May is always a very busy month in the garden. Last night, after working all day in our gardens planting out lots of flower and vegetable plants from the greenhouse ahead of the forecast rain, I went in, tired out. But it was a good kind of tiredness. I was reminded of the phrase “honest toil”. A feeling of weariness with aching muscles but, alongside that, a feeling of satisfaction, a job well done.
Now we open our gardens for charity under the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), and in their latest newsletter they quote a recovering hospital patient as saying, “Outside is like medicine” and the NGS ambassador and horticulturalist, Rachel de Thame, declares, “gardens are good for you.”
I guess it is not only the physical exercise of gardening, all that digging, hoeing, raking and weeding; and the health benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables, but also the psychological benefits, enjoying the peace and quiet of garden or allotment, getting closer to nature, and, probably most important of all, the feeling of hope for the future. Those small seeds sown today will, with nurture, produce the most delicious lettuce, carrots, cabbages or tomatoes in the weeks and months to come.
I have always enjoyed gardening and get great personal pleasure from all its aspects. That is why we open our gardens for charity under the National Gardens Scheme, and we are delighted that this year we shall once again be opening on four weekends.
The NGS raise millions of pounds each year for health charities. It was set up in 1927 to support district nurses and it now supports health and wellbeing charities like Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, the Carers Trust, the Queen’s Nursing Institute and Parkinson’s UK.
Our gardens at Stone Farm will be open this year for the first time on the afternoons of Saturday May 29th and Sunday May 30th. Full details nearer the time, and also in the “Yellow Book” and on the NGS website.
Gardens can be a source of great pleasure as well as being good for you! So we invite you to join us at the end of May, to walk around our gardens including our new Victorian style walled vegetable garden and our extensive flower beds and orchard, and even to indulge yourself with a thoroughly unhealthy cream tea or some delicious chocolate or lemon drizzle cake!!