We all need a bit of beauty in our lives right now.
Something to take our minds off you-know-what for a minute or two while we schlep through these strange weeks in between waiting out the lockdown and whatever’s next.
Thankfully, mother nature is doling out the goods so you don’t need to travel more than 5m, let alone 5km, to enjoy the season’s spring blooms.
While away these spring days by filling your flower beds with glorious summer cutting flowers or salad vegetables or dig out an old vase and stuff it with cheerful tulips.
Here are three spots where you can get your grow on:
1. Let a florist design your garden beds
Down at Hanako Flower Farm in Inchigeelagh, Macroom, florist Hana Heubach has introduced a new range of farm-grown potted vegetable, herb and cut flower plants.
“These plants are grown chemical-free from seed or divided from our own farm grown stock,” she says.
“We have two collections of plants to offer: Edibles and Ornamental Flowers. Each collection has a list of plants that can be included in your order, please specify at checkout which plants you would like.”
You can choose your favourites in the numbers you require or leave the assortment up to Hana if you’re unsure.
The collections are available to collect from the farm in Inchigeelagh or for delivery to Macroom and Cork City every Friday. Check out what’s available in the shop here.
2. Grow your own lunch
Would you like to try growing your own food this year? In partnership with GIY and Healthy Ireland, Cork City Libraries are giving away growing kits including seeds and a growing guide so you can get cracking on your very own veggie patch.
“The process of seeing a seed turn into a seedling and eventually food you can eat is full of magic and no shortage of optimism,” says Michael Kelly, Founder of GIY.
“Grow it Forward is all about sharing that feeling as far and wide as possible at a time when we need it most. That’s why we’re inviting people to get free seeds and do good deeds.”
The Grow It Forward campaign hopes to get people eating healthy food by growing some of their own at home and connecting with friends and family by sharing seedlings and their harvest (in a safe, socially distanced way). Each pack includes seeds for beetroot, carrots, salad leaves, peas, and tomatoes. Participants will also receive regular emails with growing support, video clips, and ideas.
3. Welcome spring with a bundle of tulips
Near Kilbrittain, Howe Hill Flower Farm has been harvesting bundles of stunning Irish field-grown tulips.
“This bunch of “Montreux” just skipped over to a vase 3km away, if you’ve been watching my stories the past few days you’ll see how beautiful they are as they develop,” says Flicky Howe-Prior, who runs the farm with her husband Mike, their children, and her parents Ian and Lorna.
“Our tulips are all grown outside in raised beds filled with homemade compost and organic soil enricher. We don’t use any chemicals or artificial light or heat in their production.”
Grab a bunch via the webshop, through Neighbourfood Kinsale, at The Roughty Foodie in The English Market Cork or Leafling Mercantile in Ballinspittle.