After years of being beaten around my shell-likes with ‘Brexit’ and wishing I hadn’t ever heard the word, I, like many of you will probably be thinking what a joy it would be to have the ‘B’ word back, loud and proud instead of this new, dreaded ‘C’ word, Coronavirus. The Coronavirus global pandemic has thrown our world into a melting pot of fear, uncertainty and anxiety.
And, lurking under the belly of Coronavirus, a creeping anxiety has quietly taken many of us hostage. Nagging doubts, worries and a fear of the unknown haunt us in the early hours and well beyond.
Everybody’s talking about ‘social distancing’, ‘self-isolation’ and ‘lockdown’ with a scarily practiced ease. Three weeks ago these phrases weren’t even in our vocabulary.
Much has been written about the many benefits of gardening for those living with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. And so now, in the midst of this perturbing pandemic, more so than ever before, we may all acquire a slightly better understanding of how life consuming these problems can be for many people. So many of us have already admitted to feeling the anxieties of this situation.
Gardening isn’t for everyone, I understand that. A significant percentage of people I have gardened or created gardens for have reaffirmed that belief, ‘I don’t like gardening, but I want a nice garden to spend time in’. I’ve heard these words so many times. But gardening doesn’t have to be the fully immersive, all consuming pastime some make it.
Mowing and edging the lawn, a spot of light weeding or deadheading the daffs is a great way to start. Little and often, gently reconnecting with nature. It’s incredible how just ten minutes of pottering around a garden can mollify a muddled mind or soothe the stresses and strains of day-to-day life. The combination of breathing in fresh air and listening to the birds twittering, happily in neighbouring trees. The frothy pinks, creams and whites of blossom are just beginning to sparkle on the bare boughs of flowering cherries, butter yellow primroses nestled down in our borders, pots or verges. Dazzling daffs nodding their heads to welcome in another long awaited spring. You’ll be quickly transported to ‘another place’. Somewhere calmer, quieter and altogether more tranquil than the worrying ‘here and now’ of our hectic, pressure-laden lives.
For the (ever so slightly) more adventurous, sowing seeds for flowers in our gardens or produce for the veg patch with the kiddies (or without!) is so rewarding. It’s educational and so easy.
Don’t be afraid of your garden. The worst you can probably do is cut off this years flowers, which in the overall scheme of things, at present, is small fry! However, the internet and social media is full to bursting with eager gardeners (like me) with helpful ‘how to’ videos and illustrated guides taking you through all manner of gardening jobs.
But, if gardening is still not your thing then try a wander up the garden path, broom in hand, a much-needed lick of paint on the garden fences or just sitting there with a cuppa, or a chilled Pinot Grigio. You will feel so much better for it.
Things will eventually return to ‘normal’; a new normal, admittedly. Hopefully, some things will change for the better after this. Already a heart-warming sense of community is beginning to emerge.
And we will get back out into our gardens with friends and family. We will go out to restaurants and eat good food, and drink, and laugh. But we will always remember this time.
“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place”