We spent just over a year living with my parents in Cornwall. Their house is on the Lizard and has the most idyllic views. The whole experience was absolutely gorgeous, if you have a look at my Instagram from then you’ll see what I mean. We moved in with my mum and dad while I was pregnant with our daughter. I’ve always loved Cornwall and living here was an amazing opportunity to share a really special time in our life with my family. There was a huge orchard and a large vegetable patch. I hear it is a common dream to escape the dredge of the city and move out to the countryside. I feel very lucky to have had the option to experience it, even though we made the decision to settle elsewhere. As well as missing my family, the thing I’ll miss the most was being in nature and growing fruits and vegetables.
I’ve enjoyed gardening since I was 17. Even when I was a student I had pots on my patio with courgettes peeking out, I’d move them with me from rental to rental in a shopping trolley. Having the chance to grow on such a scale was brilliant and now that we no longer live there I feel happy in the knowledge that I really made the most of it. As well as eating from the veg patch in one way or another almost everyday between April and October, I also made preserves, elderflower champagne, chilli sauce and cider all containing ingredients from our land.
We have moved back to Manchester and into a city centre flat with no garden or even a balcony. This wasn’t too bad in winter when we moved, but as spring has come and I see new life shooting up outside the urge to grow and feel connected to nature is almost overwhelming.
Originally I wanted to do some guerilla planting in areas around me, but I soon realised that without any space at all to bring seeds on, pot up or store materials this would be a really difficult undertaking. Until I had at least a bit of space myself I couldn’t give plants to the outside. I realised that as with many creative projects, I need to have a sturdy base to work from myself before I can release the fruits of my labour out into the community.
We’re moving house from the city centre to Whalley Range and I’ll be able to start growing again. I’m excited about reshaping what I know and understand about gardening to fit into this new environment and the different challenges it will bring. There is a world of difference between gardening on acres of green in the middle of Cornwall and a small yard in an urban environment. I want to at the very least make my tiny piece of Manchester that bit greener for me being there!