Gardening away your anxiety

by Kitty Drake in October 2020
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Art & design Outdoors

Plants are meant to be good for uncertainty. Which makes Bloom a fitting magazine for a second wave; a fact that seems to be referenced, albeit obliquely, in Zena Alkayat’s editor’s letter: “Growing plants is a brilliant way of practising the patience and resilience we all need — the pace of progress is a challenging reminder that not all change needs to drive forward at speed”.

There is something genuinely comforting about the quiet changes welcomed in by this magazine. The opening pages “wave off” swallows and swifts, and “welcome back” fieldfares and knots; we’re advised to “watch the water” for salmon; and “fill a basket” with the hedgerow harvest. If you don’t live near a hedgerow this might prove difficult, but reading this magazine — as I am — in a garden-less flat, still proves strangely soothing.

Bloom is remarkable for being, in a sea of trendy gardening magazines, reassuringly matter-of-fact. There is a helpful guide to soil (clay, silt, sand and loam), and “gardener’s knots”, and a gardener’s A-Z, from “potash to zinc”. There’s even a how-to guide to growing your own “windowsill” hedge — because “even a sill can house a hedge”. A new project for the next lockdown?

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