This week we had a group back in the garden which was just SO good! I only properly realised how much I have missed doing group work after having people back. If anything, I think Covid has made people appreciate the time we spend here even more and really get a sense of how beneficial it is spending time as a group in nature.
Also having people away so long meant there was no end of thing for everyone to explore, from potatoes to onions to tomatoes. When something in the garden was of interest, we all gathered round to discuss. It was interesting to discover people are also interested in all the things that go wrong within the garden as well. I was hearing comments like “Your chillies don’t look great, that makes me feel better about mine” and “Not many apples on the trees this year?” As frustrating as that is to hear, there is also a comeradery in sharing. I was so relieved when I heard another gardener talk about their Dahlias suffering the same stem rot as ours, it makes you realise you are not in it alone! Gardeners left to it, discussing how things are growing, could go on all day.
Gardening gives everyone a common language, involving the weather, pests and diseases, new techniques and tools. There is definitely a feeling of togetherness in the process, even though we all seem to want to out do each other by growing the biggest veg! After a good feed of comfy and chicken manure pellets the chillies are looking much better. Many of the dahlias needed cut back due to the stem rot but have started to regrow nicely. Having people back in the garden, and spending time soaking in how it’s all growing and chatting about it can really help doing the gardening jobs that might be missed if there wasn’t a fresh pair of eyes to keep you right.