I have to declare an interest. NG9 is my neighbourhood. Wilmot Lane is an occasional walking route for me and my dog. Not the most salubrious street in the area nor one you’d necessarily go out of your way to visit.
I first spotted tyre planters on this otherwise uninspiring industrial looking lane in August last year. I was intrigued and delighted that an unseen hand cared enough to brighten up this neglected no man’s land. Suburban greening by an unknown plant fairy!
In the city Articulture have been urban greening for some time with support from the Creative Quarter and the draw of The Lace Market’s shops and cafes. A road to nowhere at the back end of Beeston (next to the NET Logistics Centre where the most colourful sight is tram workers in High Vis) is a slightly different proposition. It’s a definite candidate for the Royal Horticultural Society’s Greening Grey Britain Campaign.
This year the plant fairy waved her* wand wider and the fence is growing greener. Can planters appeared with an invitation to join in #WeDigNG9 how could I refuse! Back in April my recipe repertoire was determined by the use of something out of a can (with fresh stuff too of course, think chilli con carne, stews with chick peas, lentils, butter beans…) just so I’d have something to plant in!
I have enjoyed the challenge of gardening in a tiny container. My first batch of cans had rocket seeds and runner beans. The rocket was somewhat slower to germinate than the name suggests and the first batch of bean seeds didn’t even manage to break into a walk. Second planting beans are now looking leafy and happy. Alpine strawberries suffered an attack of snails. Ferns ready to go, not known as snail fodder. If you happen to be in NG9 take a look! If you’ve got a can to add even better. A little bit of growing definitely lifts the spirits and a creative intervention in an otherwise dull place hopefully raises a smile or two. Praise the plant fairy!
WeDigNG9’s Facebook page has more pictures and news on the plot.
*The plant fairy was outed in The Beestonian Magazine so I know her gender!