Why gardening during lockdown gave me a sense of achievement Pandora had been attending the Stuart Low Trust Gardening Project before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our weekly Garden Project brings together a diverse group of people and encourages sharing in the cultivation of plants in a beautiful environment of Culpeper Community Garden. The gardening project participants also has regular discussions about topics relating to wellbeing and mental health. In 2019 they held events to mark Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day. They have created some tips for maintaining your wellbeing and how to manage your anxiety. Socially distanced gardening When the social distancing measures started Pandora was concerned about the plants. She lives within walking distance of the Culpeper Community Garden and so arranged to continue to visit the garden and care for the plants. She said: “Helping to look after the Stuart Low garden gave me a sense of achievement and nurturing. I could get excited about the spring colours and flowers. I could look forward to spring colours, rather than dreading tomorrow. I felt happy to take care of it during the lockdown as I wanted to make sure it wouldn’t be neglected. I found my own resources, like the corn flowers. I am arty and so I stencilled a black cat and some mice onto the bench. I hope the group likes them. I have a sense of purpose, to make the garden plot feel relaxing with all this stress (of covid virus) going on. I am looking forward to seeing the bottlebrush plant come into flower. A picture tells a thousand words I kept a photo diary during this time as I wanted to share images of the beautiful flowers with others." Flowers in bloom on the Culpeper community plot. Some rudbeckia on the Stuart Low Trust plot at the Culpeper Community garden. Japanese maple on the Stuart Low Plot at Culpeper Community Garden. Staying in touch with nature during social distancing If you would like some ideas about how to stay in touch with nature during social distancing, then check out our virtual nature activities.