Usually, we are all rushed off our feet with our day-to-day lives but suddenly we have all been brought to a stop by the current pandemic and life has changed drastically with self-isolation and self-distancing now the norm. Key workers are working harder than ever but a lot of us have a great deal of time on our hands.
I consider myself very fortunate that I not only have a fantastic park within walking distance (for exercise purposes once round the lake equals 1 km) but I also have a garden and I have turned most of my attention to this with my newly found spare time – just ask any gardener if they would rather do the hoovering or potter in the garden?
Not having room for a greenhouse every windowsill in the house is covered with seed trays sprouting germinated seeds. I ran out of labels for one of the trays so what is growing there is going to be a bit of a surprise – by process of elimination (checking against the seed packets still in my stock) I believe the seedlings to be Tithonia, Ammi Majus, and Geranium Madeiranse – but we will see! More seeds have germinated than I will have room for in the garden so I am going to pot them on and then leave the excess on the wall outside my house and send an email/WhatsApp round to all my neighbours (and friends within walking distance) for them to “help themselves”. I will also leave a note for the passers-by but currently, there are very few of those. If you find yourself in the same boat why not do the same – no contact is required between you and your fellow gardeners and in the current situation of no garden centres being open at least this is a temporary solution and keeps our communities connected
My garden has never looked so good at this time of year. We have the time to do all those jobs we always promise ourselves we are going to do but never actually get around to doing them because life gets in the way. The lawn has been raked and aerated in the old fashioned way using a fork (incredibly good all-round exercise but I could only do a few square feet at a time without having to stop for a sit-down and a cuppa!), borders have been weeded, fed, and edged, plants lifted and divided and moved into spaces created by the weeding, and garden furniture renovated (so that we can sit back and admire all that hard work!
I have also taken great pleasure in taking time to look for the signs of “spring” in the garden, discovering which plants are coming back to life, delighting in the new growth appearing daily and taking photos to record what I find. I am always fascinated by the Snakes Head Fritillaries – just how does nature create that checkerboard pattern? I am currently taking a series of daily time-lapse photographs of apple blossom just about to burst into flower. Please send us your “spring” photos electronically so that we can share them either on the web site or on Facebook, etc.
Also, we would love to know what you have been doing to keep your community going and if you have any tips or ideas. The more we stay connected as a bloom family the more we can help each other deal with this unusual set of circumstances that we all find ourselves in.
Take care and stay safe