June 12, 2022
On a recent trip back home, I found some old albums whilst I was visiting my grandma. Since she is now living with dementia, revisiting the past through her photographs is a comfort to her, and seems to bring back a sense of certainty and assurance in who she is. While we were laughing about how her hair used to look and some of the questionable fashion ensembles, we came across some photos of her and my late grandad’s old garden.
The two of them ignited a love for the outdoors in me. They cultivated a humble sanctuary around their home which shaped the landscape of my youth. While I was no horticultural prodigy, I loved the smell of sweet peas growing on the trellis, the taste of the warm tomatoes in the greenhouse and the sound of the birds nesting in the hedges. Even on rainy days, we would sit in the rickety old conservatory surrounded succulents and hear the drops trickle down the glass. We were led by the seasons and were blessed with modest yet bountiful harvests. The berries on the shrubs and the apples in the trees were transformed into crumbles and preserves, and the vegetables and herbs were at the heart of family mealtimes.
I was so lucky to have this haven to grow up in, and now have an instinctive need to be within green space. Though I have traded a rural Norfolk town for the urban metropolis that is Liverpool, I still value the impact that nature has on me, and what they mean for families, friends and communities.
By Hannah Clarke