It’s been a beautiful summer (well, in some parts of the UK!) and it has been great being able to spend so much time outside. It has, though, meant spending a lot of extra hours in the evening to get my allotment watered. It’s one of those jobs that seems like a bit of a chore after a long day at work, but once I’m down there it can quickly become the best hour of my day.
While walking around my allotment it became clear to me that gardening really does attracts all walks of life. It’s not just about growing food – the plots tend to be an expression of the person who works them. Old roses are a common sight, often festooning an archway or shed. This year, creative uses of runner bean structures seems to be a trend and I’ve seen many different configurations.
By taking a few minutes to look around it’s easy to see the potential an urban environment offers when it comes to gardening. From private spaces, such as front gardens, balconies and roofs, to public spaces like parks, brownfield sites and schools. There is so much potential to change the urban landscape – if you care about your surroundings, enjoy pottering in your outside space and like to meet new people then there are plenty of ways to get involved.
Projects like the Royal Horticultural Society’s ‘Greening Grey Britain’, Garden Organic’s Master Gardeners, and the many community volunteer groups are great ways to learn about horticulture and your local area. Organisations such as the RHS are full of knowledge they’d be delighted to share. Not to mention our Love Your Plot website which is here to provide inspiration and pointers all year round.
This is a great time of the year (once the watering is done, of course!) to think about potential planting and landscaping jobs you can do during the dormant season. Why not keep an eye out for any places in your neighbourhood that could do with a little bit of horticultural TLC?
Remember that just a little bit of gardening can make you feel better about life, whether it’s a couple of hours in your community or just a few potted herbs outside your door.
Seek some inspiration, visit some gardens, find out what’s happening in your area, and get down to your local garden centre to take advantage of our gardening heritage.
Discover the power plants can have in your community.