How I love South London when the sun shines and neighbours do stuff together.
This Sunday I helped plant a community herb garden on an estate near London Bridge.
We have this thing at our church that means we don’t always just meet in a big hall on a Sunday morning to sing songs. Once or twice a month we meet in local neighbourhoods in smaller communities and look for practical ways of expressing love towards the people who live around us. And this Sunday our friends Martin and Naomi and their two gorgeous daughters decided to get us replanting their housing estate’s fledgling herb garden along with their neighbours.
I know very little about gardening, but I can operate a spade, and this is mainly what I did. We set out – Martin & Naomi’s family, Andy and I, and our Turkish friend Baci – and over the course of the next hour several of the neighbours rocked up to help. There was 4 year old Aldous (very enthusiastic with the watering can) who announced the gardening was “more fun than the wii, and not the wee that comes out of your willy”.
Within about an hour and a half we’d taken the plants out, thrown away the ones we weren’t keeping, tilled and aired the soil, replanted old and new herbs, covered the ground with stones (apparently this is important) and made labels out of lolly sticks so we knew what everything was. Then we even found some chipboard to make a sign from, so the neighbours know they can help themselves.
And the sun shone the whole time! And afterwards we had homemade scones and jam!
This is when it’s easy to love South London. We’re already plotting some more rogue gardening, and I’ve spotted some brilliant free gardening lessons at my local garden farm. Genius!
Footnote: It’s less easy to love South London when your neighbours get burgled, which also happened this week.