Dark Clouds Overhead…

Sometimes it feels that there are dark clouds all around us, both physically and metaphorically.

Last week there were many dark clouds around. In fact it rained for much of the week and was surprisingly cold for the end of June. As a gardener a week of rain is very frustrating and a bit depressing. However, sometimes you just have to don your waterproofs and just get on with the work at hand. At least you don’t have to do any watering.

At a hospice there are often metaphorical dark clouds overhead. At its core, hospices care for people who are terminally ill. For patients and family and friends this can be a very difficult and scary time. Approaching the end of life can be frightening, with fears over pain or other symptoms, or the pain of losing someone so close to you. It isn’t an easy time. But hospices are here to help, and what an amazing job they do. There are specialists who can help control the physical symptoms, but there is also space for psychological, social and spiritual care as well.

I believe that this is where the gardens are an important place for patients and their families and friends. The gardens give space for people to escape to. They are a place to think and reflect, somewhere to relax and a somewhere to marvel at the beauty of our world. And it is this that motivates me to work hard and try to create a special place.

This last week there has been a big change in the raised beds at the front of the hospice. The bulbs are pretty much over, so it is time for the bedding plants to go in. I contacted Moss Bank Nurseries to see if they could provide some plants for us. And boy did they come up trumps, donating about 70 or 80 trays of plants. On top of this, Wigan Council provided a load of geraniums and marigolds. (Incidentally, I adore the smell of marigolds… it is right up there with bacon!!) So for the rest of the week I was planting them up, with some help from my friendly volunteers. I am delighted with the results, and believe that they help to lift the spirits of those visiting the hospice.

Raised beds at front of hospice


A big thank you to Moss Bank Nurseries and Wigan Council for donating th plants. There were another couple of little rays of sunshine amongst the dark clouds this last week. Firstly, a member of staff came to find me to tell me that they had seen a kingfisher by the side of the pond. I adore kingfishers and always see them as glimse of something better to come, especially when times are difficult. Secondly, I spotted a moorhen with their chick on one of our ponds. It was a lovely sight.

Moorhen and Chick

Moorhen Chick

So despite there being dark clouds around us, there is usually something that can cheer us up a bit and give us hope, something to lighten up the darkness.

I’m off on holiday to Croatia tomorrow. I really hope that there are no dark clouds there! Till next time, take care and look out for something beautiful whenever you can.