lizetta loves

Community and nature in the city

Spring is officially here. It’s not dark when I finish work, and I’m trying to get into the habit of getting out of the office (aka my flat) for a walk in daylight. Yesterday I headed out before I started work and this evening I went to clear my head before getting into the evening routine. No doubt the balmy spring weather won’t last for long but it was a lovely evening for a walk.

I wasn’t feeling up for going far though so opted for a roam around my estate. After all the years of living here, and all those lockdown walks, it appears there are still parts of the estate I’ve not explored. It turns out that the climbing frame tucked away in an overgrown garden is actually part of a playground for under 12s. Based on appearances and the overgrowth on the securely locked gate I’m not sure when it was last used by anyone, especially children, which makes me sad.

I carried on to the end of the estate to check out the community garden that has slowly been developing on a scrap of land along the roadside. I’ve walked past many times but this was the first time I went into the garden and it really is nice to see the effort put in by quite a small group to make the most of the space.

Raised beds were the first things to appear thanks to some council funding. Earlier in the year I saw sprouts growing there, but sadly they weren’t all harvested so a lot have now gone to waste. Now other parts of the garden have been ‘landscaped’ to allow for more plant beds, structural features and a pond (the is yet to be filled with water), with a path weaving through the space. There’s even an abandoned Christmas tree – I believe it was one of the ones that was abandoned up the road before Christmas.

When funding was first secured last year and work began on building the raised beds, residents were invited to request plots. You often hear about long waiting lists for allotments, especially in urban areas, but having still not grasped the basics of growing plants in my balcony boxes, and only recently managing to not kill house plants, I felt that was not something I was ready for. I’m also still scarred from the last time I volunteered to help out with something on this estate, and ended up with all the work, something I wasn’t prepared to happen again.

I wish I had a before photo to show what it used to be like. It’s going to be interesting to see what plants grow over the coming months and how it continues to develop.

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