For those of us who have to self-isolate in the coming months, gardening can be a great escape.The best news is, you don’t even need a garden to get these benefits.
I have fallen for a very ordinary sort of plant; the small woodlander, Ajuga reptans, or bugle.It’s a native that’s fond of damp forest floors, where it creates a dense carpet of small blue flowers that are delightful: not showy or spectacular, just rather lovely and flowering right through to early summer.
Pasqueflowers bring colour to gravel gardens.GALASSO/De Agostini via Getty Images
Plant this The purple goblets of the pasqueflower (Pulsatilla vulgaris) start emerging now, bringing colour to gravel gardens and food for hungry pollinators.
Mother’s Day memories: ‘Devon hedgerows were awash with primrose.For many it’s a day to look back as well as forward.
Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ is a pretty spring bloom.Photograph: Alamy
Plant this Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’ is a pretty purple wallflower that you can plant for a spring display, and enjoy the blooms until midsummer.
Blueberries are acid fans.If, however, you grow in a pot, container or raised bed, then you can create the right conditions using ericaceous soil.
Sweet and intense: boysenberries ‘taste like someone has injected them with blackberry jam and raspberry cordial’.Or maybe it’s down to perceived cost – after all, vegetable seeds are far cheaper to buy than fruit bushes or trees.
Cowslips’ buttery blooms add sparkle to damp lawns.Photograph: Paul Starosta/Getty Images
Plant this Cowslips (Primula veris) will colonise ground around ponds or add sparkle to damp lawns, sending up spikes of buttery blooms in April and May that provide pollen and nectar for bees.
Prospect Cottage, Derek Jarman’s house and garden in Dungeness, Kent.It was with these materials that Derek Jarman, the film-maker, artist and activist, started his garden in the 80s.
See 33 varieties of camellia at Chiswick House in London.Photograph: Alamy
Visit this The Grade I-listed conservatory at Chiswick House in London is home to 33 varieties of camellia: at their flowery peak until 22 March.
‘Greater love has no companion than the one who pushes your pony poo’: Lene lends a hand.The first couple of times I just sat and stood at the plot, soaking it all up.
Philadelphus ‘Manteau d’Hermine’ is perfect if space is limited.Photograph: Alan Gregg/Alamy Stock Photo
Plant this As winter draws to a close, now is the time to invest in something gorgeous for your borders.
Greenhouse effect: raising soil temperature using a warming pad.So, for a fraction of the price of a greenhouse, I’ve been trying out BioGreen’s rubberised warming pads as a new solution.