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Relationships between students and green-fingered neighbours have blossomed after they dug deep to bring an unloved garden back to life.
A Growing Together scheme has run in Bath for some months with the aim of turning over uncared for gardens at shared student houses to neighbours for growing vegetables.
The first garden to flourish under the scheme is producing runner beans, onions, carrots and potatoes.
The garden is tended by University of Bath postgraduate researcher Carly Whittaker and neighbour Pat Wallis who hopes to fill a monthly veg box to thank the students who are lending her their garden.
Pat Wallis said: “My own garden is ornamental so I thought it would be great to have a go at growing veg. I can walk to the garden and Carly and I have spent a lot of time digging and tidying up the space.
“The biggest challenge was watering, but the landlord has kindly installed an outside tap. I hadn’t had any contact with students before, but the lads in the house are a really nice group.”
Carly teamed with fellow research student Paul Griffin to clear and plant another garden and hopes that more residents will come forward to join the budding gardeners.
She is also working with resident June Player and Bath Spa Business & Management student Charlotte Braund, on a scheme to clear up Oldfield Park Station.
Anna Boneham, Volunteer Coordinator for the University of Bath Students’ Union said: “This innovative project is a great way of bringing students and permanent residents closer together while reinvigorating unused student gardens as allotment spaces.”
The Growing Together scheme has the backing of Bath University and Bath Spa University as well as local councils and other organisations.
Carly said: “I got involved because I was looking for somewhere to grow vegetables. It’s really satisfying to turn a neglected garden into a mini allotment and to bring together students and local residents.”
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