Monty Don has always been a keen exponent of the health benefits of gardening, in particular its effect on the not so quiet mind. I have recently read that some hospitals have introduced ‘secret gardens’ where patients recovering from the Coronovirus are taken for periods every day, even in drizzling rain, for the beneficial effects. And, of course, this week it is Gardens and Health Week, sponsored by the NGS with Rachel de Thame as its Ambassador. The NGS website has various links to the personal stories of people for whom gardens have played a vital role in their recovery.
Also recently published is Sue Stuart-Smith’s (wife of the garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith) book, ‘The Well Gardened Mind: Rediscovering Nature in the Modern World’, in which she points out the pleasures of growing and nurturing things and argues for a ‘greening’ of all of our lives.
Despite exhortations to sit and enjoy our gardens, I think keen gardeners often don’t do that! But this spring there has been one thing that has brought me joy every time I look at it! In the autumn I bought a collection of ‘ tulips for a window box’. When it came to planting them, I decided the window box was too small, so I jammed them all into a pot. The three varieties are absolute beauties and even now they are fading are still immensely lovely.
I rarely sit outside, but I am greeted by them every morning when I have breakfast.
At the end of my garden I have a Clematis ‘Freckles’ which flowered constantly through the winter. However, I only saw this when I ventured further down the garden. I have resolved to plant something which gives me such pleasure closer to the house where I can see it even in inclement weather. In these unusual and difficult times, let us take pleasure where we can.
The tulips are Double Early and Double Lates: Anthracite, Copper Image and Dream Touch.