Keeping The Lights On - Week 5

25 April 2020

Please see below this post for a list of helpful links for taking care of yourself and others while in lockdown.

Hello again all - there are articles and updates below - scroll down to see.

So it's the end of another week - or is it the start of a new one? Weeding and watering are taking longer each week at the garden, and I'm finding both can be very satisfying activities, and give the days a rhythm and routine. The war with bindweed (and knotweed, and nettles and so many more) might be one you can never win, but I took particular satisfaction in a morning spend separating the bindweed rhizome from the rhubarb roots, and preparing the patch of ground which will soon be planted with sweetcorn and pumpkin. Scores of flowering annuals have now left the greenhouse and are hardening off in the cooler air outside, some have already been planted, and many more will follow next week if I have anything to say about it. Meanwhile inside the greenhouse pest control by hand is becoming another daily routine. I wonder what other new daily routines people are taking up in lockdown?

Monday morning is planned to be the first zoom-based coffee morning / virtual member get-together, with many of the regulars from the Physic Garden members' WhatsApp group planning to attend. Look out for more online activities in the not too distant future as we strive to the bring the garden to its members while the members can't be at the garden.

As always, you can reach me at, or leave an answerphone message at the garden on 01795 539915, I can pass any messages you may have on to other members or staff - looking forward to hearing from you!

Best wishes to all,


Helpful links for volunteers and those in need of support:

- Support for vulnerable groups and the self-isolated - the NHS volunteer responders are there to help support people in vulnerable groups or the self-isolated, follow this link to access this support - or contact 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm).

- Porchlight's Aspirations - support for anyone over the age of 25 who is out of work and facing mental health and wellbeing challenges - contact on 0333 880 2730, or through their online contact form, or at - follow this link for more information.

- KCC 24 hour mental health crisis text service. If you, or anyone you know, are in need of support with mental wellbeing, simply text 'Kent' to 85258. More details of this service can be found by clicking here.

- Coronavirus knowhow - the British Red Cross has provided a series of training sessions aimed at volunteers, but perfect for anyone who wants to inform themselves of the best ways to look after themselves and others.

Lockdown Leftover Seed Challenge

Click on the image to accept Paul's 'Lockdown Leftover Seed Challenge'. In his latest article, Paul shares some simple ways that we can all grow new plants from the seeds we usually throw away. We'd love to hear your seed sowing success stories!

Building Connections

A recent success story at the garden has been our partnership with housing agency Optivo as part of our ongoing efforts to tackle isolation and loneliness. This week Optivo published a case study based on their work with the garden (featuring some familiar faces!) Click on the image to read.

Harmonious Home

In the absence of the Physic Garden's singing group to harmonise with, Lissie has taken matters into her own hand, with some clever multi-track singing. This week's song is on the theme of finding peace and a home within yourself. Add your voice to the choir by clicking on the image.

Hugely Cultured

The hugelkultur bed at the garden received its first plants this week. Besides the edible crops which will cover its sides, we have planted a row of sunflowers of different varieties and colours along the ridge, soon to be joined by other flowering annuals. Click on the image for a helpful guide to building your own hugelkultur bed (it's the same guide we used!)

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