On Saturday I visited Transition Tynedale’s Community Garden (in the grounds of Hexham Middle School) for the first time. Despite the freezing temperatures and snow on the hills, a few sturdy souls had turned out for their regular twice-monthly garden session.
Garlic and onions were planted, fruit bushes pruned and leaves cleared. Matty was even able to take her supper home with her.
My contribution was mostly admiration. I particularly appreciated the ancient cherry tree and the grass sofas and willow den. And the super-organised shed…
Really it’s the ‘wrong’ time of year to be immersed in a poetry project all about growing food. In our workshop sessions in the Library on Monday tea-times we’ve tended to concentrate on the eating side of things. which, along with reading gardening books, is what’s meant to happen in winter surely?
But, fair weather gardener that I am, after Saturday, I was shamed into doing a bit of tidying of my own patch – currently an uneasy limbo of snow and geraniums. In the Community Garden too there were a few spots of colour and I found myself drawn to them like a starving bee.
Professor Stephen Blackmore (the Queen’s Botanist in Scotland) says that gardening can save the planet. If everyone looks after their own bit of green, be it a garden or a hanging basket, the cumulative effect will make a difference.
‘…so much of the state of our planet hinges on the state of our plants and vegetation. Often we are overwhelmed by the scale of change to the planet, and we think ‘What can we do to change anything?’, but your little patch of garden is part of the processes of nature, supporting wildlife and replenishing the atmosphere.’