A few musings on our strange ‘Corona’ times

3 CommentsMonday, 11 May 2020  |  Alison


Coronavirus is a word we know all too well now but, virus or no virus, nature continues to produce an abundance of spring colour to engage us, and although lockdown continues in the UK as I write this, most of us have been able to take a short walk or dust down our bicycles and cycle each day to appreciate the life affirming richness of spring unfolding before our eyes with flowering blossom trees, elegant magnolias, unfurling fern leaves and every day something new, like clumps of bluebells, lilac and wisteria greeting us on our daily stint of exercise this spring, whether it be an isolated stroll around the garden or a brisk walk in the local park.

What’s more is that it is not just dog walkers out and about. It is families, couples and single folk going out to stroll and who are perhaps discovering for the first time, or rediscovering, their local lanes, pathways, community parks, villages or towns. I have been cycling along a nearby canal towpath and being outside in the fresh air definitely gives a feel good factor, although 2 metres ‘un’ social distancing can be a challenge along spots of less wide towpaths. Hawthorn hedges have leapt out and poked their sharp spears into my bicycle wheels and attacked my legs and hands on more than one occasion as I try to keep my distance. Well it’s either a few prickly thorns in my side or a dip in the canal as I wobble my way past other wary walkers and cyclists. Why, whilst I’m at it, have people lost the ability these days to say hello or smile?  Fear of breathing on someone I think. But a smile can be life affirming and inclusive, so go on, smile at a stranger when you are on your walk today.

Our nation, in lockdown, has been taking on a quiet wartime spirit with ‘Dig for Victory’ and ‘Grow Your Own’ becoming more prevalent. You don’t need acres of land.  If you have a tub or two or a window box you can try your hand at growing a few vegetables, salad crops or flowers this summer. I am betting that, like me, you have kept packets of seeds given away by gardening magazines or purchased on impulse, with the view that you might want to grow a novelty veg or your own chamomile tea one day.

Well now that day is here. I didn’t realise I had such a vast collection of seeds. I have gathered them all together in two, yes two, large Tupperware type boxes and sown some already.  If you have managed to get hold of some seeds, sow them now. Flowers, vegetables and salad crops will all give you tasty crops this summer. Sow in garden soil if you can’t get hold of compost and follow the instructions on the packet and you won’t go far wrong.  Less is more in the world of seed sowing so sow thinly remembering that each seed sown is a potential plant or vegetable that will grow into something wonderful.

Many of us are walking to the local food shop or supermarket and at the moment, with garden centres and retail nurseries like ourselves, closed, at least there are some plants and cut flowers around to bring a bit of a treat home if you haven’t got plug plants coming from us, that is! 

If you have been lucky enough to order mail order plug plants from us, we are doing our best to get them out to you. Like many other mail order plant companies we have been inundated with orders and count ourselves fortunate that many of us within the company can continue to work, albeit at an ‘unsocial distance’. But what was odd at first soon becomes ‘the norm’.  I think we have all had to learn that we can, and must, adjust our lives, for the good of everyone around us.

We are all sending our best wishes to you and your families and we will come through this awful time.

Keep safe, keep smiling and keep gardening.


Pamela Gray
Monday, 11 May 2020  |  19:03

Well said Alison 🙂 We are both in the vulnerable group so our garden is even more important to us at the moment. I want to make our garden beautiful again to give people passing something lovely to see and I hope it will bring a smile to their faces like it does to mine . Things will get better 🙂 xx

J Hawker
Monday, 11 May 2020  |  20:49

When I was a child, many years ago now, I accompanied my grandfather, a farmer from Lichfield, who showed me how to plant spinach! A couple of weeks ago I found an old packet of perpetual beet and have now sown it. Just have to wait and see. You have been given a reprieve from Wednesday I believe. Good luck and hope to see you around when we are let out.

William Foster
Monday, 11 May 2020  |  21:06

Well said indeed.... I would like to thank you for the splendid flowers I have ordered and safely received from you.. All waiting to go into my baskets and containers very soon.. Well done to you all at Brookside Nursery.

Brookside Nursery