Chatting to East Midlands in Bloom assessors Nigel and Catherine when they visited St Mark’s Community Garden last Friday, it dawned on me that community gardening isn’t just about plants. As the RHS experts enthusiastically explored every nook and cranny of the church gardens, I thought how much we’ve collaborated and shared, compromised, listened and learned from one another as we’ve helped to shape the beautiful and productive gardens around St Mark’s Church.
We’re all so different but that’s the joy of it. Sheila is methodical and tidy, with an innate understanding of how things grow and need to be tamed. Her aim is to ‘get things sorted’! John likes to be told what to do and loves to finish a job well. He’s a dab hand with a saw or a hammer! Clive faithfully mows the lawns and would welcome an assistant who might empty the grass box or occasionally take over the machine so he can sit a while and enjoy the view. Isobel loves messing around with organic comfrey brews and grubbing about in the compost. She grimaces at the mention of slug pellets!
Last Thursday we were all pottering in the garden together. Diversity and companionship – the key to a successful eco-system and to a working community, with a variety of styles, plants, insects and people all giving support to one another. We are a visible sign of God’s presence at St Mark’s. Whatever your style, do come and join us!
O God, Creator of all beauty and harmony, in whom we live and move and have our being, we pray that our gardening may be a care-taking of your creation and our community a reflection of your love. We garden in faith and hope and work together in love for the sake of your Son, Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.