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Garden sharing takes off in Melksham!

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MELKSHAM people who don’t have gardens can now be paired up with residents who have space in their gardens to share.  

Joyce Vehearly speaks to Ian and Gill Cardy about sharing their garden with Miriam Zaccarelli

As winter is typically quiet in the garden, it is a great time to join a garden sharing scheme to plan and prepare for spring.  

Lend and Tend is a national scheme set up by Joyce Vehearly, and supported by Melksham Town Council. The scheme is about more than gardening, as it also encourages social connection and environmental responsibility. Their ethos is ‘We can be kind to nature and the neighbourhood when we share.’ 

A recent video by Lend and Tend features a garden sharing arrangement set up in Melksham by Ian and Gill Cardy. Presented by Joyce, the video highlights the benefits of garden sharing for both lenders and tenders of the garden. Joyce says, “It’s pretty much win-win on both parts. The garden owners and the garden tenders, it’s really positive.” 

Ian said, “I had difficulty maintaining the garden until somebody suggested we share the garden. It’s been very successful. The garden is looking very much better, it’s producing a lot more stuff than when it was looked after by myself. It’s a great example of how you can share your garden. We share the produce, we have tips, we share seeds, tools, it’s very successful.” Gill said, “We’ve been so lucky, we have this large garden to look after, but it also looks after us.” 

Miriam Zaccarelli, one of the tenders in Ian and Gill’s garden, said, “I found that digging and getting dirty and producing something with a lasting result was so important for me, I felt really calm. And you learn patience – you put something in the ground, and you have hopefulness and optimism because you know spring will come. It got me through a dark, anxious winter, knowing I had this little space, knowing sunshine and colours were coming. It’s been such a good journey for my own mental wellbeing, so I’m really grateful.” 

As well as sharing their garden, Ian and Gill also devote a large amount of space to wildlife, as part of the National Blue Heart scheme. With no chemicals, areas are left so wild flowers can grow, encouraging pollinators and wildlife that are essential for our ecosystems. 

For more information on garden sharing, and to watch the video, go to www.lendandtend.com or call Melksham Town Council on 01225 704187 for help to get signed up. 

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