Planting the seeds of good health
Across our communities in Wales more residents are sowing and reaping the benefits of good mental and physical health through their gardens.
From Western Court, Bridgend to Clos Meithrin, Prestatyn, there are a number of gardens where residents get together to grow. One of the most well-established is the St Mellons Community Garden in Cardiff, where Wales & West
Housing residents and their neighbours get together every Friday afternoon, and have done so for almost a decade.
Resident gardener Glenys Vandervolk is one of the original members. She regularly shares her gardening knowledge with existing club members and welcomes newcomers with a cuppa and a smile. The gardeners grow fruit trees, vegetables and flowers.
Glenys says: “We all look forward to working in the garden every week. I make a list of the jobs that need to be done and we share the tasks between the members depending on their abilities.
“Some of our members are recovering from serious illnesses, and are limited in what they can do, others come with their support workers or carers.
“We all have a part to play – that’s what makes our club so important.
Resident gardener Glenys Vandervolk
“We discuss what we would like to grow, then plant the seeds. Over the years we’ve grown melons, monkey nuts and butternut squash. We like to grow the fruit and veg that are expensive to buy.
“When we first started the garden we didn’t know one another, but we have made friends and look forward to getting together every week.
Another regular member said: “When I first came to the garden I was very anxious. I was petrified of walking into the garden and meeting new people. But they gave me time to find my confidence. Now I love being here, I have made so friends and feel part of a great growing community.”
“We all have a part to play – that’s what makes our club so important.”
Did you know…
The number of calories burnt from 30 minutes of gardening compares with playing badminton, volleyball or practising yoga.