Learning to Thrive!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending a fantastic training course run by Thrive called ‘Step into social and therapeutic horticulture’. If you have not heard of Thrive before then in a nutshell they are a leading UK charity who use the medium of social and therapeutic horticulture to bring about positive changes in the lives of people living with disabilities or ill health, or who are isolated, disadvantaged or vulnerable. If it is an area of interest to you then I would really recommend the course as the guys at Thrive are extremely knowledgeable and hugely inspiring.

On the course I learnt just how difficult it can be to ‘pot on’ when you only have the use of one hand as well as answering questions such as “how can you ensure that you only pull out weed seedling in a newly planted carrot bed if you are partially sighted?” Think about it… what would you advise?

The training centre that I visited is in Battersea Park which is situated on the banks of the River Thames and is a really pretty place to visit… they even have a zoo!

Thrive maintain three public gardens in the park and in the main garden it is also possible to purchase plants for a small price which is really handy when you live in central London and garden centres are in short supply! The Old English Garden contained the biggest wisteria plant I think I’ve ever seen so I’ll definitely go back in the summer to see it in bloom. If you’ve never been to Battersea Park it’s well worth a trip. The place is literally buzzing with people walking dogs or working out.. or like me, just meandering around the many paths getting lost in the wild beauty.

Here is Thrive’s website if you’d like to know more about their fantastic work. They have lots of downloadable self-help guides and recommendations for adaptable gardening tools if you or someone you know needs a little extra help maintaining independence while doing something they love.

Oh and if you haven’t planted any sweetpeas yet but would like to, there is still time to purchase and plant some ‘Eleanore Udall’ as 100% of the money generated goes to Thrive’s great work.

As for the carrot conundrum, the best way would be to sow your seeds into sterile soil. That way the carrots will appear first and grow bigger before any weed seedlings therefore making it easier to feel, identify and discard the smaller weeds!

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