garden and gardening - feature - licence free image by pixnio

When all around is madness, go down to the garden and get your hands dirty.

That is a prescription that millions have turned to in this time of anxiety, uncertainty and isolation.

If there’s one thing that brings tranquillity and peace of mind to a troubled soul, one thing that gives hope and a sense of positivity, a vision of a brighter future – it’s got to be gardening.

It’s quite literally an NHS prescription to help recovery from illness.

Nantwich has flower power in its heart and soul.

It’s famous for its spring bulbs, its stunning displays of cherry tree blossom, its colourful hanging baskets, its flower filled borders, its community orchard by the river, its dazzling garden station, its pocket woodlands buzzing with wildlife interlinked by ribbons of green space.

The town is packed with gardeners lovingly tending their own front gardens, their back yards and their allotments.

Nantwich in Bloom crystalises this spirit.

The community group has won award after award – making the town a kaleidoscope of colour.

Reaseheath College is busy breeding the next green fingered generation.

The National Trust, guardian of some of the nation’s most valuable historic gardens, sends a hand-picked bunch to Nantwich to learn their art.

Those who have passed through it polytunnels are now in charge of the cream of English country house vistas.

Outstanding individuals who have helped shape this garden town.

One man has been a human growth hormone – A Mr “Auxin”.

Everything Doug Butterill touches has turned green, from the creation of Nantwich lake from a slat marsh to the wonderful wooded wildlife rich nook known as Coed Wen.

He is a living monument to nature and nurture, a venerable Nantwich Oak.

He, like hundreds of other townsfolk, found freedom, a sense of purpose and community on the allotment.

Nantwich is lucky to have a selection of superb allotments where people with a passion for the soil can dig for victory.

There was a time no so long ago when allotments were seen as the reserve of knotty old chaps in cloth caps competing to see who could grow the biggest cabbage.

In the 80s and 90s allotments were seen a symbol of a bygone age.

We didn’t need the soil. Flowers were for failures! And the allotments withered full of weeds and developers eyed them up for quick killing.

What a different a few decades makes.

Now everyone is talking about David Attenborough and his Blue Planet, climate change, plastic pollution and the death of our wildlife.

Covid is another signal that messing with nature has consequences.

Finally, we might be realising that we have limits and that growth is more than economic.

And our allotments are blossoming. There are waiting lists to get a sacred plot of earth.

Down on Brookfield and Welshman’s Lane, a motley crew are coming together to grow a brighter future.

Entrepreneurs and carers, factory workers and engineers, lawyers and lecturers, Dabbers and Scousers, Southerners and Scots, Europeans, Africans and Asians – we are all sharing deeper roots and nourishing a more profound understanding of our common interests.

Allotments are the future.

And there’s no better place to join the allotment movement than Nantwich.

If you want to get growing and fancy an allotment get in touch with Nantwich Town Council.

(Words by Jeremy Herbert, licence free image by pixnio)

One Comment

  1. Bill Roberts says:

    Please give this man a regular column; he writes beautifully and inspiringly.

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