We have had an allotment for the past 5 years. As well as enjoying the fruits of our labour in terms of the produce we have grown, I have also been an active member of the allotment colony’s association committee which has provided some insight into the issues associated with managing an allotment site. This blog is a reflection on the role of allotments in modern life and why, in my view, they continue to be an important feature of our national culture in the UK.
Recently, via the wonders of social media, I have become aware of what appears to be an example of two initiatives taking place within the same city which seem entirely at odds with each other when it comes to environmental sustainability. The city is Sheffield in the north of England, where on the one hand there has been widespread acclaim for a recently delivered urban greening project, and on the other widespread despair at the removal of thousands of mature street trees. What makes this even more noteworthy is that both of these schemes have been lead by the local authority, Sheffield City Council. This blog post will explore the two approaches and how one appears to undermine the aspirations of the other. Continue reading
A few weeks ago while in London for the weekend, primarily to watch the World Athletics Championships at the Olympic Stadium, I took the chance to make a pilgrimage to see the Beech Gardens at the Barbican Estate, which have recently been redesigned by Nigel Dunnett. Continue reading
In the beginning …
Gardening has become a really significant part of my life. It started many years ago with some tomatoes in a grow-bag and a few pots of bedding plants dotted around and has developed to the point that I now have a pretty productive allotment where I grow quite a range of edibles, as well as a small but cherished domestic garden. The common theme throughout is that, having lived my adult life in a city, the gardening has always been confined to small, enclosed spaces. Indeed this is probably the experience of the vast majority of human beings given that we mainly live in densely populated towns and cities; not the rolling acreages depicted in many a gardening magazine. So for a fair while now I have been fostering an interest in the innovative approaches being taken to ‘greening’ urban spaces, and have decided to start this blog as a vehicle for capturing my own learning, observations and attempts at applying these things in real life.