Get together to grow together

Posted on 20/01/2013 by


Edinburgh Garden Partners is a local charity that works with all Edinburgh City residents and aims help regardless of difficulties with health or wealth. They help those who have gardens but are unable to maintain them; the most common reasons are poor physical/mental health, struggling for time and lack of knowledge.  The charity supports individuals by helping them to find a volunteer gardener from the bank of volunteers it recruits.

Any matches made are mutually beneficial, the garden owner receives help to keep the garden tidy and attractive and the volunteer is allocated a place in the garden where they can grow vegetables and/or soft fruits. Both people involved in the match often share the fresh food and in time they will often begin to share good times together in and around the garden.

These matches have all sorts of benefits for those involved, such as increasing fitness, gaining gardening knowledge, decreasing social isolation and better connecting communities.

Edinburgh Garden Partners have many years of matching and supporting Edinburgh residents in garden sharing, they’ve shown it to be safe and an enjoyable way to grow food and maintain the garden.

Nancy is 89 years old and her husband 2 years her senior, their house has a large garden that was once full of flowers and vegetables. Five years ago they were forced to turf over the veg patch and scale back what flowers they were growing due to loss of mobility. For Nancy, this was a sad moment as she enjoyed fresh food and was proud of her productive garden.

It was a relief when she found that there was a specific service that could help. Edinburgh Garden Partners matched her with Abby, a woman who lived only a 15-minute walk away. Abby has been on the allotment waiting list for the last 3 years and she was keen to get started as soon as possible.

Now, Nancy and Abby often chat out in the garden and talk about how the crops are doing. Abby gets all the practical experience she needs to learn how to grow her own food and is confident that when she does get an allotment she’ll know where to start. For Nancy, she now has the joy of seeing her garden as she likes and enjoying the fresh tomatoes from it once again.

The charity currently has four partnerships in this part of Edinburgh and there are others looking for both gardens to grow in and for volunteers to help. If you’d like to volunteer your garden or your time then please call 0131 220 5067 or email

Edinburgh Garden Partners

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