I never really understood people who raved about the joys of gardening. I just didn’t get it. What on earth could be fun about digging holes and pulling up weeds? The thought of reading a gardening magazine or watching Gardeners’ World was just unthinkable to me! That was until two years ago when I finally got a house of my own, complete with garden.
These past two years I have grown to love and really appreciate my garden. Slowly, I am getting to know its intricacies, and the habits of the creatures that visit it. The more I learn about it, the more respect I have for it.
Flowers that I have planted rather randomly have done their best to survive for me, even when I have not necessarily planted them in what would be their chosen locations. My big learning this year was when I bought myself a vegtrug and tried my hand at planting vegetables for the first time. I rather enthusiastically planted beetroot, carrots, cauliflower and spinach and completely overcrowded them… it was not a successful harvest.
Recognising my limited knowledge of gardening, when I got the opportunity to volunteer for Headway Cambridgeshire and take part in a new gardening course at Thorpe Hall Hospice I jumped at the chance. Not only would I get the chance to learn various aspects of gardening from an experienced gardener and horticultural therapist but I would also learn how to support people with a disability to garden.
I will be learning alongside Headway clients who have experienced a brain injury, helping them to build their confidence and horticulture skills and already I can sense that this six month course is going to teach me way more than just how to sow a seed, or propagate a plant.
I have so much to learn and I feel sure my fellow volunteers will have plenty to teach me. I love gardening, but gardening with other like -minded people – who I feel pretty sure will all become friends by the end of the course – makes it all the more fun!
Kari-ann Whitbread is the Fundraising Manager at Peterborough Environment City Trust.