Wednesday, 10 June 2020

LOCKDOWN IN THE GARDEN

                                               LOCKDOWN IN THE GARDEN

It has taken a major disaster to let people see the benefits of a garden. Prior to the coronavirus
epidemic, gardens were going out of favour as they involved a wee bit of hard graft, (digging,
Auralia paints her new fence
planting and weeding) and as more and more folk have cars they need somewhere to park them so gardens lost out to hard landscaping of slabs, setts, paving, gravel and tarmac. Today there are also so many leisure activities that gardening was relegated to the lower levels of the popularity table.
Then along comes the virulent virus and social life and many jobs came to a standstill. Now we are all in lockdown, what on earth can we get up to relieve boredom. Those of us with gardens will be fine and even a lot better if we also have an allotment. For folk living in flats and those with
concrete gardens the answer seems to be getting an allotment. Interest in gardening has
Steve and Erica dig up the lawn
mushroomed but there is a problem of access to plants, seeds, compost, pots, etc. as garden centres are all closed. Fortunately everybody is now becoming competent in ordering online so we get our gardening supplies delivered to our home, though hopefully when this goes to print the garden centres will all be open and doing a great trade.
Most gardens are not all that big so there is a limit on just how many garden jobs we can find. I have been amazed. Our City Road Allotments have both a website and a Facebook page.
While on Facebook you get invited to join other garden groups like Allotments Online. There are masses of new entrants into the world of gardening who just have not got a clue, but are very keen to learn. Some folk that just got a plot very overgrown and in a short space of time it was cleaned up and planted with photos provided. Very impressive.
Anne and Frank's Hot Tub
Gardens are going through a period of transformation as folk have all the time in the world, while in lockdown, to think about plans to modernise their gardens. Garden fences are being repaired and
Dino Daly creates his wee garden
painted, paths and steps are being repaired. New greenhouses are being erected as well as sheds, and patios being constructed to allow more enjoyable leisure time. There is a move to get back to nature and kids are very much involved as parents want to show them where food comes from. Up at City Road Allotments Karen is helping young Dino with a natural bug garden and pond with
tadpoles so he can see them grow into frogs which hopefully will help to keep the slugs down.
Luke and mum get ready for the Parkour challenge
Another chap is building a Wendy House for the kids who now are frequent visitors to our site. On
another plot Jane is very much inspired to indulge in her creative poetry sitting blissful amongst the flowers and plants she enjoys growing. On my plot I now have the time to indulge in taking
gardening up one level. This year I am growing sweet peas to exhibition standards having been taught those skills sixty years ago up at Camperdown nursery (now a zoo) where we grew a few hundred for council functions. I never forgot the method. Lockdown has curtailed our allotment committee activities, so there is no longer any plot inspections and vacant plots are not re let but
Jane writes some poetry
volunteers still plant up these vacant plots and we offer produce to passers by with baskets of
vegetables and fruit for free left outside the gate on City Road. Another couple of friends, Frank and Anne decided to install a hot tub in the garden to enjoy a wee bit of lockdown in luxury. Friends over in Glasgow are digging up the lawn to give more space to growing vegetables with help from the kids. Their garden is terraced on several levels with fences. Just the perfect location for young Luke to create a Parkour free running, jumping, climbing trail for charity encouraged by Captain Tom Moore’s very successful charity walk. Luke who is only 7 years old raised £300 for charity.

Wee jobs to do this week

Pumpkins and courgettes just planted
Early June is a good time to plant courgettes and pumpkins. The long spell (six weeks) of sunny dry weather brought on the plants faster than normal so I was ready to plant at the end of May, then along came a couple of days of gales, but I had my plants under fleece so no harm was done. These plants are gross feeders so need fertile soil and plenty of moisture, so if dry weather prevails keep the hose going. Give the plants plenty of room especially the pumpkins as they like to grow.

END

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