In the spring of 2012, I returned to work after six months away because of a major depression, no doubt brought on by toiling with full time employment at the same time as being a single mother to a small child and dealing with the Family Courts of England and Wales to keep us safe.

I had made the decision whilst recuperating to go part time. This was with a view to having space for me to be an adult as well as a mother and a teacher. Having only relatively recently discovered the joys of gardening, I was keen to develop this hobby. At least as importantly, I had been brought up to respect the Earth and wanted more time to devote to treading lightly upon it.

I felt that by earning less I would be forcing myself to be a smaller consumer. What I didn’t realise at that time was how far I could go. I’d never been foraging, exchanged clothes rather than buying them or gifted homemade preserves, for example.

I didn’t at that point even know what I really wanted my garden to be. Apart from growing food and attracting bees.

Now, I feel that the garden is going  in the direction I want, although there is still much work to be done to transform it into a viable forest garden. There is also much knowledge still to be learned about the plants and animals that inhabit our planet. Beyond that, there are more people to meet who have a like mind and places to visit which in some way give me inspiration.

Thus, Growing out of chaos is primarily a blog about the above. However, I am still a twenty-four seven single parent, which means I have had to think outside the box and live differently to some extent, in any case. This was not reflected in silverbells steps out, at least directly. Perhaps this will become more obvious now.