We have been in East Sussex for a little while now, and I’m in love with the place. We are trying to make the garden more biodiverse, and have added two large ponds in the last 17 months. We have already seen regular visits to the ponds from grass snakes, and there is a very healthy population of dragonfly larvae in the water. We have created large compost heaps (We discovered over 70 hatched grass-snake eggs in one!) and a wildflower meadow. Slow worms regularly turn up while we garden here. I’ve planted just over 250 native trees for hedgerow. The next aim is to get as many food plants for moth and butterfly larvae in place, and a sandy area for ground nesting bees and wasps. It’s going to look a mess for a while, but now we have fully restored the house we can concentrate more on the outside. I think it will take five years to get the gardens roughly into shape.
The garden is everything to us, it informs our work, and supplies endless reference material for Harry Potter. During lockdown it’s been the one thing that made me think positively about the future. With a garden you have to think between one and ten years ahead, and with bipolar disorder this is a big deal, because usually it’s about just trying to make it though the day. It’s the only time I can truly ‘plan’ when I’m in the garden. J.