The rain had stayed of for long enough for a steady stream of kids and adults to enjoy the Queens Lane community garden. The allotment space is off the beaten track and not visible from the road. It can be accessed via the top of Langside Road just before where the road meets the park. It has to be said the garden was pretty busy, and populated with some familiar and new faces. The R.S.P.B had a great stall informing kids about the wildlife and insects found in garden and feral spaces. Kids of various ages were having fun with binoculars and catching, inspecting and identifying the bugs they managed to find. I spoke to Lisa Peebles who said that the garden space was very well used both by the immediate residents and other locals who had a passion for growing their own vegetables.
The Garden spaces raised beds, Some kids finding bugs to identify.
The raised beds contain a variety of herb and veg including, Rocket, Dill, Peas, Rhubarb, Garlic, Leeks, Potatoes, courgettes, Kale, Beetroot to name but a few. It’s great that these disused spaces are being used to engage people and get them involved in their communities with the added bonus of an organic food larder.
Rocket that has went to flower, Some peas before they fruit.
South Seeds also have a great composting initiative they had on show. At the moment if you pop into the office they are giving away food caddies and a composting manual for anyone who wants to get involved in composting. For more enthusiastic individuals they can also come and build a composter in your back court or garden. I’ve asked Robin from South Seeds to give me some more information on this so when I have it I’ll post in more detail about how you can get involved.
Gents from the R.S.B.P helping kids identify birds and insects, Robin from Southseeds With an example of the composter they can install for residents.
Lisa was also behind the grill with some smashing Haloumi and Paneer tikka kebabs. I asked how the garden was received by locals and kids. She said that the space was previously nothing more than a turning place filled with massive puddles. People who don’t dig the gardening aspect (excuse the pun) enjoyed sitting in the space. It’s a south facing suntrap and filled with lovely flowers and smells. Even young people who used the space as a secluded sitting area always respected the area and took and rubbish with them. People always moan about the state of Govanhill’s back spaces etc., but there are actually lots of keen gardeners and people who use their communal spaces as socialising and leisure areas.
Chicken, Haloumi and Paneer tikka kebabs on the built in grill, Lisa Peebles of Southseeds hard at work.
People tend to respect these spaces more when they know local people have put in the work or when they are involved themselves. All the garden events I’ve been to through South Seeds get the kids involved with spades and wheel barrows. Now I bet you think ‘Well I bet that’s keeps them interested for five minutes!’, but you would be surprised. There’s a core of kids that put in a bit of hard graft. Whether they are there just to get out and do something or are actually interested in gardening, they are directly or indirectly leaning practical things about soil management, insect’s roles in the garden, plant care and how to build and dig things. I don’t know how any of this could be a bad thing. It’s going to make them more likely to want to improve their own garden spaces either now or as adults, and see back courts as a potential extension to their house. I.e. a space that could be used and utilised as more than just a place to keep bins.
If you would like to get involved in any of Southseeds gardens please get in touch with them ;firstname.lastname@example.org
They could probably give you some information about what you can do in your own garden space too!
Words and images; Lisa Craig