SEEDS of hope have been sown by green-fingered residents in Portsmouth after they entered a nationwide gardening competition.
Members of the Southsea Greenhouse have put their names in the hat for this year’s Cultivation Street.
Something like a community garden is really valuable in tackling isolationSue Stokes, founder of Southsea Greenhouse
The contest is led by celebrity gardener David Domoney and could see the winners bagging themselves £10,000.
And the prospects are looking good for Southsea Greenhouse, after event organisers urged them to enter their community garden at Canoe Lake into the competition.
But founder of the greenhouse Sue Stokes said it was not about winning the money.
‘A little bit of money would be nice but for us it’s about celebrating gardening in Portsmouth,’ she said.
The Southsea Greenhouse runs a number of community ventures in the city.
Canoe Lake is one of the latest.
Supported by a team of 25 volunteers, the garden offers a space for people to enjoy horticulture.
Visitors can come and grow their own fruit and vegetables, which can then be shared in the community.
But Mrs Stokes says the area is worth much more than that.
She added the open space provided a relaxing area for elderly people, the disabled, or those recovering from hospital treatments.
‘In a city this size there can be thousands and thousands of people,’ she said. ‘But if you don’t have a neighbour or friend looking out for you is can be very lonely.
‘Something like a community garden is really valuable in tackling isolation. That’s why we can’t lose them.’
The group recently launched the Adopt a Bed scheme, which gives residents and organisations the chance to tend to their own patch of land near Greens Café.
And this month Southsea Greenhouse is launching a new skills shop at Canoe Lake.
People of all ages can learn how craft skills and how to make scarecrows.
For details on either scheme, call 07530 913211 or see southseagreenhouse.co.uk