Keeping The Lights On - Week 2

5 April 2020

Hello all - welcome to our second weekly update from lockdown, please scroll down for what's been going on in and around the garden this week.

The pear blossom is out at the garden, enjoying the rising warmth of the new spring. The comfrey is in flower and the daffodils are already heading back to bed until next year. The vegetable bed is still quite bare, but there are now seeds within, searching for the light. Tadpoles are dodging ducks in the pond, bees are visiting every flower they can find, and the woodpeckers in the churchyard are tapping away so much I'm worried their beaks will go blunt.

I'm sure none of this feels normal to anyone yet, but as we always do we are finding ways to connect and continue to be an active and growing community and garden. As mentioned below, the newly established Abbey Physic Community Garden WhatsApp group is a great way to stay in touch with your fellow members - please do let us know if you would like to be added to the group, see below for contact details.

I would love to be able to post a few pictures from members of how they're spending their time during these strange days - have you been for a walk somewhere pretty, or done something interesting around the house or garden? Please send any pictures to

As always, the contact numbers for anyone who would like to get in touch, or who is in need of some support at this challenging time, are: 01795 539915 or 07379 201392.

Please do get in touch with anything you'd like to see in next week's blog. I look forward to hearing from you soon - in the new WhatsApp group, or through the phone or email.

Very best wishes,


WhatsApp Garden Group

A dozen garden members are now on the APCG Members WhatsApp group - posting pictures, swapping stories and just keeping in touch with each other. Do you have a smartphone? Please contact us for an invite to the group - the more the merrier!

Volunteering Members

Garden members have begun volunteering with the half-million strong NHS 'volunteer army'. They are on call when someone needs support nearby - thank you to everyone who is helping. Click the image to the left if you would like to apply to volunteer too,

New Newsletter

The spring edition of the Abbey Physic Community Garden newsletter was sent out this week. Click the image to the left to read updates from all of the garden's projects, messages from Sarah and Suzanne and news of recent goings on at the garden.

90 Seconds' Gardening

Resident horticulturalist Paul has started a series of short gardening tips videos for all of the self-isolating gardeners out there. Click the image to the left to see this week's video covering hydrangeas.

Blesd Song

Lissie of the garden's singing group has uploaded the second of her sing-along-at-home videos. Whether you join in or just enjoy the song, it's well worth taking a peaceful moment. Click the image to the left to watch.

All Cooped Up

Ian of the Men's Shed has been hard at work on a roof and fox-proof fence for the chicken coop area, thanks to the earlier clearing work of Paul, Tim and Dave. Be sure to do an image search for 'Polish Chickens', they're stunning looking, and coming soon to a Physic Garden near you!

Seed Sacks' Super Success

This week GIY (grow-it-yourself) seed kits were gloved-hand delivered to 18 homes around Faversham. Thanks to a kind donation by Edible Culture we were able to provide everything a family in lockdown needs for a fun gardening activity.

So Many Seedlings

The greenhouse is hotting up nicely as the weather warms - the blower is barely running these days! This week scores of seedlings were potted off, ready to provide a beautiful splash of colour to the garden this summer.

We would like to finish this week with a poem of hope for these troubled times -

'Lockdown' by Fr. Richard Hendrick
Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,


Be safe, we will see you soon - from all at the Abbey Physic Community Garden