Tales from the garden by Jocelyn Armitage

Well it was a rainy old day but Jackie came in to do a bit of work which was great. At last some proper weeding on the raised beds! Of course, she has been doing piece work at home, shredding lavender. More of that later.

John and Nancy have been working hard throughout  but it is strange dodging about trying not to come within 2 metres and it’s amazing how much we all rely, at least in part on watching people’s mouths to ‘hear’ what they are saying!

Darren has been working away too. I hope you will all be able to see him before he leaves again in October.

I have been dollying around taking pictures and helping to make lavender bags happen. More of that later.

Flower of the hour is agapanthus. Originally from Africa, but doing very well here at St Joseph’s.

Bird of the year (possibly) is this female sparrowhawk which Darren spotted staking out the middle of the garden, a bird of prey who likes to eat small birds like sparrows, she eventually decided to attack and when she did there was complete pandemonium as the finches and blackbirds defended for about a minute, and then she was gone. Up and over the roof to Mare Street.

As you can see the lavender bags are very pretty and ready for sale.

All the lavender here has been grown, cut and dried at St Joseph’s. It was then sent out to isolating volunteer Jackie for processing into a nice bag of dried flower heads to be made up whenever.  But then a patient who was staying at the Hospice asked the consultant if she could do some gardening. So I contacted our former collaborators Phuong and Rachel in occupational therapy and together we enabled the patient to help the gardens by filling the lavender bags. Soon there were three patients filling bags, really happy to be doing something helpful. We love to see that at St Joseph’s, it’s all about quality of life and if they’re happy we’re happy.

I was so proud that as a team we were able to help.

As for the little bags. Obviously, the patients were given a few for family and friends but what is left is going to be sold in the shop where I think they will get a good price. And then…we can buy more bags!

The gardens mean so much to so many. They are a fabulous resource especially for the patients and families. They are also a lot of work. So thank you my dear garden friends for all that you do towards the work. It is work well done.

Stay well and come back soon!