• Hannah

Gardens Across Two Continents

I always seem to start my blog posts talking about the weather, especially over the last few weeks when it has been rather extreme. Discussing the ins and outs of the cold, wind, dark etc. seems to be a national institution, which I used to think was only typical of UK dwellers. However, the last few times that I have been visiting family in France, I realised that it isn’t just us over here who seem obsessed with talking about the weather. In coffee shops, at bus stops and in the supermarket (I love me a SuperU!) I would catch snippets of conversational groaning. The only difference in this case was that they were complaining about the heat, which isn’t often the situation here. Bitter? Me? Of course not!!

Anyway, I have majorly digressed this morning and why is the weather even relevant? I shall explain...

Amit has been busy renovating and revamping the Wild Home garden in Kenya. He has been sending us daily photos and videos of the plantain trees flowering, African robins attempting to share his breakfast and the beautiful new pond, which has attracted so many birds already and even Mr and Mrs Ibis have starting coming for their daily baths!

Mr Ibis (or Idris as we call him)!

An African robin trying to grab some brekkie.

The Kenyan climate allows for a whole range of tropical fruits and flowers to grow in the WH garden. The amount of produce that the gardens create is surprisingly large, which in turn, supplies the kitchen with most of the fresh fruit and vegetables that are needed for feeding all of the hungry vultures (us)!

Beautiful, ripening plantains.

Of course, having this warmer climate for most of the year does have its benefits for other wildlife too; some who might make us initially wary and who we in the UK don’t have to think about. For a good few months, Amit had a cobra living under his bedroom window. We named him Colin. He was quite content to slither about and not bother his human neighbours but his presence always reminded me of how balanced life is - you can’t get beautiful hot, sunny weather without attracting other animals who like hot, sunny weather and you might not fancy sharing your shoes with some of these species!

As a contrast, in the UK Wild Home garden here in Dorset, we are not worrying about cobras, scorpions or monkeys but instead are a little more constrained in these winter months when it comes to using the garden. There is a lot of sweeping up to be done following the recent storms and as yet, I haven’t found a calm day to begin the job.

The tulips, in their tubs, are beginning to show their leaves and are a reminder that we will have a stunning show of flowers from April. The willow tree is bursting with leaf buds and I am praying that it will not try and open these until the wind has died down - I am sure that getting wind burn on new leaves affects the tree for the rest of the year.

We don’t have an Ibis pair drinking in the UK pond but we have a gang of fish who tear around all day long being cheerful and carefree. The blackbirds and sparrows come for their daily drink and a bath, showering their surroundings with splashes. Lastly, there is a very brave English robin who sits as close as he can get to whoever is digging/weeding/pruning to try and spot the first sign of something that has been uncovered for him to eat.

Sparrows keeping watch.

We won’t see much produce in this garden for a while yet and I’ve totally dropped the ball this year when it comes to potatoes, but hopefully now that we have a greenhouse, we can protect some of those more delicate veggies and see a good harvest in the summer.

Thank you for reading, as always! Have a wonderful weekend and keep an eye out next weekend for a first peek of some of our new stock that is arriving! x


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