At Betjeman Lodge in Ludlow, a thriving Gardening Club was formed last summer by apartment Owners Gerry and Jose, and Lodge Manager Gill. Throughout the latest lockdown they have been thoroughly enjoying their mission to keep the gardens tidy and full of life.
With the help of external professionals Mike the specialist lawnsman, and Emma the landscaping expert, the club has made great strides in improving the communal gardens for everyone at the Lodge to enjoy. Ringleader Gerry has even drawn up a 5 year plan to cover the intensive planting and maintenance he has in mind for the future.
“The support from Mike and Emma have been incredibly helpful,” says Gerry. “We all work together as a team and very much enjoy making the gardens a place that everyone can take pride in and enjoy. The effect that we are trying to achieve is plenty of colour and low level shrubs that will be attractive but not take over the garden. We have also installed our own compost maker, which will make a big difference towards improving the soil over the coming years.”
“We’re all very passionate about keeping it all tidy, and we are supported by the other Owners who kindly contribute towards our fundraising."
Various tools and supplies have been obtained either for free or at a reduced cost, and a mini-shed known as ‘Gerry's Den’ was gifted to the Lodge by Churchill. Gerry’s eye for a bargain has even earnt him the nickname of ‘Bulb Man’ thanks to his temptation to carry home armfuls of new bulbs every time he sees them on offer.
As well as this touch of humour, Gerry is proud of the wider benefits the Gardening Club brings for his fellow Owners. “In recent times it has become so important for those who live on their own to be able to sit outside and socialise,” he says. “The gardens can be a real lifeline when the restrictions allow people to socialise in pairs or in small socially distanced groups, and we saw this happening almost every day during the warmer months last year.”
The Betjeman Lodge Gardeners are a perfect example of active Owners devoting their energy towards benefiting their community. “It’s good exercise and a good way to enjoy the fresh air,” concludes Gerry. “Above all it’s just good fun!”