Gardeners wanted to share plots in central Borders

Pauline Langworth

Pauline Langworth

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GARDENS are up for grabs thanks to an initiative by an environmental community group.

A Greener Melrose set up the garden share opportunity last spring, hoping to match unused land to keen but land-less gardeners and more experienced horticulturists with beginners.

Co-ordinator Pauline Langworth said: “There are people offering ground and people who desperately need ground. We see this as a win, win situation; it’s just being able to match them up and it’s not as quick a process as in the city.”

So far, she’s helped an allotment gardener find a plot closer to home and a gardener who had moved into the area find a new patch.

She has also found a plot for Earlston Orchard Town group to grow root stock for the community’s orchard project. “It’s really great to find them some workable land and it’s nice to make partners with them,” she said.

She has 13 gardens of varying sizes on the group’s databasein the TD6 area covering Melrose, Earlston, Newton, Drygrange and St Boswells .

The owners involved realise the share is not a garden maintenance service, she said, and each share only goes ahead if both parties are happy. And beginners can learn from the land owners or from other Garden Share group members.

She added: “There are the health benefits and enjoyment of growing your own food, you save food miles and you can swap local produce with other gardeners.”

A Greener Melrose hopes to extend the project further, taking on more gardens in the TD6 area, and encouraging similar ventures in other parts of the Borders.

For more information email greenermelrose@live.co.uk