As the Chelsea flower show gets into full swing, or should I say bloom, one of the messages that leapt out at me was “Greening Grey Britain”. According to RHS research, over half of us don’t know when to plant a daffodil, a quarter have no idea how pumpkins grow, and one in three of us would struggle to name a garden shrub. But its not all doom and gloom, a high proportion of us have access to outside space and we are a nation of keen, if slightly under-informed gardeners.
The RHS Greening Grey Britain Garden is all about sustainable planting in diverse and unusual environments that anyone can get involved with, and they have developed How To pages to get us started. There is even some advice for the residents of Bath, who hit the headlines yesterday, as the new council wheelie bin regime comes into force causing concerns for the small yet beautiful gardens they will inhabit.
As the weather warms and our own gardens, yards, patios and window boxes flourish, we all need to take time to enjoy them. We may not be able to visit the Chelsea Flower Show in person, but we can draw inspiration from it. My personal favourite is the Welcome to Yorkshire Garden (but I am biased), no-one does ruined Abbeys and chalk cliff faces in small gardens quite like we do. And while I suppose we might not be the Rich Brothers and recreating your very own Silk Road Garden might be a bridge too far for most of us, planting some herbs and scented blooms just might make us all feel a bit more like summer is on its way.
So get into your gardening gear on and get planting. Temperatures are due to soar at the weekend so there is no better time. If you are not in the mood to get mucky you could always plant your feet in the floral delights on offer from Viyella this season. What ever you decide make sure you reward yourself with a glass of something cold when the hard work is done and as you sit back and watch your own quiet corner of the world (or toes) bloom.