Practically all our communities have gardens chock full of plants both edible and beautiful – nurtured and grown by an enthusiastic team of gardeners.
The Grange gardeners have a splendid patch of land, complete with polytunnels, coldframes and sheds. And they work not just for their own enjoyment and personal development, but for the whole community. Let’s hear what they have to say.
‘I like gardening very much and doing lots of different jobs’, says Carol, ‘like pricking out the seedlings and weeding. Also making compost and sieving it. It makes it easier for the plants to grow.’
Talk turns to how many different things the team have planted and grown this year. Lettuce, beetroot, beans, courgettes, tomatoes, potatoes… then everyone starts giggling. It feels like there are too many to count!
Growing for everyone
Tom enjoys harvesting: ‘We put the vegetables in boxes so people can come round and get them. They’re for the community. We share them out.’
Anna thinks it’s lovely that the vegetables go into delicious lunches, served up in the Coffee Bar. Half the community sits down and tucks in on Monday, and the other half on Tuesday. ‘This Monday we had cottage pie with vegetables and green salad and apple and plum crumble’, says Jules.
As well as tending the main garden, every gardener has their own allotment to plant in whatever way takes their fancy. This summer Alex chose to grow sunflowers in his.
Now that it’s winter, there are fewer varieties growing but still plenty to do – like preparing the seeds for spring. 'We do our own seeds’, explains Mark. ‘We collect them, sort them, bag them and store them for next year.’