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Quite a while ago, certainty in the age of steam railways, you would find that the local station master would spend a great deal of time keeping THEIR station looking beautiful which was great for him and all the passengers. The slightly older citizens of this country will remember Doctor Beeching who back in 1963 was responsible for the axing of 1000’s of miles of track and 3000 stations were closed changing this way of life forever. Thankfully Ashford in Middlesex kept their station.
Move forward to the 21st century where everybody is rushing about you and you don’t see this hardly at all. However, another group of workers who still take pride in their surroundings are lock keepers on this country’s extensive canal network. When they get a spare moment they get their spades, hoes and shears out of their sheds (one of the less common sizes is 11×5) and work away banishing weeds and cherishing flowers and delightful plants. If you can take a look at these beautiful places and even in the depth of winter these gardens are still delightful.
We British love our gardens and so do the church wardens who cherish their gardens keeping them looking superb. Often working from only a 11 x 5 garden shed or hut they compete in the biannual Best Kept Church Garden competition in various different categories depending on the size of church yard.
Just recently St Peters Parish Church in Bengeworth, close to Evesham in Worcestershire, won 1st prize for the under ‘one acre’ category. This was a superb achievement as the grounds had been left derelict and forgotten about for a long time. Transforming this garden at the Victorian church was a labour of love for Pat Coombes, who had guided this garden restoration project, with her band of willing local volunteers.
She said that over a period of ten years they had been working on the garden and slowly transformed the garden to the show piece it is now. She and her volunteers were very proud of their work converting the abandoned land into an award winning garden. They also had a great of fun and pleasure in creating this garden which they share with all the church goers and the local villagers.
This just goes to show that even the most unkempt garden can be transformed, not necessarily into an award winning garden but certainly to a pleasurable open space where your garden building can be situated or maybe a 11×5 shed – cum – summerhouse for sitting out for relaxing. Away from the phone and the hustle and bustle of daily life our humble British garden can give us all a boost to our mental well-being and health in general.
Have you converted a disused garden? Have you entered any gardening competitions? Would you consider a replacement timber shed as part of the garden project?