1 APRIL 2020
AND this is no joke! In the past several years, I have often wondered to myself whether or not having a garden the size of Ashdowne was worth it or not.
Those doubts have been erased by the COVID-19 event. If one must be sequestered in situ, I must admit that being confined to a garden is feeling like a real sanity saver. It now seems prescient that the Royal Horticulture Society has been, for at least the past year, heavily touting the mental and physical well-being benefits of gardening. It’s one thing to recognize the apparent verity of the claim, and quite another to KNOW, first-hand, that it is true.
It has always been the intent that this garden is for sharing and I want to emphasize that it is now even more so. In the past the garden has always been open to the public on Sunday afternoons during the April – November stretch of seasonal weather. Subject to limitations made by national, state or local governments (which will undoubtedly change considerably over the next few months), the garden will now be open to visitors daily from 9 AM to sundown. Even if social distancing is still in place, visitors are welcome as long the common courtesies of keeping a safe distance and staying at home if you have even an inkling of being ill are followed.
The garden is large enough for quite a few folks to be wandering at the same time without any danger of becoming unhealthily crowded. If you’re not sure, just call ahead and ask. One caveat – the gardener will generally not be available except on a random basis, to answer questions for the simple reason that there is too much work to do at this time of year. But we will do our best; if you see us and ask a question, we’ll try to answer it. We just won’t have time to stop what we’re doing (weeding, mulching, trimming or planting) to accompany you or make detours to another section of the garden to answer the ‘what is this’ question. (Take a pic with your phone then ask when you see us!)
For garden clubs who’ve already reserved visitation times, we must simply play this out one day, one week at a time. If you’re not sure, just call. 937-675-7055 or e-mail: [email protected].
One thing is for sure: Governor DeWine and his leadership have been in the forefront of prudent and fact-based leadership from early on; we will be fully cooperative with whatever directives and guidance may come from the state.
In the meanwhile, I hope you have a garden or even some pots of your own to tend and enjoy, even more so than usual. If not, we are going to try to increase our blog posts and photos of interest beyond our seldom and sporadic offerings for the benefit of those who are truly home-bound and hope we are able to share, even in a limited way, the garden with you as well.