Digging with the right foot.

As a lockdown limbo lingers, there is talk, as our mild weather continues, of reopening public places in time for the May Bank Holiday next Friday during National Gardening Week. It begs the question: can garden centres now be considered essential?

According to a report by The Sun earlier this week, an estimated £200 million worth of plants in the UK’s 2,000 garden centres could go to landfill if the lockdown is not lifted. This would be sheer sacrilege, and could be sensibly avoided. 


Gardening certainly has huge mental health benefits – a real area of concern for many who are suffering in lockdown right now. Additionally, spending more time in their gardens, having been to the garden centre, could help convey the government’s ‘Stay At Home’ mantra which will be so crucial in the next coming weeks.  According to the aforementioned report in The Sun this week, horticulture is worth almost £25 billion in the U.K. economy. Earlier this week the paper, with its Gardening Correspondent Peter Seabrook, appealed to Boris Johnson with passionate plea for their reopening. 


The cathartic nature of gardening was poignantly put to the Prime Minister by Peter:  ‘No one knows better than me what a blessed relief it is to be out in the garden. On Good Friday, I lost my wonderful wife Margaret to coronavirus, after 60 years of marriage. I quickly did what I always do when life gets tough, and made myself useful in the garden’. By comparison, at a  time when Wetherspoons owner Tim Martin wants to reopen his pubs in June, surely there is a strong case for reopening garden centres sooner rather than later? 


The Times reported at the beginning of April that millions of bedding plants will be destroyed because garden centres have had to close at their busiest time of year. Total sales losses could be almost £700 million by the end of June.  During these testing times, garden create a sense of escapism, and are a rich, yet simple and innocent pleasure in an otherwise bewildering world. Now, more than ever, we should embrace them. As Audrey Hepburn once said, ‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’. 

Subscribe to the quarterly print magazine

Subscribe to the quarterly digital magazine

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

14 Comments on Digging with the right foot.

  1. Your viscious name-calling is unecessary..is Boris Hitler or something?
    NO!
    If he is unseated by the screaming vultures of the media&their lapdog/bitch politicans..get ready for the decent people of uk to NOT grin&bear it..

  2. According to the BBC, garden centres will be allowed to reopen on Wednesday. Interestingly, two garden centres near me (Essex) were open today and I did go in and buy some seedlings. Were they ‘illegally’ jumping the gun? And it was most pleasant to wander through the plants, I am very cautious about the virus and I’m pretty sure that widely spaced out people in the outdoor section of a garden centre are at low risk.

  3. Many nurseries are now open for business in the form of home deliveries. Two days ago I received six sacks of jack’s Magic compost, two bags of pea gravel, two large tubs, a pair of gardening gloves, and some slightly wilted verbenas. Carrying them all from the end of the front drive to the shed at the far end of the back garden was great fun. It didn’t kill me, so it must have made me stronger.

  4. A neglected aspect of gardens is that they are generally more bio-diverse than Constable-country green fields and therefore better for the allegedly beleaguered environment.

    I have a small (pretty neglected) garden beside a busy highway – still busy with 32 ton tipper trucks from the quarry a mile up the road. Every year we have two or three nests of songbirds in bushes or in our nest box – though most years bees (the kind that gather in packs of 200) are in the nest box. We see just about every British bird including a sparrow-hawk, and even a heron occasionally taking frogs from our tiny pond. The other evening, watching the crescent moon and Venus imitating the flags of Islamic states, I saw a scraggy fox carrying a rat that it had caught in our compost heap.

    I like annoying Nimbys, so get those green fields built up and let gardens save the world.

    • I’ve the same here on the Via Gellia with a fair amount of continuing quarry traffic from various quarries.
      We’ve even got a sparrow hawk too and several buzzards.

      • Kites are common in Yorkshire now. The only sparrow-hawk I’ve seen was fighting on the ground with a blackbird, and it lost and flew away empty beaked.

  5. A government that is prepared to repress its peoples liberties will consider a few plants a bargain price for the general acceptance of its dictatorship.

    • It would help to have a general awareness about things before taking to your keyboard and proving you’re a moron. He didn’t want a lockdown in the first place, although I expect he wishes he’d not been so bullish about shaking infected people’s hands after it almost killed him.

      • And P.S. I’m not in any way a fan of the devious, lying, fraudulent flown, and hope his pathetically inept government crashes and burns, but repressive dictatorship? No.

        • Such a lot of hostility Andrew. It seems excessive for Mr Johnson. Could it be misdirected and belong elsewhere? Have you been wronged by a blond(e) in the past perhaps?

          • Micheal,
            Have you ever noticed that Wee Andy never actually posts a comment but just reacts in his wooden, lame fashion then dives back under the duvet?

        • Your viscious name-calling is unecessary..is Boris Hitler or something?
          NO!
          If he is unseated by the screaming vultures of the media&their lapdog/bitch politicans..get ready for the decent people of uk to NOT grin&bear it..

    • Noa: Boris isn’t a dictator. Neither does he have any interest in repressing our traditional liberties. He”s merely a rabbit staring into the headlights of an oncoming hrududu, wondering, “How can I make this hrududu work for my political advantage?” In other words, he’s a politician.