Putting down roots in the time of Coronavirus

The UK’s coronavirus ‘lockdown’ has coincided with my long-planned break from work. We’re asked to stay at home, principally to prevent the spread of the disease and the consequences for the most vulnerable. I’m forced to contemplate being confined to the house (and garden!) for a long period.

I’m a terrible gardener.

There’s a gnarly old apple tree in the corner of my garden. I don’t know how to care for it. When it suffered from disease, I didn’t know what to do. My clumsy attempts to manage it have left it looking a bit forlorn. For my apple tree, read Britain in the Spring of 2020.

Now it seems I’m going to be spending more time than I expected in my garden, with my tree. Maybe that’s not a bad thing. I still don’t really know what to do with my tree, but I can think about it, and do my best.

Maybe good fruit will come in the autumn. Maybe it won’t. But, whatever comes, it will hang from the tips of the most vulnerable branches. The job of the rest of the tree is simply to stand there, with its roots in the ground, and give those branches life.

I can do that too. Put down roots for a few months. Keep an eye on my tree. And know that, despite my worst efforts, it will still be here next year.

Meanwhile, I cut the grass for the first time this year today.

It was a little chilly, but the sun was out in Cottenham. The sky was blue.

I took a picture of the first buds on my apple tree.

Spring will come again.

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