by A. Rose
We could make a comedy out of it…. but WW3 nearly started in Wellington Kitchen Garden recently. As spring sprung and lockdown obliged us to HOME STAY instead of going out…. The people who’d grown things in the space beside the Crypt Café windows last season, were slowly awakening from their winter hibernation and thinking about planting things again. They’d maintained contact throughout the winter by having a lunch together once a month in the Crypt Café.
Seed potatoes had been purchased from the Glasgow Allotments organisation – first earlies and second earlies.
First earlies were planted speedily by one of the Crypt Café team who is keen on gardening. Then the virus struck and everything had to close down including the church building.
The Woodlands Community Trust gardener who would have guided us with a tutorial of what to do and how to do it, was no longer able to help us. We were on our own!
Then it dawned on some of us that we were in the ‘vulnerable’ group required to HOME STAY!
But there were some younger people who could, correctly, go out for an hour and work on an allotment within walking distance of home, as long as ‘social distancing’ was observed and anything handled was sanitised.
The Mission and Outreach convener advised the gardeners to check with the Church of Scotland lawyers to make sure we were observing the regulations properly. This was done and the speedy reply from the legal experts confirmed and expanded the situation.
While that was ongoing, someone, unknown, dug up plants that a young family had carefully nurtured over the winter.
‘How can we grow the food we planned to have, now?’ was their plea. The plot thickened….
One of the regular gardeners was willing to plant the second early seed potatoes in the plot of one of the ‘older’ people not permitted to do this personally. But how to get a bag of tatties from A to B when you’re not allowed out? Necessity is the mother of invention. So a young athletic type was stopped in his tracks, asked to re-route his daily run, carry the bag of seed potatoes with him and deposit them in the garden in a well- concealed spot.
On arrival at the grounds he found the gates taped up and barricades preventing him getting in at the front. However Southpark Avenue provided an acceptable entrance and the bag was duly hidden and photographed in situ.
The young gardener found them and planted them expertly according to the video they’d watched.
By this time, there had been no rain for ages. The water barrel was getting low in water. Entry to the building is prohibited. While some prayed for rain, a resident in the church flat offered to help. Whether the water is lowered from an upper window in a bucket, this writer knows not!
But the seed potatoes were duly watered and the other things already planted seem to be flourishing.
This is all happening behind the wooden screen half way up the Crypt door side of the building.
The school children who used to come through the broken fence around there using the Wellington grounds as a short cut, are not in school anymore, leaving the flower beds in immaculate peace with no footprints to be seen.
The rough sleepers taking shelter in another spot around the building, seem to have wandered off. Hopefully they’ve found a room with the the help of the agencies still operating to help the homeless under the emergency strategies.
And the Wellington Team who have responsibilities for the building are still able to keep an eye on the place and repair any broken windows or such – occurrences quickly.
We might even have the front doors painted in this STAY HOME time. A painter working at the doors will be socially isolated big style!
But the intrepid gardeners are not the only signs of life outside Wellington now.
Early birds go for worms and some go for leaves.
The resident squirrel is brazenly in charge of the car park and its beautiful tree.
Most enticing of all – the host of golden daffodils are fluttering in the breeze at the front of the Church.
Yes! Where there is life, there is always hope. And peace reigns in the garden.
One is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.