While the sunny, dry weather in May was a significant emotional boost for many of us during lockdown, it also threw up problems for others – in particular, horticulturalists, gardeners and local authority grounds staff.
This green-fingered group is facing a two-fold challenge keeping plants and flowers blooming during summer 2020 with the double whammy of Covid-19 and the recent dry weather.
With restrictions around social distancing slowing down the planting and maintenance of floral displays, professional horticulturalists and community gardening organisations such as Britain in Bloom groups have also been hindered by the driest May (in England) on record.
As restrictions slowly loosen, many horticulturally minded people have found that Amberol’s self-watering planters offer a way of safely carrying out essential maintenance. Because each planter has a water reservoir under the soil, the water doesn’t evaporate, meaning that plants can access water as needed while also conserving water. This means that watering needs only be carried out once or twice a week at most. Even smaller containers like hanging baskets and window boxes can thrive on one or two watering trips a week.
This is particularly helpful when organisations are trying to maintain social distancing by reducing the need for contact with others, as well as unnecessary travel.
With many zoos, parks and attractions now open, the ability to maintain floral displays will become more important to both businesses and visitors.
“As regulations around lockdown slowly ease, people are visiting public places, parks and attractions which means that ground staff and Britain in Bloom groups are looking for ways to maintain floral displays with minimum effort,” comments Amberol’s MD Patience Atkinson-Gregory.
Spending time in green spaces is a proven way of improving mental health and wellbeing. Gardening and horticulture have been recognised by the NHS as part of their social prescribing programme, highlighting the significant physical and mental health benefits that horticulture can offer.
“We need to maintain our public places now more than ever for public and mental health,” Patience adds. “They are particularly essential for those who don’t have access to their own outdoor space. However, this must be done safely. We work with many councils and Britain in Bloom groups who do such important work in their communities. At a time when it’s so easy to be negative, seeing plants and flowers in bloom during daily exercise is a massive mood-booster.”
Although the weather has cooled recently, water has been in short supply in recent months with the UK experiencing the sunniest spring on record according to the Met Office. Rainfall in May was just 17% of the average monthly rainfall. Coupled with social distancing and lockdown regulations, displays in many public gardens and communal spaces have suffered as a result.
Even in past hot, dry summers such as 2018, customers reported that Amberol’s self-watering planters only needed watering once every five to seven days. With the hot weather looking set to return by mid-June and the Met Office forecast for 2020 predicting that this year will be amongst the six warmest years on record, horticulturalists need to be more prepared than ever.
For more information about Amberol’s self-watering planters, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01773 830 930.