Green Gardens

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29th June 2016
Close up of colourful butterfly resting on pink flower

For many of us, gardening can be a great way to relax and while away the hours, but what if the therapeutic value of such an activity could actually be beneficial to our health, both mentally and physically? Well, when the topic was discussed in the news recently, it inspired our latest blog. We know just how uplifting taking a stroll around a country garden can be and how pausing to smell the fragrant aromas of a delicate flower really can be one of life’s simplest pleasures. As many of you will know, we frequently take our guests on excursions to visit Stately Homes and Gardens, and popular flower shows including the Chelsea Flower Show. That’s why we’ve invited our guest writer Shirley to share her thoughts on gardening and the power of the flower…

Written by Shirley Salzedo.

I have watched with great joy the beautiful gardens featured on the Chelsea Flower Show on television recently. As I sat and watched the array of delicate flowers carefully arranged into spectacularly hand-crafted displays, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my late father’s flower gardens – I know the sheer amount of love and labour that goes into creating a beautiful green flower garden due to his gardening passions. There is daily work to be done all year round, but the joy in nurturing a tiny seed and watching it grow and come to life is unsurmountable.

I had a late friend, called Claire who also loved gardening. She was partially blind but loved the sensory beauty of flower gardens, often enjoying digging the earth and growing her own flowers and vegetables. Just like those on the Chelsea Flower Show, the beauty of creating beautiful scented flowers and tending to patches full of vibrant vegetables, nurturing the lawns and watering the gardens were pastimes filled with pure delight for Claire and my father. The delight of being able to sit back in a beautifully plush, green garden surrounded by wildlife and flowers in full bloom for me is pure heavenly joy.

As I write this piece, I have visions of my late father, in his gardening clothes, pushing his wheelbarrow down our garden while listening to Radio 4 – he always felt that the flowers responded to the hubbub of the radio and the music that was played. Inevitably the radio always fell off of his wheelbarrow and he would pause briefly to pick it up before continuing his journey down our paradise of a garden once again.

My favourite garden has got to be Kew Gardens. I used to work in Richmond and often ended up at Kew. I feel that Kew has a way of really igniting all the senses and that there is always something new to see with each passing season that truly is a feast for the eyes.

Whether one chooses to spend time creating a garden themselves or simply enjoys sitting in one to admire its beauty, there is a great sense of therapy to be found in being in a beautiful garden. I feel very fortunate to have been brought up to appreciate the beauty of wonderful greenery and will always do so. After all, the gardens of England are to be enjoyed, to be sat in, admired, to be watched while they grow, to barbecue in, to play in, to discover and most importantly, to love.

Stephanie Stone

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