For as long as humans have built dwellings, they have tended the land. The British in particular have a passionate love of gardens. The pandemic has given renewed focus on the role gardening plays in giving people purpose and joy in their surroundings. Why should the military family miss out on this opportunity to tend their wellbeing as well as their surroundings, taken for granted by civilians?
They shouldn’t, I hear you cry! So, I have set up DE Gardeners to encourage people not only to plant up their own SFA gardens but also to volunteer to maintain the gardens of empty SFA so that we sustain the movement. Most of these early days will be spent working with DIO to develop local strategies with contractors to manage their maintenance commitments without destroying gardening efforts….keep in touch with your local agreements through your Facebook groups and I will keep lobbying at the highest levels I can reach!
Importantly, DE Gardeners is not alone in this space! In 2020 Blooms from the Base was set up by Sarah-Jane Hulyer to create floral bouquets to cheer up spouses of deployed personnel. She paints an idyllic picture of children running around between the carefully laid out community flower beds whilst grown ups chat and weed. Brilliantly, she has also launched a podcast with fellow gardener Nicole Laird to encourage new gardeners to just get stuck in!