Cycle of the seasons should give us hope in troubled times

Down The Byes. Picture: Kimberley Veal

Down The Byes. Picture: Kimberley Veal - Credit: Archant

As the days get longer and temperatures slowly rise, nature reminds us that despite all of the uncertainty that has been in our lives for the last year, spring is a season of hope and a wonderful time to get out into the natural world.

Wherever I look at the moment I am reminded of the healing effect of spring from the blossom coming into bloom, the frogs spawning in my pond and the million daffodils in our glorious valley. There has been a hunger to contact with nature and gardening over the last year and local gardening blogs and Face book pages are full of queries on raised beds, compost, what plant should be put where and how soon we can start sowing vegetable seeds. Nationally millions more people have taken up gardening and buying plants during and since the spring lockdown. An RHS research project in collaboration with the University of Sheffield has found that greener front gardens can help you feel happier, more relaxed and closer to nature. Certainly this is the case for me as I take my daily walk around the town and I am sure that others are cheered by looking at people’s gardens as they pass by.

Currently in my garden there are primroses and crocus as well as daffodils, but also the glorious perfume of Daphne flowering in my front garden and commented upon as people walk past. I have been preparing borders and vegetable plots and finishing the pruning and plant moving before it is too late and now there is the excitement of sowing and planting. My friends know that my garden is where I practice mindfulness. I become lost in the moment and just listen to the birds singing, watch the insects and look for the tiny changes in plant growth. It has certainly helped my wellbeing over the last year. 

If you do not have a garden, I hope that you can take a short walk to other people’s gardens or to an open space or park. Breathe deeply and listen to the birds singing. This is a very busy time for them with territories to establish, nests to build and the first young to feed. We are lucky that many groups like Sidmouth Arboretum and Sidmouth in Bloom plant more trees in our valley and support gardens and open spaces to be more beautiful and wildlife friendly. 

Changes are happening slowly as lockdown eases and there is much to look forward to. Children have returned to school this week and we all hope that the happiness of being back with friends and into a familiar routine is not undermined by the worry of ‘catching up’. Children and young people will have borne a greater impact from the pandemic than most age groups and may continue to feel stressed. 

Much is said about things never quite being the same again after this pandemic and there is talk about changes to the education system in the future. I hope that with the pressures that come with returning to school, time is also given to being outside and enjoying being with friends, play and nature.

One thing is certain in these uncertain times and that is the cycle of the seasons and despite climate change many things remain the same month by month in the natural world and in our gardens.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter