Letter from the Assistant Editor: Urban dwellers getting green-fingered


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The Independent Online


If you are reading your copy of i today with a view of rolling green hills from your kitchen window, then lucky you. In urban areas, green space comes at a premium, and many miss out. But a new urban gardening fair, which will cater to those short on space, hopes to change that.

I grew up in the countryside and never fully appreciated the space and greenery at my disposal. But it is the backdrop of many childhood memories – hide and seek in the garden (and surrounding fields, much to the chagrin of the local farmer); lying in charred grass during the occasional heatwave; and generally making a nuisance of myself as my mum and dad, trowels in hand, tended their beloved garden.

My granny, too, could be found tackling troublesome weeds well into her 80s, and her garden was rich with sweet pea-filled trellises, roses and secret strawberry plants. Her gardening trophy took pride of place at the church altar when we bade farewell to her.

But since leaving home I have become an “urban dweller”. Not having a garden rarely bothered me – I love the energy of cities (smog and traffic notwithstanding). But recently I have been gravitating towards parks and gardens, nostalgic for nature as the urban grind begins to… well, grind me down.

I am just about to move to a house with a garden – my first for 10 years. It’s mature and beautifully kept, and I feel some responsibility to maintain it (and a little trepidation – I have killed a cactus). But I’m excited to finally have a little patch of my own. Here’s hoping we urban dwellers throughout Britain will be inspired to get a little green-fingered – and stop and smell the roses.


Twitter: @siobhan_norton1