The magic of plants and gardening

Elm Tree FarmIt’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to the gardens here on the farm. We’ve been so happy to welcome our trainees back after lockdown just in time for the main seed sowing season which kick starts the vegetable and cut flower gardens.

It’s a time of hard work but great energy, when you get up close to the plants at the very beginning of their journey – lots of TLC now, really pays off in the long run.

Every spring, the Royal Horticultural Society organises the country’s biggest celebration of all things garden related, with National Gardening Week. This year, it takes place from 26 April to 2 May, and the theme is the feel-good power of plants and gardening.

Get your daily dose

The RHS is encouraging everyone to get their daily dose of vitamin G – Green – and discover the magic of gardening. There will be lots of tips and ideas on their website and social media and we’ll be joining in too, sharing our work here on the farm and some of the ways it supports our trainees in their well-being and growth.

If you don’t have a garden, the power of plants is still accessible all around us, in front gardens on your walks, in local parks, under street trees, even houseplants bring a touch of that magical vitamin G to our lives.

Healing powers

Elm Tree Farm gardens in springOver the past year, many of us have turned to our gardens or to local green spaces to find respite from the difficulties we’ve all shared because of the pandemic. The healing and restorative powers of plants and gardens have long been known but in recent years, the many benefits to health and well-being that gardening offers have become much more mainstream, with the growth of green care, local food projects, community gardens and much, much more.

This time last year, when the first lockdown was just getting underway and we all had no idea of what was to come, we talked a lot as a team about how grateful we felt to be able to continue to work out in our fields – it was tough without our trainees and took all the pairs of hands we could muster, but we knew we were so lucky to be surrounded by nature.

Growing at home

Many of our trainees, locked down at home, missed their regular gardening and we worked hard to provide nature-themed activities for people to do at home. In some cases, we provided plants, seeds and compost, and even planters, so that people could carry on honing their skills at home.

Many of the Brandon’s accommodation-based services took to their gardens too, with residents who were missing their usual community activities, turning to food growing at home or encouraging wildlife into their gardens.

Celebrate with us

flower bouqetKeep an eye out on Facebook and Instagram over the coming week; we’ll be sharing our favourite plants, surprising garden facts, tales of our trainees’ gardening successes, and hints and tips to get the best from your garden.

We’ve all come through a long hard winter, the sun is out again, and the days are getting longer. So, let’s celebrate our glorious gardens and green spaces together!

Lisa Allen
Elm Tree Farm Coordinator