In over eight years of writing this blog, I think I’ve only previously missed one Friday morning’s posting, and yet I’ve just been silent for two weeks on the trot.

I have a very good excuse. The doctors called it viral labyrinthitis. which inflames the canals of the inner ear. For those who have had it, I can now fully empathise with the horrors of what feels like being trapped in the washing machine of doom – on full spin cycle.

It struck at a time of year when there are so many garden wildlife stories to tell, but also when I had so many projects planned in the garden. I was due to prepare the next area that will be wildflower meadows, and I was intending to finish the boat garden, which is to be filled with British native seaside plants. None of that got done; it has been as much as I could do to get out of bed!

But the thing with creating a garden is that it is a flexible thing. A garden is never finished so it is all about enjoying the journey, and the journey will now be a little bit different in its timings.

But – and this is the real reason for sharing the gory details of the last three weeks – is to give thanks for the therapy that a wildlife-filled garden brings. Every day, even at the virus’s worst, I hauled myself into the garden, and felt a little bit better for doing so.

On some days, I was able to focus my eyes well enough to see some of the butterflies. Some, like this Peacock, were looking rather like how I felt - battered!

I would sit in the sunshine on ‘The Mound’ where the steep banks mean my eyes are close to the ground where I could marvel at grasshoppers ‘felling’ giant blades of grass by gnawing at the base, like Beavers chopping down trees.

On many occasions I just sat by the pond in my haze, distracted by the dragonflies zipping backwards and forwards, or the little shoals of Sticklebacks darting about under the lily pads.

The wildlife seemed to become quite blasé, given the snail-pace I was restricted to.

Overall, the smell and feel of the grass, the colour of the flowers, the hum of insects, and the gentle lowing song of the Woodpigeons and the autumn Robin melodies – they were worth a thousand drugs.

And with the colour beginning to flush the chest of this year’s young Robins, it is nature that is beginning to bring colour back to my cheeks.

  • Beautiful piece Adrian-hooray for the joys and healing powers of a wildlife garden and happy to hear you are on the mend!

  • My new Aster Frikartii Monch has put a big smile on my face this year, due to its massive display of blue-mauve & yellow daisy flowers since mid-August. Doubtful value for wildlife has been decided as - after plenty of white butterflies and hoverflies visiting - I was thrilled to have a Small Copper having a good drink from it!