In August, I bought a packet of carrot seeds from Wilko, along with some potting compost, plant food and what I thought was probably an appropriately sized plant pot. I excitedly brought my goodies home and spent some time on the balcony sewing the seeds according to the instructions and dutifully watering them. In hindsight, I definitely sewed them far too close together, as by the time they were poking up their heads up they were clearly getting tangled together. I’m new to the vegetable growing game, don’t judge me!
The back of the packet said that I could expect to harvest in November, so I spent the next few months looking after my carrot babies, watering them as needed, making sure they had enough sunlight, ensuring it wasn’t too windy, and moving them away from the edge of the balcony whenever the rain was torrential to prevent any damage. I truly wanted to prove to myself that I could grow something I could eat, and I was so excited for the day when I could pull up even one, ugly, stunted carrot.
Then, right at the beginning of October, I had a really bad week. Lots of things happened in my personal life, and I spent a week desperately trying to deal with it, distract myself and spend as much time out of my flat as possible. As you’ve probably guessed already, I forgot about my beloved carrots. It was late on a Sunday when I suddenly remembered them. I gasped, sat bolt-upright and dashed out onto the balcony. At first I though they were okay, but as I poured water on them, the entire tops of them came away. My carrots were well and truly dead.
It took only a week of inattention for my carrots to die. I haven’t been on the balcony since, except to briefly water my much hardier lavender plants. I’m honestly devastated and so frustrated with myself for forgetting about them. It’s taught me a lesson, not just about plants or gardening, but about life itself. There are some things, no matter how busy we are, that we should always make time for. These are the small everyday tasks which make us feel good, and do us good, just a little everyday. Other tasks like this also fell by the wayside in this week or so of distraction. I didn’t change my sheets when they really needed it. I didn’t take my makeup off every night. I didn’t do the washing up every night before I went to bed. I didn’t cook. I didn’t do any of the things that are so essential for my well being but have become a core part of my daily routine. If I have a slump like this again, I will try and focus less on getting out of the house and keeping super busy, and instead on doing the small things that make me feel like me, and keep my life ticking over. Lesson learnt.