughly and putting plenty of sticks to ward off any hungry birds seeking a seedy snack. Since then, I have been watering the ground on and off (a fair few times forgetting!) but in the last couple of weeks spotted small green growths out of the ground. Excited and realising just how hardy these plants are, I have continued to water them every few days and now see some variation in the leaves: some round, some spiky and some coin shaped. It will still be a few weeks until they get hopefully get big enough to flower and there is still a lot of bare earth but I can’t wait to see whatever appears; life always find a way.