A period of enforced “lockdown” has not been a great problem for us gardeners; how lucky we are to have a patch of ground to call our own where we can spend all day and every day sowing, planting, weeding, moving plants and pots about and enjoying every minute pottering in our little bit of heaven. No need to worry about visitors or visits, trips out or meetings. Getting dressed up to go out is a thing of the past; we can spend all day in our comfortable gardening gear and it doesn’t matter if our knees are covered in mud and there is dirt under our fingernails.
But wait a moment – is there something missing? Wasn’t there a reason for buying that special variety of tomato, for sowing that unusual sweet pea and carefully thinning the delphiniums, feeding and spraying the roses so the leaves are perfect and the blooms in tip-top condition. Making sure that the birds don’t eat all the soft fruit, the pigeons the peas and the slugs the lettuce?
Of Course! The 5th of July would have been the day of the Summer Show and preparations for exhibits start well in advance. But this year will be different – so will we all step down a gear and let nature take its course with these plants? Probably not is the answer. Despite not being able to share the results of our labours, those of us who show will still aim to produce vegetables and plants of the highest standard even if they will not be judged. Nevertheless we will miss the buzz of anticipation as we prepare and stage our exhibits on the morning of the show and, when we return in the afternoon, eagerly looking for the First Prize Sticker or maybe a red card denoting the winning of a cup.
We don’t yet know how long it will be before we will be able to stage another show – we may have to wait until 2021 or even longer – but when we do get back to showing let’s hope that all the extra attention and nurturing will produce plenty of fantastic prize winners.