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