‘Green­ing the grey’ out­doors

Middleton Guardian - - LEISURE -

FOR those want­ing to add a splash of colour or tackle a lo­cal is­sue, take in­spi­ra­tion from some of the com­mu­nity gar­den­ing groups in­volved in the Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s (RHS) Bri­tain in Bloom cam­paign.

From us­ing old toi­lets and baths for plant­ing, to cre­at­ing brightly coloured con­tain­ers from old sol­diers’ boots, they have helped lift moods, re­duced flood risk, and cre­ated wildlife habi­tats in their ef­forts to ‘green the grey’ in our towns and cities. Get your lo­cal com­mu­nity in­volved Get­ting your neigh­bours in­volved, or ask­ing lo­cal com­mu­nity groups or busi­nesses for their sup­port, is a great way to meet new peo­ple as well as im­prove your area. Nod to your lo­cal her­itage A dis­play, per­haps in­spired by the area’s her­itage or a forth­com­ing event, can help boost pride in an area, and may end up be­com­ing some­thing of a tourist at­trac­tion in it­self. Re­duce, re­use and re­cy­cle You don’t need to spend a for­tune on ex­pen­sive ma­te­ri­als. Think cre­atively - an old pair of boots, bath­tub or even a toi­let can be re-pur­posed into pots and con­tain­ers, ideal for fill­ing with pot­ting com­post and plant­ing up at min­i­mal cost. Make good use of walls Of­ten, ver­ti­cal space cov­er­ing the walls of build­ings, fences and other struc­tures is for­got­ten but can be use­ful for in­ject­ing green­ery into places where there are lots of func­tional de­mands on the pave­ments, walk­ways and ground space. Leave no stone un­turned Small changes can col­lec­tively make a big dif­fer­ence, with spa­ces link­ing up to form ‘green cor­ri­dors’ for wildlife. Plac­ing pots, or pulling up a pav­ing slab in your front gar­den and adding a few plants, can pro­vide ex­tra food for bees and re­duce the hard sur­faces that in­crease the risk of flash flood­ing. In­volve the next gen­er­a­tion Children love gar­den­ing and can learn a lot, while at the same time hav­ing fun, get­ting out­doors and be­ing ac­tive. It’s also an op­por­tu­nity to en­gage a whole new gen­er­a­tion of lo­cal gar­den­ers that might one day take over the reins.

For more in­for­ma­tion about Bri­tain in Bloom, or fur­ther ad­vice and in­spi­ra­tion and de­tails of your near­est com­mu­nity gar­den­ing group, visit rhs.org.uk/ get-in­volved

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