IT was with the greatest sadness that I learned our local garden centres, and especially those of Stewarts, are now at risk of losing entire stocks of plants and shrubs with the total lock-down and social distancing restrictions imposed.

It is commendable that Martin Stewart has, against the background of a family business which has been built up over generations, put the safety of his staff first and of paramount importance.

Hopefully the storm will be weathered and like China and Italy, where it appears there is a stability of number of people dying and the pandemic may be under control. Recent coverage showed a market that was enabled to open for business again with all the precautions of social distancing and wearing of protective masks and gloves allowing produce to be sold which would other wise be discarded as waste.

Our garden centres are an important resource to the community. The corona situation is dreadful beyond words and let us hope that this terrible pandemic will be brought under control to allow plants and shrubs to be sold from our local centres with all the appropriate measures in place rather than everything being thrown away.

In the spirit of “fortitude, determination and digging for victory” in these uncertain times, gardens can assist in banishing anxiety and help to the wellbeing and good of all.


Chairman, Bournemouth in Bloom

Durley Gardens, Bournemouth