Getting into gardening

17 May

Have you noticed that recently everyone seems to be ready to get their hands dirty? Everyone is getting into gardening – from the very young (some of the projects we fund through my work are gardening projects for Scout and Guide groups) to people in theior early twenties. We all know the older generation (our mums, mostly) love gardening but it’s great to see the younger generation raving about home grown foods, helping out on friend’s allotments etc.

At the Horniman Museum, they have a great little community garden with planters made out of all sorts of things from wellies, to raincoats (1) and gardening gloves. They have built a ‘bug hotel’ (2) out of wooden crates, bottles and plants to give all the bugs something to hide in. England’s plentiful rainfall is captured in a water butt (3) and they even have a little pond made out of an old bathtub. It’s great for kids to go and see things growing and learn to appreciate nature as soon as possible, in my opinion, and I love how inventive people can be in a small space, in central London, where there often isn’t much green space to grow things.

Wellie planter
Horniman Museum community garden

As for me, I would LOVE to have a little garden of my own (this is how I know I’m getting old!), the dog would like a bigger garden to run around in, but one thing at a time. I need to move house first. Meanwhile I’m making do with a window sill on which I’m growing sage, rosemary, chilli plants and pak choi (I think it’s pak choi – I ‘ll let you know when it stops looking like generic seedling). Also my orchid seems to be budding with absolutely no help from me. I’m not the most green fingered of people when it comes to flowering plants!

If you have an idea for a place to grow food, and need some cash to get you started, you could apply for some Capital Growth funding from the Mayor. It’s what the Castle Climbing Centre (where I climb) used to get its own amazing vegetable garden up and running. Now the Castle’s cafe uses own-grown food to serve to us climbers; fresh, handpicked food, no pesticides and no carbon emissions used for delivery.

On a sad and totally unrelated note, the elephants have now gone from their spots aroind London, however, they have been herded together in the grounds of Royal Chelsea Hospital where you can view the whole herd on the official viewing days from 25th to 28th June, 10am to 7pm. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information download the pdf here. If you can afford to buy one, the auction is on 30th June!

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