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To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul

“To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul”

Alfred Austin (poet)

I came back from my holidays last weekend and one of the first things I did was visit the garden. It had really changed a lot. Despite the drought, everything had grown and a group had filled it with butterflies that they had made.

Bloomer volunteers have obviously been busy while I was away. The dry spell has meant regular watering still. They look forward to rain being forecast so that they can have a day off. The grass is suffering from the lack of water. But as usual all the weeds/unplanned plants are doing well. The slugs seem to have liked being watered too, as I found signs of them eating the marigolds.

The veg garden is very thick and full now. On Sunday and Wed I picked beans, rhubarb, courgettes and cucumbers that had grown and left some on the table for people to have for their lunch. You couldn’t get much fresher veg.

We have put troughs along the front of the garden now. The troughs by the book tree have herbs in. So give the leaves a rub to release the herby smells. Or bring scissors to cut a sprig to use in your kitchen.

Bloomers have been very busy in the studio too, making signs and other things to put in the garden ready for the school holidays. On Thursday the ‘suffragette’ areas were set up. And our scarecrows, Flora and Millicent, are showing their true colours of purple, green and white.

There are more activities for kids too, with spotter sheets round the garden and in the book tree, which has been reopened after some repairs. And I love the new dinosaur treasure hunt. There are dinosaurs hidden round the garden and a board to identify them on. Talking of boards, there’s now a blackboard in the garden for you to leave your drawings and comments on. And the car track is now back, with its own garage for the cars. The tyres have turned into ‘lands too’. And you don’t have to be a kid to play in our garden either.

We entered for Britain In Bloom again this year. And the Royal Horticultural Society came to judge the garden this morning. We showed them round the garden, talking about what we do and the people who help and visit. We have to wait to see if we get an award. But the comments our visitors give us are reward enough.

Well I’m off home now. Ready to look at the total eclipse of the moon tonight. It will hopefully create a red moon too, which you don’t get to see very often.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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