I’ve just read this article about a community in London crowdfunding for a Community Gardener. The appeal builds on the 10xGreener project, which has seen a BBC TV crew following the local community’s attempts to make a single street, Daubeney Road, ten times greener.
They have realised to keep the impetus going they need some consistent help and expertise and so are looking for a gardener 1 day a week to maintain some of the projects that have been created, offer advice to residents and continue making and planting.
There is so much about this project that makes me glow: community and connection through gardening and planting.
But what it highlights though is that when you start something you often have to maintain it, and gardens and gardening is no different. I know that I get so excited by planting new plants, sowing seeds, making a hanging basket but that the nurturing of them, the care of them and the maintenance of them can sometimes feel overwhelming in the busy rush of life! And that the joy and excitement of starting the thing can quickly swing the other way when I’m disappointed in myself for not looking after something and seeing it literally shrivel up and die!
Don’t beat yourself up! Do what you can and most importantly enjoy what you can! Here’s some top tips to make gardening a bit easier:
- Approach your space in chunks and do a chunk at a time. If your pots need watering and weeding do the watering today and the weeding tomorrow.
- Weeding can feel overwhelming – use a hoe on a hot day to sever the small weeds from their roots – they will die in the warm weather on the top of the soil and you don’t have to collect them up – easier on the back and quicker to complete
- Watering – water less often but for longer. Only new plants, seeds and pots and containers should need watering. Established plants in the ground should look after themselves unless we have a severe drought. Water your pots 2-3 times a week but make sure they get a good drink rather than just a splash every day
- Leave you watering can outside so it can fill with rainwater and is close to hand to use
- Don’t beat yourself up – it’s only you that knows what you haven’t done, or got round to!
Gardening can feel like a chore, but hopefully these tips can ensure you spend some time in your outdoor space enjoying it!