Shropshire gardening group continues to grow after taking root online

A Shropshire gardening group offering free advice has proven a lifeline for green-fingered residents who have been keeping busy throughout the lockdown period.

Theresa Welch, of the Homegrown Gardening Group, which is blossoming
Theresa Welch, of the Homegrown Gardening Group, which is blossoming

Bridgnorth-based Homegrown Gardening Group started in March 2019 with just six members and now boasts 76 horticulturists who share advice on growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers.

Launched by Theresa Welch, the group had been meeting once a month at venues across the county before taking its activity online due to the pandemic.

Theresa, 49, of St Leonard's Close, said: "I had an allotment for five or six years, and I loved how people would share their knowledge. You would learn how to do various things, share seeds, plants – the camaraderie and community spirit was really lovely.

"Once I set up my own garden, I was growing food the same way but really missed having people to share those extra tomatoes with."

Theresa Welch, of Homegrown Gardening Group in Bridgnorth

With the help of fellow organisers Paul Nelson and Marcia Rathbone, Theresa and the group have taken part in numerous gardening-based activities and events.

The group also proved worthy throughout lockdown, with members able to share tips, tricks and gardening utensils which may otherwise have been hard to find.

"Since Covid, we've had to cancel our face-to-face meets and move everything online," added Theresa.

"We've been doing all types of information sessions where myself and others are teaching people how to do different things.

Theresa Welch launched Homegrown Gardening Group in Bridgnorth in March 2019

"When lockdown first happened, we were struggling to get seeds and compost, so it was helpful to be connected to others – we've always done seed swaps among ourselves so that really helped when you couldn't find things in the shops.

"We don't charge for anything. All the gardening knowledge I've gained has been freely given to me over the years by volunteers, allotment holders and fellow gardeners.

"It was important to me to keep this information available to all for free through the group."

Theresa Welch launched Homegrown Gardening Group in Bridgnorth in March 2019

Theresa added: "We all garden at home as there's a long waiting list for allotments. We've demonstrated anyone can grow vegetables, even carrots and tomatoes in pots.

"Gardening has so many benefits. It positively affects your physical wellbeing as well as your mental wellbeing, which has been particularly important throughout lockdown."

For more information, contact the group at homegrownmarketgarden.co.uk/pages/homegrown-gardening-group or email homegrownmarketgarden@gmail.com

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