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The idea
Those of us with an interest in gardening who live in or near the Grange felt that we would like a group so that we could share our interest and meet each other. The Grange Garden Exchange was launched under the auspices of The Grange Association using the Spring 2011Newsletter to all the households in the area.
First meeting – Composting and planning
We held a first meeting on 15th March 2011 and about 20 people came out on a wet evening. There was a great feeling of energy and that this was a really good idea and much needed in our area.
We started by hearing an excellent talk on composting by a volunteer, Frances Lindsay, from Changeworks, Zero Waste Scotland. She brought samples of compost in various states of maturity and a tin of compost worms to show to us. She was very helpful and practical and answered our questions.
We then brainstormed in three groups.
Swaps and shares
Everyone was keen to swap and share seedlings, plug plants, surplus seeds and off-cuts when splitting perennials. We discussed practical ways of doing this and agreed it would be best done by sharing e-mail addresses by blind copy within the group. There was also a desire to borrow larger items of equipment such as a shredder so it was agreed that we would find out what members are willing to lend.
Info, meetings and visits
There was enthusiasm for visiting each other’s gardens with the emphasis on this being ‘take-us-as-you-find-us’ and that the garden must not be especially prepared for show. The idea is to share learning and for the garden owner to get informal advice as well as giving it.
A list of possible nearby places to visit was drawn up including recommended gardens and also more interesting garden centres and the Braehead recycling centre
Talks from specialists would be welcomed too, such as from the Botanics staff and could be combined with a visit.
A recommended book is ‘Scotland for Gardeners: Guide to Scottish Gardens, Nurseries and Garden Centres’ by Kenneth Cox which is in the Library.
Active gardening
This group discussed ways in which we could volunteer to help. A first priority is to support the Library Garden which needs a few volunteers to keep it tidy and plant it up. It is a sunny space through the double doors at the back with a raised bed and mature trees and a real opportunity to make it pleasant.
The Edinburgh Garden Share Scheme is currently run by Care and Repair Edinburgh Ltd. The team were successful in applying for funds from the Climate Challenge Fund. They continue to match those with garden space to spare with people who would like to garden but have none. http://www.edinburghgardenpartners.org.uk We were able to put one pair together after the meeting.
There was some discussion and information sharing about the Edinburgh Transition South, town guerrilla gardening project which is currently active in Balcarres Street. http://www.transitionedinburghsouth.org.uk/node/4 website includes garden guerrillas and support for the Bridgend project and the Royal Edinburgh project and developing the old walled garden in the Astley Ainslie
The Community Garden at Myreside on land owned by the Royal Edinburgh Hospital is looking for volunteers who should go along on Saturdays between 12 and 3pm. This is a very sociable organisation providing community events as well as convivial gardening. http://royaledinburghcommunitygardens.wordpress.com/ A diary and lots of good photos on their website.
Earthy on Causewayside has an organic garden, which welcomes volunteers and also teaches the participants about organic gardening.
We agreed that we would communicate mainly through e-mail. Anyone who did not want to be on a circulation list could opt out and the list would be only shared with those who want to be part of this new group. A few members may not use e-mail and we will seek to find them a neighbouring buddy to keep them informed.
Getting started
We started straight away with an invite to Alison Bramley’s garden on Sunday 20th March 2011 to give us the opportunity to try out some of the ideas we shared at the first meeting, Eight people came and we agreed that we would aim to meet or go on a visit about once per month. Most admired plant was the deliciously scented Daphne Bholua ‘Jaqueline Postill’. We will have some weekend, some daytime and some evening meetings. So far we have been meeting every month and Garden Exchange News tells the story.

If you want to join this group please get in touch with Alison Bramley.

07890 313 430

1 Comment

  1. Do you know anyone who can help me with my garden? I can no longer manage it and it needs preparing for winter

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