Getting the children off screen, out from behind duvet covers and back enjoying garden days during the lockdown period. Dolly Osborne recalls her childhood memories of summer adventures in the garden and how you can recreate this.
At the time of writing this the UK is just commencing lockdown following the outbreak of COVID-19. I must admit (probably to the horror of my editor) that I’ve been scratching my head about what to write, because envisioning the idyllic British summer in the face of crisis feels almost impossible.
Gazing at the blinking cursor I was left with only the sounds drifting through my open window. I could hear birds singing and lawnmowers rumbling, and I thought how many of us are lucky to have the sanctuary of an outside space.
Englishmen (and women) have a long-lasting romance with their gardens; indeed, if an Englishman’s home is his castle then his garden becomes his much-loved Kingdom.
An outside space can be many things to many people. I remember my grandparents’ garden; they were keen horticulturalists and their garden was composed of many well-tended and diverse beds of plants with pathways of grass separating them out. My grandparents’ garden was small, probably no bigger than the backyard of the average British semi, but to me those pathways were a maze, and upon those pathways my adventures took place.
If, like me, your fingers are more inclined to be blue than green you might think that an outside space that can inspire your little ones is an impossibility. However, never underestimate the power of a child’s imagination. A muddy, untended bit of soil can become the source of ingredients for your child’s mud kitchen. Dig out old pots and pans, bowls, moulds and a wooden spoon (and probably some old clothing) and your child could make mud pies fit for a King.
Perhaps, again like me, your outside space is mostly just that: space; and outdoor play equipment could seem out of your budget but with a child that space can still be a playground. Aside from the traditional ‘jumpers for goalposts’ a stretch of grass could be just the place to host a grand teddy bear’s picnic or to lay out a maze or obstacle course using everyday objects from inside the house.
Although a treehouse or Wendy House may be your child’s real estate dream, in the absence of these a wonderful fortress can be built with a few chairs and blankets. Or if you are housing teens under your roof then a couple of outdoor beanbags and a wireless speaker can tempt them out of their rooms to top up their vitamin D with minimal effort.
Of course, one of the best uses for our summer garden is to unwind once the little darlings are in bed so don’t forget to reserve a spot for a comfy seat and a glass or two of Pimms. Enjoy your summer garden days!
For more information on up-to-date info and things to do indoors, garden days and exercise whilst social distancing why not check out our Facebook Page or Groups dedicated to your county Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk. Those dog lovers out there would be barking mad not to join our Doglife Group and vegan’s, you’ll be pleased we have one dedicated to you too.