Gardening as social glue? Britain in Bloom

It is a fact that in our society neighbours seldom talk to each other.  You can live for years next door to someone and never even know their name.  A lack of community can lead to violence, alienation and depression.

So it is a big ask to suggest that gardening can be the catalyst that brings communities together and lifts individuals out of loneliness and sadness.

But that is exactly what the RHS initiative “Britain in Bloom” claims to achieve.

This morning, BBC Breakfast featured a back alleyway in Cecil Street, Wavertree, Liverpool, that has been transformed from waste dump to an urban oasis, a wonderful avenue of plants, trees and flowers, all created and maintained by local people.

Two grandmothers started collecting bathtubs to fill with bedding plants and four years later the neglected alley has, not only plants but chickens, fruit and vegetables, chairs and tables to relax in after a hard day’s gardening, and a children’s play area.

The garden has won a clutch of awards from the Royal Horticultural Society and Britain in Bloom, but most importantly, it has brought the whole community together.  Neighbours now talk to each other.