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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul

“ So plant your own gardens and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers” Jorge Luis Borges

During this period of isolation, people have taken up gardening as a good way to keep busy and productive. It helps keep you fit, in both mind and body. Apparently, it’s the idea of nurturing something that reduces anxiety and depression. And of course, just being in the garden can be very calming. I’ve been gardening for as long as I can remember, even when I didn’t have a garden. My bedsit with 30 tomato plants in was a sight to be seen! (I REALLY like tomatoes.) I think sowing seeds, repotting, taking cuttings, watering and weeding has kept me sane during this lockdown. Although some may disagree with that.

The changeable weather this month has meant hot, dry days, very cold nights and strong winds. The ground has been very dry, making it difficult for seeds. I get quite excited when I see a rain cloud at the moment. Volunteers have been watering when they can, so we aren’t losing any existing plants. The wind has also been blowing litter into the garden, so there was a clean up session last week, using the litter picking kit that is available to the community.

The wind has damaged the angelica both at the railway station and in the garden. With a bit of pruning and a strong cane, this has been sorted.

The veg and herb beds at the railway station are doing well, thanks to the staff at the station keeping an eye on them in between volunteer visits. The carrot seeds are coming up and the broad beans are in flower. I haven’t grown these before and was surprised by how pretty the red flowers are. Shame that I don’t like to eat broad beans. But maybe readers of the blog have some recipes that would convert me?

In the veg garden the blackcurrant and gooseberries are growing well. Its just a question of who gets the fruit first. Us or the blackbirds. The birds are loving the quiet at the moment and are getting beakfuls of insects from the garden. I assume they are nesting nearby and maybe have chicks.

We have been cutting asparagus regularly, now the bed is mature enough. Apparently, asparagus beds can keep producing for about 20 years, which is something to look forward to each year. The runner beans are growing well, but the climbing beans seem to have climbed out of their container and disappeared. So, I’ll be sowing a second batch and keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve put a few slug deterrents round them in case slugs are the culprits.

The crab apple trees have blossomed and now it looks like the fruit is on its way, which is quite exciting. Our colourful grasses are growing well. And there’s lots of colour in patches round the garden. I love it when the salvia starts to flower, the red and white ‘hot lips’ is my favourite. I love the name. There’s even colour on Bugingham Palace.

I hope everyone had a good Bank Holiday on the 8th, with the VE celebrations. I held a plant sale to raise funds for the garden as part of our Stay At Home Street Party. Like several volunteers, I have been growing seeds and taking cuttings, so had things to sell as well as plants and veg for the garden.

A neighbour gave me a packet with seeds in (at a distance.) The front said ‘To my amazing friend. Thank you for BEE-ing exactly the person you are. I hope we always grow together. I thought this was a lovely sentiment. Perhaps you could all make up your own packet of seeds and pass them to a friend?

The Blooming Old Gardener

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