We don’t know whether it’s the wonderful lock-down weather (summer sunshine from March onwards, anyone?), the enforced time at home or the slowed-down pace of life (for some of us), but everyone we speak to at the moment has come over all green-fingered. Whether it’s growing herbs on a windowsill, tomatoes on a balcony or setting up a vegetable patch, it seems that we’re all hankering for a green space to call our own.
If you’re more of a thinker than a doer and are still looking for inspiration, we came across a great article in Grazia magazine to get you feeling inspired. Called Green Shoots of Recovery, we’ve selected some helpful excerpts:
Gardening is a proven form of therapy for those feeling anxious or depressed, and with the impact of lockdown on mental health, many are turning to plants to help alleviate stress… Whether you have a large garden or only a window box, balcony or roof terrace, taking care of plants and seeing them grow is very relaxing and helps lighten your anxiety; it’s a ritual you can introduce into your day that helps give it structure.
Ways to flex your green fingers:
· Harvest time: Growing what you can eat is a big trend, and the good news is that you don’t need a large space in which to do it…If you don’t have a lot of space, look for dwarf and patio varieties – dwarf tomatoes are just one foot high instead of six foot. You can also find smaller fruit trees… Other good crops to get you started are lettuce and chard
· Lettuce pots: You can grow lettuce seeds in pots on a sunny windowsill or under a skylight. Sow seeds in small plastic pots filled with multipurpose compost and set in a bright place. Place the pots in pretty containers and water so the compost stays damp, and thin the seedlings when they are 7cm tall, leaving 1-3 lettuces per pot if you want full heads
· Box clever: When making a window box, plant tall plants at the back, smaller ones at the front, and have something trailing. And don’t go overboard with colours – it’s a small space so don’t make it too busy. Succulents in window boxes work well – mix different forms and leaves – some varieties give beautiful flowers
· Herbs grown on a window ledge are a popular choice. The easiest herbs to start with are soft leaves, like basil and parsley, which you can grow on a sunny windowsill. Chillies and coriander are probably the most durable seeds to grow, while thyme and rosemary are hardy and will last the winter but might take a bit more work. When in doubt, the herb that grows most readily is mint – you must keep it well away from everything else because it literally takes over any pot. Chives are also easy to grow.
Futon Company says: There are many different ways to enjoy your outside space. Whether it’s planting and growing your own greenery; faking it with fake shrubs to add a colour pop; or relaxing on your deck while admiring your green fingers, we’ve got plenty of outdoor goodies to turn a blue day into a green one!