The Village Gardener – Gardening for the Soul

Spring has arrived!! Nature has awoken and at the moment of writing this piece the blossom is seconds from bursting, the birds are again finding their full voices and the sun is gifting us all some long awaited warmth.

Spring is a time of hope, a time of expectancy.

Yet today, sadly, we find ourselves living in a crazy and scary world, a world of ongoing news headlines doing little to quell our fears as we all “lockdown” and do our bit for one another.

Never has there been a more important time to feed the Soul.

Every day as we open the door another plant has awoken, a new bud has burst into life, flowers are emerging and deep shiny leaves are about to unfurl.

All very welcome signs of hope, new life and of happy times ahead.

As we all know, at this time of year many garden jobs build up very quickly, and it can be a mad race against time to get things done. Well……. Time is in abundance, for now, so we can all enjoy our great outdoors without the usual push and pull on our attentions. We can dead head every daffodil, rake the moss and de-weed that lawn more thoroughly than we’ve ever done before.

Goodness me, we can even give all the hand tools a good clean, and sweep the shed (never been done).

Pruning of Buddleias, Summer flowering Clematis, Hardy Fuschias, Hydrangea and Spireas to name but a few can all be done now along with ornamental grasses. My Roses all get the hard prune at this time of year.

If you have pots with winter bedding , such as Violas and Primulas, give them a good feed and dead head regularly to prolong the flowering season. With the new found heat in the Sun start the watering regime again.

Get that trusty hoe into action as well. Although still early, it won’t be long before the undesirables raise their heads, so whip them off on a sunny day and the heat will do the rest especially on the annuals, shrivelling them up and returning them to compost.

More perennial peskys like the, Dandelion, Couch, Ground Elder etc will need to be removed by the root and disposed of, and with the extra time we all have at the moment, what better excuse to knock these blighters into shape and get our beds and borders Summer ready.

With the onset of the current problems I have thrown numerous feeds with largesse on lawns and beds, with the desire and hope that everything will grow grow grow to keep me occupied.

Worryingly, I think I may have overcooked it somewhat, I have already mown the lawns half a dozen times and I firmly believe the weeds will emerge any day now,like demonic triffids with growling teeth!!

But hey ho, never mind, time on our hands is something we all have, and what better way to spend it.

Getting to grips with all the gardening we’ve always wanted to do, jobs usually put off and jobs usually avoided suddenly seem so much more attractive. Maybe we are resetting what is important in life and finding new appreciations.. Garden, home, family, friends,neighbours and the time to embrace and fulfil all.

If space is a premium in your garden, Pots and Seeds are a great way to bring some colour and joy into your life.

Existing pots with long term plants and shrubs already in situ will appreciate a clean up; scrape away as much of the old compost as possible and top up with fresh, adding annual seeds such as Night Scented Stocks, Lobelia,Nigella or Wild Flower mixtures to give a lift and pop of colour.

Or how about some clumps of ‘cut and come again’ lettuce, fresh bright green growth and you can eat it!!

All sorts of containers can be used for planting, from yogurt pots to buckets, and I like to use the actual compost bags themselves.

A great and simple way to grow some veggies or herbs is to simply lay a compost bag flat on the ground, pop lots of drainage holes all over. Turn over and cut four or five squares in the other side and hey presto you have perfect planting space for Lettuce, Carrots, Radish or any number of Herbs. A fun project for all ages and very quick results.

Potato’s can be done the same way, just stand the bag in its end with the holes in the bottom. Plant them as low as you can get and the cover over and give a good water. As with all pots keep up the watering and you’ll see the results in no time.

All this work to keep us occupied,  but we mustn’t forget the real purpose of the garden.

Whether it’s beds, borders and pots adorned with Gorgeous blooms, feeding the eye or perfect rows of verdant health giving Fruit and Vegetables to feed the family.

The real gift of the garden is happiness and joy, true food for the Soul. X