The restrictions on movement which are necessary to help limit the spread of Covid-19 means that most garden centres are shut. For the gardener, adversity like this calls on us use whatever we have to hand.
Getting creative when it comes to seeds
A good one to plant now is Nasturtium, especially for children as the seeds are so big. I usually soak mine in warm water the night before sowing as they have a tough seed coat. Then poke holes about 2cm deep into the compost with a pencil, and drop a single seed into each one. Cover with compost, water it, then keep it somewhere warm and they should begin to sprout after a week. Nasturtiums are caterpillar food for Large White and Small White butterflies, and the flowers are full of nectar for long-tongued bees.
Other good seeds to sow with children are Honesty, Calendula, Peas, Beans and Sunflowers. All of them have flowers which are used by insects. Remember though that we’re likely to get frosts in some parts until the middle of May, so be prepared to keep the plants indoors for up to six weeks from now.
Here's on guide on how to get started from RHS expert and Butterfly Conservation conservationist >
Join the community of online butterfly recorders
This could also be a great time to get involved in the Garden Butterfly Survey. In this survey, all you have to do is record the butterflies you see in your garden. You can do this every day if you want, but the goal is to do it at least once per month so we can see how the species change through the year.
Stay safe and let nature give you hope in these uncertain times.
The Secret Gardener