Get green fingers for Urban Gardens Week

Blooming marvellous. Photo: Allie's.Dad @ flickr

Urban Gardens Week is underway across the country from 22-28 March, with city dwellers across south and east London being encouraged to get their fingers green and make the most of their outdoor spaces.

The week aims to disregard the myth that gardening is time-consuming, and help people easily improve their personal environment, whilst reducing their carbon footprint at the same time.

Now in its second year, the event’s experts will advise people on how small changes can make a positive environmental impact, such as building compost-recycling areas, or adding smart design features to anything from balconies, roof terraces and backyards, to window boxes.

Urban Gardens Week is supported by celebrity gardener Charlie Dimmock. Speaking to gardening company Mow Direct, she said: “City dwellers have a great opportunity to really improve their immediate environment – from a visual point of view but also in terms of reducing their carbon footprint.”

“Building a wooden compost area, establishing a recycling space in a shed, or growing your own herbs in a window box: are all simple steps that can make a real difference. All it takes is the right tools, and a little imagination,” she added.

The Woodland Trust will also link up with Ronseal, sponsors of the week. With every sale from Ronseal’s range of Woodland Trust Colours, or its high performance Eco range, a 25p donation will go to the Woodland Trust to help preserve and protect native UK woodland.

Research from Ronseal has revealed that 80% of the public would like to improve their urban garden, but over a fifth don’t know where to start. 12% of people were also worried about the cost of eco-friendly improvements.

EastLondonLines went to find out what members of the public in South and East London would be doing during Urban Gardens Week.

Stephen Kirkby, 30, of Lewisham, said: “My girlfriend is giving the house a spring clean at the moment and I said I would dig up the garden. I’m not sure how environmentally friendly it’ll be, but I like the idea of having a compost recycling bin.”

Alex Turner, 20, of Hackney, said: “I’m a student so I guess gardening isn’t my forte, but I’m definitely hoping for good weather during Easter so I can crack the barbeque out! I guess I should tidy the garden a bit during the holidays but I don’t think I’ll be going overboard.”

If you need advice about improving your garden space or wish to stock up on plants, Growing Concerns is conveniently located between the Union Canal and St Mark’s Gate entrance of Victoria Park in Tower Hamlets. This community garden centre also offers a variety of gardening classes, including how to make hanging baskets. The nearest tube is Bow Road.

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