Clip­pings: news and views

Our roundup of e mon ’s lat t gar­den­ing news and views

Gardeners' World - - Contents -

In­ter­na­tional protest on­line has helped one re­tired woman near Sh­effield save a road­side gar­den that she and her hus­band cre­ated near their home. Sh­effield City Coun­cil de­manded that Sally and Brian Williams, aged 69 and 80, re­move the flow­ers and stone bor­der on a road­side verge, which the cou­ple have tended for the past 20 years. Sally took to Face­book to seek help and within a week, 6,000 peo­ple had signed an on­line pe­ti­tion to over­turn the coun­cil’s de­ci­sion. Sh­effield coun­cil sent the Williams a let­ter, stat­ing that the verge-side gar­den could cause a haz­ard, and in one phone call, told them that plant­ing on the high­way in their area is il­le­gal. But on­line cov­er­age grew, caught the at­ten­tion of the na­tional press, and the cou­ple re­ceived mes­sages of sup­port from around the world. A de­lighted Sally said, “One mes­sage from Saudi Ara­bia told us to keep it up, and much en­cour­age­ment came from the US and Canada, in­clud­ing a query ask­ing us how we deal with bears!” Lo­cal coun­cil­lors also ral­lied round, with Labour Coun­cil­lor and Cab­i­net Mem­ber for De­vel­op­ment and Trans­port, Jack Scott, show­ing up with a cy­cla­men plant and an apol­ogy. He told Sally that Sh­effield coun­cil was re­vers­ing its de­ci­sion and that he would like to see more gar­den­ing of that kind. “This has been a big win for the lit­tle peo­ple,” said Sally. “So much of the com­mu­nity come by and en­joy the gar­den, next year we will go even big­ger – even more dahlias.” Sally also rec­om­mends that if any­one gar­den­ing in a pub­lic space re­ceives a let­ter de­mand­ing its re­moval, they seek help from lo­cal coun­cil­lors and use the in­ter­net. “I had al­ways felt that I couldn’t cope with tech­nol­ogy be­fore, but this is tech­nol­ogy for the good – it’s saved my gar­den,” she added. Sh­effield coun­cil were ap­proached for com­ment, but no one was avail­able.

This has been a big win for the lit­tle peo­ple

Sally and Brian Williams are thrilled their gar­den is saved

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