National Gardening Week 2021

Trying not to speak too soon but when the sun is shining, lambs are leaping, birds are singing and blooms are budding it’s hard not to conclude that Spring has sprung here in Orkney, therefore Friday and Saturday saw me spend the day in the garden just a ahead of this year’s National Gardening week which will run from tomorrow 26th April until 2nd May 2021.

My efforts on Friday saw me, tidying up all the Winter debris, weeding and re-potting existing plants on Saturday, but this year I’ve decided to put bulbs into pots which are usually used for bought bedding plants. My reason for doing this are many; I’m hoping it may save me from bending too much but much more importantly for me; I’m hoping that by planting bulbs I can choose my blooms with care to help encourage the pollinators which along with the bulbs will hopefully return year after year.


National Gardening week is run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and started eight years ago. It is used as an opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate all things gardening; whilst at the same time encourage those of us not lucky enough to have a garden to get outdoors and learn about nature and the environment around us. With some coronavirus restrictions lifting what better time could there be than now to get out and properly enjoy the locale in which we live, socially distanced of course.

The Royal Horticultural Society is this year encouraging us to get our daily dose of “Vitamin G.”

What is “Vitamin G?” Well it’s “Green,” and is this year’s RHS National Gardening Week’s theme; there to quite literally remind us of the benefits to our mental health and well being which can be brought to us by being in the great outdoors.

Just stop; look around, look up…’s amazing what you see.

There are a great many gardens and outdoor spaces in Orkney for us to visit and wonder around too, Tankerness House Gardens, Happy Valley, Woodwick House Gardens to name a few: or why not just have a wonder through Binsgarth Woods. When was the last time you did that?

Woodwick House Blue Bells pc Bernie Bell

As someone who is very much a gym avoider, gardening is also a great way to keep fit without even realising that you are having a workout, so again even if you don’t have a garden I know from living on Orkney (Finstown Community Park) and holidaying in Rothesay on Bute that there can quite often be community led or voluntary gardening projects in your area; so if you have an interest in learning about gardening why not use this next week to find out if there is a community run project near you.

For me I just love to potter and ponder. I shall never be a gardener but this in no way stops me from enjoying the benefits of fresh air and nature, so if you can why not just open your windows for a while and let the outside in. Switch of the telly and just listen; because even in the middle of our cities the sights and sounds of nature can come creeping into our hearts and bring those all important smiles to our faces.

My Backdoor Step

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