This week we’ve been exploring the Arkwright Meadows Community Garden in Nottingham.
Situated very close to the city centre, this previously unloved playing field has been completely transformed into a fabulous outdoor space that the local community now cherish. My kids love to come here because there’s lots to explore and they like comparing the crops with our own at the allotment.
Here it really is all about bringing local people together whilst educating about healthy living and grow-your-own. The main growing area is a huge circular raised bed, at this time of year there’s plenty of earth waiting for plants but look how far on the broad beans are!
In addition to selling the produce and plants that are grown here, the garden provides mini-plots for local residents and an after-school garden for children. There’s also a tyre garden which is used by local primary schools to teach children about ‘sow, grow and eat’ – who knew old tractor tyres made great raised beds!
It’s not just gardening either; dancing, cooking, yoga, cycling and craft workshops all go on here. For wildlife spotters there’s a pond with dipping platform, beehives and an insect hotel; my kids always head straight for these areas. The pond was very quiet – due to the time of year I guess – but the bees were still busy.
We even got to meet some new arrivals at the chicken house this time – they were so nosey!
Coming here always reminds me that gardening is so much more than looking after your own little plot of land; it can unite, inspire, educate, delight and feed a whole community. Everywhere you look you can see just how much love, effort and pride has gone into this place. I always come away feeling completely uplifted. And usually carrying a few plants too!
If you’d like to get involved with your local community gardens, the Big Dig campaign organises regular events where you can join in. The next event is on 21st March 2015, visit www.bigdig.org.uk for more information.
You can explore the Arkwright Community Gardens more at www.amcgardens.co.uk
Joining in with Annie’s ‘How Does Your Garden Grow’ series at Mammasaurus