The directory of community and business organisations in Broadstone Dorset


Residents Association MagazinearrowSummer 2003 - 8

YOU'RE NEVER TOO YOUNG OR TOO OLD TO LEARN

In these days in young families where both parents are often working and budgets are tight, gardens are something that have to be easy to look after. A lawn for football or cricket, perhaps a few tough shrubs and seasonal flowers in containers. Gravel with a few carefully placed plants is another popular alternative. This doesn't leave much opportunity for children to learn about gardening and find out how seeds grow into vegetables and flowers. A small patch of garden, preferably sunny, is all it needs. A packet of mixed annual flower seeds sown in May means they can be picking flowers for Mum in the summer holidays. They can grow lettuce and radish for a salad and one Gardener's Delight tomato plant in a large pot will provide plenty of small juicy fruits all summer. Grandparents often have more time to encourage youngsters with something like this. Alan Titchmarsh knew that he wanted to be a gardener at an early age and received encouragement from his grandfather. Who knows what latent talent exists in children, unless they have the opportunity to experiment.

Most of us develop more of an interest in gardening as our children grow into teenagers and hopefully stop breaking plants and shrubs with footballs and bikes. We all want to eat more healthily these days, a homegrown tomato has so much more flavour than the half-ripe ones sold in supermarkets. You don't always need a greenhouse, many varieties can be grown outdoors. A small vegetable patch can keep you supplied with lettuce, radish, beetroot and carrots, all easy to grow. Why not plant a container with herbs and keep it near the kitchen door?

As your family grow up and leave home, now is the time to start redesigning your garden. Visit local gardens, perhaps those in the National Gardens Scheme Yellow Book, as the scale is likely to be on a similar scale to your own. You are sure to see ideas to incorporate in your own garden, perhaps a wild flower area, a pond, a mixed border or even that infamous decking. Choose plants that suit your garden and soil, trying to grow plants that like sun in a shady garden, or shrubs that need an acid soil in chalky ground means that they will never thrive. If these ideas leave you feeling that you don't know enough about gardening, why not come along to a meeting of the Broadstone Horticultural Society, nearly a hundred years old, someone can usually help if you have a problem. Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of the month between September and April with outings during the summer. Talks on a wide range of subjects help us learn more about different plants and methods. Subscriptions are £3 a year and with your membership card you can get a discount at several local nurseries. We have two shows each year with classes for flowers, vegetables, floral art, craft, photography and childrens classes. If you are able to read this article in time, this year's summer show is on August 16th in the War Memorial Hall and Community Centre in Tudor Road. This is because our usual venue, the United Reformed Church hall is unavailable due to building work. Please come along and meet us and see that the art of gardening is still going strong.

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Last Updated: 20th February 2004