Harriet Worsley (Thomas's Battersea)
Five Garden Essentials for Non-Gardeners during the Lockdown

Gardening is time consuming, excellent for mental health, and life giving. Now is the time to get started. 

1. Geraniums
Buy a mass of small Pelargonium plant plugs and spread them around your sunny window boxes, and any garden borders in sun or half sun. These are what you might know as geraniums (think red versions in Alpine chalet window boxes). If the brights are too gaudy, try chicer versions in white, or trailing Perlargoniums in pale pink. They flower all summer, can take a good dose of neglect, and add that dose of much needed jollity during these dark days. Pelargoniums are the best summer flowers for those who have no green fingers, but don’t forget to water them now and then. 


2. Hydroponic Growing System
If you don’t have a garden - or even if you do - buy a hydroponic growing system for you kitchen, and grow fresh herbs or tomatoes on your kitchen worktop. Order from Amazon, and then just plug in and go. The machine provides light, and enough water; all you have to do is eat. Ours is the size of a large toaster, and the three basil plants that we planted on the first day of the lockdown are booming. Every kitchen should have one. 


3. Houseplants
Bring the garden inside. Order a mass of houseplants to create a sense of calm whilst the virus rages around us.  Seeing green makes us relax. You can also take it one step further by putting Peace Lilies, which purify the air, in every room. Children love tiny or enormous Cacti. Go for extremes. Or buy a lemon tree, which can sit on a sunny balcony, and be brought inside in the winter. Constant watering has put some people off houseplants, but now we’re at home we need new things to do. 


4. Scented Climbers
Add scented climbers to your garden.  During the plague people walked the street with nosegays, which at least calmed them, even if they it didn’t stop them getting ill. Scent is therapeutic, and adds a new dimension to a garden space. My favourite, which I put in every city garden I design is the evergreen Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides, which has beautifully scented flowers in June. You can buy it large at 2m, or even 3m, for an instant effect. Plant it in sun or semi-shade, and tie it into a trellis or a wired up fence. 


5. Strawberries
Grow your own strawberries. You need sun, but not much skill to get a satisfying crop to at least bring some of summer’s happiness back to our changed world.  Don’t waste another second and order your plants online now. You won’t regret it, and why not eat them while watching reruns of the best vintage Wimbledon, just to complete the summer experience. 


By Harriet Worsley April 2020. To find out more about Worsley Design & Consultancy click HERE