Monday, 10 April 2017

It's National Gardening Week!

It's National Gardening Week, but what does that mean? To my mind it ought to be all about amplification of the things us gardeners, rich or poor, urban or rural, young or old, are doing across the UK in this week. The world of gardening is so rich and so diverse there is absolutely something in it for everyone and I would hope that this week gives us the opportunity to really get that out across the channels of social media through our blogs, our photos and by asking people to join in, to get involved and get excited about gardening. After all we are known as a nation of gardeners so let's make it clear that that is exactly what we are and that we are proud of that title.

So Sara, I hear folk ask, what are you doing this week to support National Gardening Week?

Well, aware as I am that I haven't blogged for a while firstly I am going to be a bit better at that. I often find I have so much to write about that I end up writing nothing so this week I am going to concentrate on catching up with all of that, so watch out for book reviews, some pieces about favourite plants and lots and lots of social media engagement around those blogs and more. I hope you don't all get bored with me...

But I am also going to be doing some gardening that I will take you all with me to do. Firstly I will be leading a session in the Incredible Edible Bristol Bearpit Garden with a group of volunteers from the horticulture team at Bristol University. We'll be planting climbers and hops and vines and a perennial meadow whilst having a great time and drinking a whole lot of tea. I am super excited to be linking with Bristol University as it's a direct link with Bristol Botanic Garden, which without doubt is one of my favourite places in the city as well as becoming a botanical masterpiece. If you haven't been then please try to get there-it's well worth a journey. I will be there on Friday with some students taking in not just the beauty of the garden, but also the extraordinary plant collection which I absolutely adore.

Then I will be leading 2 smaller sessions on Thursday where I will be supporting groups in their gardening journey. One of these groups is taking over a space from a volunteer who very sadly lot her fight with cancer just before Christmas. Jackie's Garden as we are now calling the space, will be a memorial to a lady who was passionate about Incredible Edible and about getting people outside and into the fresh air, talking about food and growing to anyone and everyone as she went about her days. I miss Jackie at every session;she was a fierce friend both personally and to Incredible Edible and I hope this group can make her vision reality.

For Jackie, for my own mum and for all the other people involved in our world who have lost their fight with or are fighting with cancer, I will be supporting the National Gardens Scheme this week in any way I can. I hope to find a garden or two to visit over the long weekend and I will be sharing their social media posts like a crazy woman. For those of you who don't know the NGS supports cancer charities and also Perennial, the gardeners benevolence charity amongst others. Last year they had their best year ever, supporting more and more people through those amazing people who both open and visit their gardens for them. Those who open their gardens do so completely voluntarily and the funds made go directly to these important causes. Why not get involved?

Then on Saturday I will be again in an Incredible Edible Bristol garden, this time in Redcliffe on the Urban Food Trail, gardening in a park that we are now looking after. There will be the inevitable weeding and clearing, along with some compost turning and lots more, as well as an Easter Egg Hunt and games for kids of all ages!

So a busy week ahead but also one that will be filled with love, laughter, tea and amazing people, all of whom will be gardening and at the same time working at creating social change by supporting a change in the way the public realm looks. The fact that all these folk come along, in all weathers and despite the issues in their own lives, never fails to humble me and make me realise that I am the luckiest gardener alive.

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