My Corona Diary 2020-21, by Gordon Rae

This month our lecture was given by our very own President – Gordon Rae VMH.

At the beginning of the Covid 19 Pandemic, when we were all locked down and confined to our homes and gardens, Gordon got out his notebook and his camera and started to record events as they unfolded.  He took thousands of photographs of the plants that grow in his garden (and if they grow in his Grayshott Garden, then there’s a good chance they will also grow in yours).  And he also noted the extraordinary milestones of the time – from the shortage of loo rolls, to the roll out of the vaccine, the rule of six and all those family gatherings in gardens and carparks.

We were treated to a real spectacle of plants through all the months of the year – some familiar and some definitely more unusual, like the mouse plant, the cobra lily and the tongue twisting Ypsilandra thibetica.

Gordon reminded us that it was not all bad.  The extra time at home gave an opportunity to tackle some of the bigger projects that we often never get round to.  Gordon and Judith’s lawn got scarified to within an inch of its life, was oversown and has resulted in a sward worthy of a croquet pitch.  He also reminded us how we all climbed the steep learning curve of Zoom, rediscovered the joy of jigsaws, and got all sorts of crafts out from the back of dusty cupboards.

Wildlife moved in quickly as the country experienced less traffic and less people going about their daily lives.  The foxes enjoyed the tranquillity and made themselves at home in Gordon’s garden, helpfully rearranging all his plant labels.  And the roe deer helped themselves to a smorgasbord of flowery treats – there were no pansies left for the Raes to enjoy this year.

It was a wonderful evening of amazing photographs interspersed with a trip down memory lane – we really have lived through extraordinary times.

Gordon very kindly donated his lecture fee to the Perennial charity