• Ellen Mary

Grass roots gardening


As the RHS shows come to an end with celebrities seen at Chelsea, beautiful scenes at Hampton Court and we are just about saturated with Summer gardening magazines and a few TV shows, I continue to wonder why we don’t see or hear of hard working, knowledgable horticulturalists doing great things across the UK. From community gardening, volunteering, providing learning to those with disabilities and doing a great job maintaining gardens from estates to a city back garden. Why don’t we see those people? Real grass roots gardening?

Fortunately, I get to rub shoulders with many great people who work so hard in charities, community gardens, private gardens and those whose hands are rough, backs are knackered and knees are bust. Those who do gardening.

A good friend of mine works at the Beyond The Wall project in Thornham Magna transforming an unkempt garden into something really special on a ridiculously low budget. It’s hard work, perhaps frustrating and on occasion probably back breaking but the proof of hard work and dedication is in the changes that have been made since September last year. Beyond the Wall works with people over 16 who have disabilities ensuring everyone has a fulfilling life, building confidence and enjoying all that the outdoors can provide and in just a few months the project has already been improved considerably by my friend.

Heard of them? Probably not. Because projects like Beyond the Wall and the incredible people who work there are not celebrated on TV, even though they are at the heart of gardening.

Garden and flower shows inspire us and can be really enjoyable, but nothing inspires me more than a grass roots gardener.

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