Wow, what a fantastic start to a new series of workshops with the Prospects Project, based at the Welcome Centre in Seven Kings – I wrote about them towards the end of last year when I was just about to tackle their very neglected allotment, plot 49.

So, just one session in and I came away absolutely thrilled by the enthusiastic response of the group, who are great and filled with optimism about bringing their neglected allotment space back to life. This week we handled or should I say fondled, what I call the ‘gardening porn’ which is of course, the seasonal seeds and plants catalogues that deluge my door mat each and every year, and all the happier I am for them! The pleasure of rifling through their pages is too much for me to describe here and I know that those of you who share this joy, will know exactly what I am talking about!

This week we put pencil to paper and started planning out just what it is we all want to grow and as the plot is so large, all be it a standard sized allotment of 250 square metres.. it’s a huge undertaking for a small group of people, who may not be able to give the whole allotment their attention as frequently as it might need. So, I thought it best to divvy up the plot into ten mini-plots and encourage each person to take ownership of it. Everyone is happy with this idea (hoorah) so we got stuck in to putting a list together of the fruits and vegetables we’d like to grow.

It was wonderful for me to see everyone’s genuine interest and have a go and putting a drawing to paper.. despite not having drawn a single solitary image for many years, one participant said she hadn’t done anything like this since she was at school. Guessing she’s about the same age as me.. that really was saying something and that statement touched me very deeply, so much so, that I am writing here now.

Whilst we were losing ourselves in the melody of colouring in our drawings of vegetables we talked and shared ideas on what to grow and expressions of new beginnings and healthy eating. One participant couldn’t wait to start eating the produce we hope to grow and we had the idea, if we’re successful to use our produce in the Welcome Centre’s kitchen and share cooking and food.. we may be getting ahead of ourselves a little, seeing as we haven’t actually sown any seeds yet, but, it’s still early days and we most definitely now have a plan of action.

In the background there are also plans afoot to have the neglected ground cleared by a grounds clearance company and then we can lay the much appreciated and valued garden weed control fabric, that was so generously donated to us by DIYmatters.co.uk. The plan is to preserve the weeded and dug over soil until we are ready to plant out our young seedlings.

.. more next week. Until then, happy gardening!