Over the last few years, gardens, more than ever, have been recognised as our sanctuaries. Gardening behind the privacy of our own hedges or fences is a wonderful way to enhance our physical and mental sense of wellbeing in an outdoor, safe space.
When we need to further our growing knowledge we can turn to magazines, books, radio, TV programmes, and the plethora of online information.
There is, though, great benefit derived from actually bringing people together to talk about gardening, to share gardening experiences, and the successes and challenges of crops and flowers grown.
Joining a local gardening group or horticultural society and enjoying talks, events, and planning local projects brings like-minded gardeners together. Plants provide a great opportunity to engage with others who share a common love of gardening, and a chance to gain new knowledge and skills, as well as discovering new plant varieties.
There is nothing better than learning about new plants from someone who has grown them and who can share their hands-on knowledge. At a local club, everyone lives nearby and shares the same challenges of climate, soil, and pests.
Gardeners love to swap advice as freely as they offer plant cuttings and seeds, and the kinship of a local gardening group or horticultural society can create lasting friendships, brought about through a common love for plants and gardening.
Gone is the image that Horticultural Societies are full of stuffy botanists, they are a welcoming haven for expression and creativity, keen to embrace new and inexperienced gardeners, as well as seasoned professionals.
Make a resolution for the year ahead to find your local gardening or horticultural group, and use your love of gardening and growing to engage with others who share a common interest. You never know how much it will help you and your garden grow!