This week we were mentioned in Alice Thomson’s column for The Times which argued that the joy of gardens and gardening should be open to all.
The piece illustrated how lockdown has led to more people spending time in their gardens and indeed gardening than ever before, citing that nearly a third of a million people visited the RHS website to learn how to grow vegetables last month alone.
It’s not only a physical phenomenon either. The article notes that the National Garden Scheme has gone both virtual and viral with their Support Our Gardens campaign, whilst Horatio’s Garden was mentioned as a project that offers therapy and respite to those who need it most.
Tracing various notable examples throughout history, Alice is thankful that we’re finally heeding their words and becoming obsessed with greenery again. She’s careful to recognise that gardening is now attracting a whole new generation and feels that local governing bodies have a responsibility to prioritise gardens, communal spaces and parks, particularly in light of the UK’s current situation.
In addition, amongst various pieces of interesting research, she also illustrates that the need for such spaces is growing as there has been a marked increase in the proportion of new homes built without gardens. Whilst in 1996 the figure was 18%, this was up to 26% in 2019.
She writes in hope that things will change and that when the pandemic is over, we will remember our new-found habit. She concludes, ‘We all need space to watch seeds grow, otherwise we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which “whispers of better things come to us gently.”
We couldn’t agree more.