Saturday, 16 May 2020

BACK IN THE COVID - The Lockdown Diary Day 33

Rain. Quite gentle and refreshing rain. This time of year our garden is always at it’s best. We have very difficult soil, calcareous, gritty, infertile and unforgiving. We have nourished it as best we can with our own compost and leafmold for many years but this is more an act of horticultural good faith  than realism with any practical long term expectations on our part. That is why my gardening style is essentially naturalistic and slow. The only force that can conquer a garden like ours is the force of nature and over many years of trying things out on a what-lives-stays basis mother nature has rewarded us with a calm and peaceful place to enjoy but likes to be left alone with only sympathetic and respectful tinkering and assistance. Other than in pots our garden cannot make a floriferous summer display but in spring, especially in a gentle drizzle with a greyish sky for a background, it comes into its own. It will not last. Spring can be short and unforgiving, Hot and dry conditions  can  at any time even overnight. Indeed this year was forecast to be the driest on record. I wonder if coronavirus is our planet’s way of forcing a break for itself from the pain that humans engender by their greedy and wasteful habits.  Our garden today in these most perfect of spring conditions looked like this.

I wonder if any lessons will be learnt. I wonder too if the idiot climate deniers who are preventing repairs and remedial changes to our badly broken ecosystem are going to change their tunes and accept the scientific facts. There is, as many scientists, organisations and countries have now reported, a direct and massive correlation between pollution levels, the lockdown of industries and  the grounding of transport systems due to the virus. The relationship between human activity and climate change cannot be denied any longer.

I might be clutching at straws. Bigotry, ignorance and superstitious or self-interested denial is a powerful and destructive evil in the world but as I revel in the spring rain on our little piece of the Earth I cannot but hope that the virus has helped in part to defeat them and that there might be, because of it, a better world for our great grandchildren than there might otherwise have been.

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