We’ve all heard of allotments and we’re certainly aware of the possibility of growing fruit, vegetables and plants of all kinds in our own gardens. In contrast the concept of community gardens may be a new one to you. However it may not remain this way for very long. (Pictured – St Luke’s Centre Community Garden)
What is a community garden?
The idea behind a community garden is very simple. It is a garden looked after and maintained by a single community. This could be any group of people in the local area.
A garden of this type could be on any size plot, depending on the area it is in. For example a housing estate may have quite a large community garden area, shared by all the householders on the estate. Other areas may have a much smaller area to garden. In truth there is no particular size of garden that applies in this situation. It all depends on the area that is available.
How are community gardens set up?
These gardens are generally set up by one or more people who want to create a garden space together. They will usually already have a garden space in mind they can use. Generally speaking one person will be in charge of the garden, and regular meetings will take place so the group can decide on how the garden will be created and developed.
This creates a sense of community and camaraderie among the group, and enables everyone to have a say in the future of the garden. For example the group can decide what will be grown in the garden. They may discuss which vegetables can be grown for everyone to enjoy. The group can also see which members have any particularly good gardening skills they can put to good use. (Pictured – Gainsborough Community Garden)
What are the advantages of community gardens?
There are lots of advantages to these gardens. Primarily they often make use of areas that would otherwise be derelict or uncared for. They also bring lots of different people together to create something positive and much loved for the community.
They also provide a focus for many people who wouldn’t necessarily have one otherwise. As such a sense of community often builds up as a result of creating such a garden, and this can only be a good thing for society. Many people love gardening and if an area can be transformed in this way, by residents for residents, it can be a positive thing for everyone involved. (Pictured – Royal Edinburgh Community Gardens)
Community gardens are a lot more common than you may think. While people working on neighbouring allotments may know each other, they all have their own separate spaces to grow fruit and vegetables in. This is in stark contrast to the community feel of a community garden, where people draw together to create something they can all feel proud of.
Indeed, there is no doubt that this kind of space has plenty of benefits for everyone who becomes involved with it. Will this include you?
For more information about community gardening or to find land in your local area visit www.landshare.net