In times of uncertainty and fear, it's heartening to think of friends, family, strangers and neighbours, joining together for the benefit of the community. Although our social contact is now more virtual than physical, it doesn't stop us from thinking of and reaching out to others. When the door is closed, open your heart wide, embrace solidarity, and find strength and support through bringing joy to others. Send a card, applaud the caregivers who are working so hard, support a local business, organise a Skype supper party with friends, pick up groceries for your elderly neighbor, and send plants with a message.
PLANTS WITH A MESSAGE
This is all about the gesture: the gift of a plant on the doorstep will let friends and family know you're thinking of them, even though you can't be together. Plants are full of symbolism, and a well-chosen message makes the gift even more meaningful. Jasmine stands for strength, the Yucca for protection, a Cymbidium for friendship and Echeveria for perseverance and strength.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Make the time to look after yourself. You'll probably be home a lot in the near future, or have long and difficult days at work. Create your own green retreat that you can withdraw to and recharge, or roll up your sleeves and get digging in the earth: green fingers means a calm head. Get started with these spring tasks for garden and balcony.
Plants are not just beautiful in the flesh, they also look gorgeous in photos. We've listed the best plant books of the moment for you to enjoy, curled up on your sofa. Take inspiration from Hilton Carter's interior shots, and be inspired by Alice Vincent's story of finding solace in plants.
Learn and explore
While you're browsing the internet for ideas to keep your kids entertained, take a look at "Growing Together". It's our miniature course that teaches your child to take care of plants and discover the benefits of greenery for mind, body and soul
When it comes to picking up new skills yourself, dive into the wonderful world of plant design: the art and science of improving interiors with beautiful plants, to create a healthier, more aesthetic living space. Watch our plant design masterclass video on bringing nature closer with Alexander Bond, instructions for creating a 'wow' effect with Philip van Traa and ideas for living more creatively with plants from Studio Ro Co. Then get started with plant design yourself with these easy-to-follow tips and think about how to apply plant design in the smaller spaces in your house.
What will you do?
Do you have any ideas, tips or initiatives to share? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org — we'd love to hear from you!