Front gardens: the kindness of strangers

Despite the cancellation of the Historic Roses Group’s usual programme of garden visits and its week-long tour to see interesting older roses, nevertheless in some parts of locked-down London the city’s warm micro-climate means that this spring many older roses are blooming even earlier than usual, peeping out from courtyards or spilling over garden walls.

They make a wonderful difference to the daily morale of town-dwellers, many of whom have no garden of their own and whose only exercise now is walking round deserted streets. Even just one rose can enhance a small space and cheer up a passer-by.

For all of us missing our visits to famous gardens now closed, such sights are a mood-enhancing tonic. It shows how important even tiny town front gardens are, not only to the cityscape but also everyone’s mental health and wellbeing – now more than ever.