Community gardening is helping estates look greener, tenants feel wonderful and community spirit to thrive.
Thanks to our Plants for People project, run in partnership with local charity Mayfield Nurseries, lots of community gardening clubs are taking root across Southampton and changing lives and landscapes for the better.
The project has already helped local communities in Millbrook, Weston and the Holyrood Estate to come together to transform their outdoor spaces and improve health and wellbeing. Thanks to funding from Decent Neighbourhoods, an expert gardener from Mayfield Nurseries drops in to each neighbourhood once a week to encourage residents to learn new horticultural skills, develop confidence, meet their neighbours and reap the physical and mental benefits of gardening. As well as keeping fit and active, tenants are discovering that gardening can help combat stress and depression, and as community clubs offer great opportunities to get out, make new friends and have fun, it's also an effective way to reduce loneliness and isolation.
Mayfield Nurseries has recently won a national community award from Groundwork UK in recognition of how they work to improve health and wellbeing in Southampton. Their gardening initiatives are uniting communities and bringing neighbours together, whilst helping individuals to rebuild self-confidence to feel good about themselves and the future.
"Gardening has given me back my spark, a new positive outlook and the joy of having a garden, a secret garden!" Claire from Maybush.
Together with Mayfield Nurseries we’re encouraging even more tenants to come together to form community gardening clubs. If you’re interested in setting up a local club we can help you and your neighbours get started, teach you how to grow flowers or vegetables and even apply for funding to buy plants, tools and equipment. Get in touch to find out more about how gardening can transform your life and your neighbourhood.
Aidan Cooper, Decent Neighbourhoods Manager, said: "Gardening is fantastic way to keep fit and active and make you feel good whatever your age. Gardening clubs strengthen community spirit and of course transform unloved, urban areas into colourful pockets of greenery that can be enjoyed by everyone."
The Plants for People project gardening workshops take place:
- Mondays 1:30pm to 4:30pm – Irving Road, Millbrook, meet at Manish's convenience shop
- Wednesdays 1:30pm to 4:30pm - Weston, meet at Oslo Towers
- Fridays 1:30pm to 4:30pm - Holyrood, meet at Challis Court
Please get in touch to find a local club near you or receive help to set one up. If you’re proud of your own garden, balcony or your communal garden, send us a photo to share with our readers or visit our Facebook page. We'd also love to hear your top tips for successful gardening, whatever the season!