I was invited by the Community Garden to come along with the Forest Gate WI to an initial planning meeting to think about a ‘Garden Trail’ in Forest Gate. Such is my enthusiasm for such things that I signed up before I was entirely clear what a garden trail was, but certain that the combination sounded promising.
I was right! Myanah from the Community Garden had seen a garden trail in another town which functioned like a cross between an open garden and a jumble trail (remember the jumble trail? Wasn’t it great?). Adzovi from the Forest Gate Women’s Institute was there too, along with Sophie and Kate also from the Garden Steering Group, and together we fleshed out some ideas about how a Garden Trail might work.
It’s all at the very early stages at the moment, but in essence we hope that holding it will encourage people to garden and to green Forest Gate (which in turn encourages wildlife and helps with urban drainage), and will encourage people to meet and get to know each other, may raise some money for the Community Garden and for other local charities and above all might be a wonderful, fun weekend to add to the various community events and activities that we already enjoy here.
We talked about encouraging people to open their front and / or back gardens, and how people could think about planting up their front gardens with orange flowers, as orange and green are the ‘colours’ of the Community Garden. We also discussed a range of ideas for talks and events that could take place at the Community Garden to support the Garden Trail: a ‘mini-garden workshop’? A talk on urban drainage? A session on planting up pots and window boxes?
The reason for blogging about it now (when there is no further detail existing) is to encourage anyone reading this to think about whether they might open their front or back garden to the public. If your garden is not ready to face the public now, might it be by next summer? Might that give you the impetus you’ve been looking for? The dates will probably be the 24th and 25th June 2017. We think we will need around 10 gardens to make this a possibility. There is no need to sign up now, but do consider it, and if you know someone with a beautiful garden then please give them a gentle nudge.
More information to come from the Community Garden (are you a member? If not you know what to do…) and the WI. Watch this space!