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Tales from the Garden – Spring Forward

Welcome back to ‘Tales from the Garden’! March has been a funny old month hasn’t it. Snow, rain, wind, glorious sunshine and sometimes all in one day! Now, as I sit writing this month’s blog, it is all about the daffodils. They are looking fabulous here at the hospice at the moment. I can never quite decide what my favourite flowers are, last month it was the snowdrops, this month it is the daffodils and in the coming weeks it will be the alliums that are already starting to come through in the raised beds in the rooftop garden. Too much choice! The joys of loving what nature has to offer.

Did you know that daffodils (Narcissus) were first brought to Britain by the Romans and that there are at least 25 species and 13,000 hybrids, that’s a lot of daffodils! They are also the national flower of Wales and William Wordsworth wrote about them in his poem ‘Wandering Lonely as a Cloud’.

The in-patient garden and borders in the grounds are looking great. Lovely volunteers from Nissan very kindly visited recently to help us tidy up after the winter. They all reported that they enjoyed their time here and getting outside. The tidy-up has given some of the plants, particularly in the in-patient garden, a chance to shine. The purple hellebore is looking absolutely fabulous with their nodding heads and the buds of the Amelanchier are showing lots of promise – the little white flowers will be open very soon.

Unfortunately due to recent weather conditions I have had to postpone the start of the first group sessions for a couple of weeks but they are planned to resume at the beginning of April. In the first session we will be using beech and birch twigs and some moss, which will all be from the hospice gardens. Can you guess what we might be making with them? I will let you know in my May blog.

As April begins thoughts start turning to sowing seeds and it’s amazing to think how seeds big and small can grow into beautiful flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs. I mentioned in last month’s blog that sometimes gardening activities may need to be adapted or tweaked slightly to make it easier for people to do. With this in mind I have included a separate information sheet detailing some ideas on how to make seed sowing a little bit easier at home for you or one of your relatives. You can download it by clicking here. I hope you will find it useful.

April is Stress Awareness month, and as the month begins I just wanted to share a little story with you that has stayed with me for the last couple of years. I was talking to a patient on the ward about sunflowers. She told me that she loved doing mosaics and had made one of a sunflower to go on top of one of her tables. She went on to tell me that though she had completed the mosaic it wasn’t the result she enjoyed the most, it was the process of doing the activity that gave her the most pleasure. I think about this discussion often as I am reminded that being in the moment fully absorbed, doing a familiar activity that you love, indoors or outdoors, that takes you away from your thoughts, can sometimes be a great stress reliever, even if it is just for a little while. For me that is spending time working in my own garden and allotment and also in the gardens here at the hospice. I wonder what activities you like to do where you feel fully absorbed? I hope to return to this idea of ‘being in the moment’ over the coming months.

As l sign off for now I encourage you to notice the signs of spring and enjoy all the lovely daffodils that are around at the moment.

If you are thinking of doing some volunteering and would like to help us look after our gardens, we would love to hear from you and welcome you to our team. You can find out more on the hospice website here:

Useful websites

Thrive’s Get Gardening website has lots of useful information:

Headspace has lots of information about being in the moment (flow state):