Gardening comrades, help us in sparking an urban gardening revolution! From streets to rooftops, GardenTags and the RHS are on a mission to Green Grey Britain.
Ellen Mary is a garden-focused TV presenter and columnist for Places & Faces and Feast Norfolk. Possessing an unrivalled passion for nature and wildlife gardening, Ellen is also the Wildlife gardening writer for the Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Ellen’s down her allotment whenever she can and is always on hand to help with any gardening questions. Today, she tells us about the importance of city gardening…
I’ve been green-fingered my whole life. To be honest, I’m not sure where I would be without being able to get outside into the garden! And I’ve been fortunate enough to meet with people all over the world and to visit some fantastic and inspirational gardens, both rural and urban.. which I started to write about.
These writings progressed into garden journalism, a passion which I now predominantly do. Alongside keeping my hands dirty with my garden, allotment and a select few projects, of course!
“Urban gardens… can literally change lives, open eyes and bring back a certain magic”
My favourite projects have been small space, city gardens. Mainly because I always find the impact is so huge! They can literally change lives, open eyes and bring back a certain magic into urban environments. I also love architecture, it’s fascinating! But there’s nothing more beautiful than seeing a stunning new building that has incorporated green thinking into the design. From green walls to sustainable materials, garden roof tops and even office plants, city gardening is easier than ever! This kind of development does give an extra dynamic to urban environments because lets face it, we all know how just a touch of nature can help with our well being. On a rushed power walk to work, passing a green wall can just give you a little perspective.
Urban living doesn’t always provide space or great conditions for city gardening. But there are many people looking at ways to use limited resources to grow plants and vegetables in these environments. Many people have fond memories of Grandparents working in their gardens as living, in general, was more rural decades ago.
We don’t need to lose that. We just need to think differently about it, be a little creative with available space and work together to make it happen. A whole generation has missed out on the benefits of growing your own food and there is certainly a movement towards changing that for generations to come.
I once went on a boat trip on the Norfolk Broads and one guy was really quiet. I asked him if he was OK and his response was: ‘I am sad because my children don’t even know this is here’. His family lived 5 miles from one of the most beautiful environments to visit and enjoy. This struck a cord with me. Imagine living in the city and never knowing that outside of those walls is an abundance of nature sustaining us all. So, helping to bring that nature into urban environments is a goal for me. If I can make an impact on just one person, the knock on effect can be far reaching. If each of us do the same, we may just be on our way to greening up our cities and opening our minds. That’s what No Fear Gardening is all about.
More on the Way!
Ellen Mary has done a series of blogs to help in the battle to Green Grey Britain. Don’t forget to check back soon to catch more of Ellen Mary!
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