Gardening Editor Ruth Hayes is self-isolating - but very thankful to have the garden to escape to in these most strange of times

Self-Isolating But Thankful For The Garden

Whoever invented the Chinese proverb/curse ‘may you live in interesting times’ probably had no idea just how ‘interesting’ times could get.

The Coronavirus emergency has plunged us into the greatest challenge since the Second World War and how we rise to it and overcome it may shape the way society works for decades to come.

On a smaller scale at least we still have our gardens to escape to and here at Amateur Gardening we appreciate just how important they are at this time, as an escape zone, a pressure valve, a source of fresh air and exercise when you are corralled indoors.

Greenhouse care

Greenhouse care is important now overwintered plants are starting to revive

I’m currently self-isolating because after a weekend in London a member of the household has one of those ‘persistent coughs’ and temperatures we read about so much at the moment.

While I’m stuck at home like so many of you, and while this unprecedented situation unfolds, I will be writing a daily blog here on the AG website with additional posts on Facebook and Twitter.

I will also be joined by reader and keen allotmenteer Lesley Upton, who will be taking you through what she’s doing on her allotment and how the Coronavirus has affected the people tending their crops.

We will be offering you practical advice and tips from the garden, greenhouse, allotment and about your houseplants, as well as observations and thoughts about our green spaces and everything that grows and lives in it.

With any luck, we may even catch a glimpse of our hedgehogs and catch the blue tits moving into the nestbox.


It’s a colourful time of year and we will show you how to make the most of it

I’ll also show you how to make do with what you’ve got when you can’t get out to buy more, and give regular updates on how garden centres and online suppliers are coping with the Coronavirus emergency and making sure their customers get what they need in times of lockdown and self-isolation.

I’m just thankful the virus struck now and not in the depths of winter when earth is either hard as iron or a complete quagmire and the days are short, dark and cruel.

Now we increasing light and warmth and there is a tangible feeling of growth and positivity in the air. The garden is returning to life and these strange quiet weeks will give us the perfect opportunity to get the most out of spring this year.

AG readers are a wonderful community, and communities are what will get us through the next few weeks.


With so much going on outside, don’t neglect your houseplants!

If there’s something you would like me to talk about, just ask. And don’t forget to let us know what you are doing and how you are coping; send us your thoughts and pictures and we will put them online and in the magazine.

You can purchase individual copies of Amateur Gardening magazine without having to leave your home simply go to or of course you can take out a subscription and never miss an issue! Subscribe here.


Stay safe everyone out there and come back to the blog for more advice over the coming days and weeks.