Will our newfound love of gardening stay after lockdown?


Lifestyle houses and gardens

Colin Ainsworth, newly established president of The Caley – the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society – said the organization is keen to continue to fly the flag of Scottish gardening.

Thursday, March 18, 2021, 7:00 a.m.

“/>The Caley President Colin Ainsworth says the organization will work hard to ensure the country's love of gardening continues after the lockdownThe Caley President Colin Ainsworth says the organization will work hard to ensure the country’s love of gardening continues after the lockdown

Data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) last year showed that many in Scotland were blessed with larger private gardens to dig and dig as much as they wanted, while those in urban parishes and towns did so were tasked with bringing them outside into overcrowded apartment buildings and high-rise buildings.

Areas in Leith such as Great Junction Street and Easter Road to Hawkhill Avenue have 36% and 34% of homes with no private or shared gardens, respectively. While houses and apartments in south Edinburgh have easy access to large green spaces like Meadows and Holyrood Park, 61% of apartments in Canongate, Southside and Dumbiedykes do not have private or shared gardens.

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In contrast, only 4% of the houses in Corstorphine, across Edinburgh, do not have a private or shared garden.

The numbers shed a harsh light on the housing and life inequalities in Scottish society during the pandemic, as those fortunate enough to have access to their own private or shared gardens became the envy of those who moved on local parks and green spaces were dependent on when homes became cribs, schools, offices, and even restaurants.

“I think gardening has been a lifeline for a lot of people, to be perfectly honest,” said Ainsworth. “I’m very happy because I have a garden and access to a lot, but if you’re stuck against the walls in a 14-story apartment with kids, I imagine it would be a whole different story. So I think plants can actually offer some comfort – not just by looking at them, but also by doing things with them. ”

Earlier this year, the Gaia Foundation found organic seed sales increased 600% during the UK lockdown as demand for growth in homes, interiors and gardens soared to new heights. Likewise, community gardens have become increasingly popular across Scotland as increasing food poverty during the pandemic led many to reclaim derelict land and try to grow their own produce.

“I actually think whether you’re gardening indoors or outdoors, it’s great to be doing something physical that is also very useful. It’s not just about running with the peloton or just running the hell out of it, you actually get some exercise, you’re outside, and you’re actually doing something that you will benefit from in some way – whether it be vegetables or making some flowers .

“You can enjoy the therapeutic quality of watching a sunflower or plant grow, you know it can be that simple.”

The Caley’s mission is to keep a new, thriving generation of gardeners digging to ensure our renewed appreciation for nature survives the lockdown.

Ainsworth added, “As an organization, we want to continue this and make sure these huge peaks of rabid excitement don’t wane. So when we get out of it on the other end of it, we’ll start organizing things in Saughton Park and online. We want to provide people with information so that they can involve as many people as possible. “