If there is anything that Covid-19-induced isolation has taught us, it’s that people will go to extraordinary lengths to banish the lockdown blues. Many have taken up sketching, sewing or other forms of crafting and the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney, with their new Star Wars universe series Mandalorian, must be working overtime, keeping their servers running with all the excess demand.
Of course, many are also helping out in our community with elderly or vulnerable people – doing bits of shopping, picking up prescriptions and doing some work in the garden.
After all this is over, one thing is certain; Britain’s gardens will have never looked so tidy! It’s just a shame that the garden centres have had to close or things could have got EXTRAORDINARY. But still, weeds remain relentless, trimming needs doing and now more than ever is the absolute ideal time to start your own vegetable patch.
Whether you opt for a row of runner beans, a sack to grow potatoes (if you lack the space for planting in soil), a raised bed of carrots (over 20cm high to ward off pesky carrot flies) or some butternut squash and prolific Swiss chard, the potential for variety is endless. Any combination of these will keep you occupied, pottering in and out of the house to weed, water, feed and scatter slug pellets to keep the pests away. Another handy tip for the latter is a shallow dish with stale beer in. The slugs and other pests will crawl in and perish in an alcoholic stupor – not a bad way to go, perhaps. Either way, it will help protect your crops.
Perhaps your garden is more of a terrace. Not to worry. There is much scope for improvisation and the sack for growing potatoes, pots for herbs, lettuce, watercress and tomatoes are all very easy to implement and will also give you cause to get fresh air, green-fingered and give you some home-grown goodness down the line. You can also grow some micro-greens and herbs on the windowsill.
Getting out into the garden is not just for growing. Those with kids will be so thankful of the space to play – perhaps a bit of football training in lieu of school PE, or doing the Joe Wicks PE classes each morning, with tablet on the patio table, as I know many are religiously following.
All of this is beneficial to your physical and mental health. You get the vitamin D your body so craves as well as a healthy diversion from the doom and gloom of the news. All this pottering in and out of the garden is also the perfect excuse for a spot of retail therapy.
Foldable shoes are ideal for light garden use, keeping your feet comfortable and cool whilst pulling a few weeds or watering the plants. Keep a pair by the patio door and slip into them when you're ready to head outside.
When you've finished your gardening, just slip back into your indoor foldable flats. So comfy, but also perfect for keeping your feet warm and stylish whilst pottering around indoors.
Little comforts like this, in times like these, are a Godsend.