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UPDATE! I've been talking to some others who are looking to help gardeners on the levels - we are going to get a facebook page set up which could be a central point for coordinating who could grow what, who needs what, how we can get it there....as well as being full of advice for how to cope with a garden that has spent the last five weeks under three feet of foul water. Will let you all know when that works.
In the meantime, if anyone is willing to start sowing extra seeds this spring to share with devastated flooded gardens, please please do - and let us know what it is that you might be able to offer!
I can offer what I mentioned above, but facebook sounds a bit scary; I always thought it was where young people posted photos of themselves throwing up in the gutter, but I have been told that it is not all like that. Perhaps I just have to bite on the bullet and join.
It is great that other people have thought of this too. Have these gardens been under what is technically known as 'foul water' not 'grey water' or 'sea water'?
Hi Artjak - facebook is good, honest! It has been the main way that the Somerset communities have coordinated their efforts, asking for and giving help. But don't worry if you are not on it, I am very happy to act as go-between and post on behalf of anyone on this message board.
Yes, the water is quite foul. It is 'only' river water and rain flood but there is all sorts of evil stuff in it - chemical stores have been flooded, slurry pits are underwater, not to mention all the animals that didn't make it to dry land in time. It is so, so pretty; but when the water recedes it is going to be pretty horrid. Bad enough in gardens - unspeakably bad in houses. It is going to be desperately depressing for everyone whose homes have been ruined; but perhaps our flowers and plants can cheer them up a bit!
What a lovely idea using FB - it would be nice to know what kind of plants people would want.
As any one thought about Gardeners World show in June for a drop off point for plants for the flood victims.
That is a really good idea if GW would be willing to let us have a little space!
I would love to help out.
however I do have a question if I grow a lot of seeding's/ plants for you how would these get to the gardens your hoping to brighten up.
I would have thought it would cost you and us a lot in time and money to disperse these plant's I don't mind even coming down with a trailer and deliver my plants but where will I be going. I don't fancy driving 10hrs down to Cornwall and back with a trailer load of plants
Here in Cornwall I don't think we need help re gardens etc. Down here the situation in Somerset has caught the imagination. We are helping with boxes of pasties and donations.
Re the forum, seeds aren't really something I do but cuttings yes. However, I think we need to be sensible, practical and realistic. Affected gardens won't reveal losses until the spring. People need to say what plants they then need. During the summer, even the autumn, we can provide plant material direct to individual posters. Rooted cuttings, for example, can be posted cheaply. Lorry loads of plants sounds like overkill. This is the way I am happy to help
Hi Clueless, hi passionate!
Great idea about GW, passionate. Let's see if we can make that happen!
Clueless, you are right that logistics will be the issue but I think we can probably figure out a relay of drop-off points. On a small scale, I'm frequently up and down the M4 and M5, and others have offered to cover M3. On a medium scale, perhaps some of us who have bigger vehicles might help out for a 'leg' of the journey? On a bigger scale, I was wondering if we could get one of the garden centre chains to help out with drop-off / transport points. Or local garden clubs? Or the Young Farmers? At the Somerset end there are distribution centres set up already for various donations, and a brilliant and well-organised network of volunteers to coordinate things. So....a challenge but I'm sure we can think of some ways around it.
Thanks for being willing to help....it would be great if we could get this off the ground!
Verdun - very practical ideas
Really good idea, Verdun!
I think the facebook page will help a lot. I'm hoping it is going to be hosted by garden advice website, and will also include information about what to do with a flooded garden (eg times of year) so it feels like we'll have all the information we need in one place.
I'm afraid that for most of the gardens we're talking about there won't be a need to wait for spring to assess the losses. Most (in Somerset at least) are total wipe-outs - either been under two feet of (foul) water for four or five weeks, or bulldozed to create flood defenses. I suspect most of what they will need will be for pots / tubs / planters; the soil itself will take longer to recover. It is horrid down there!
The original idea came from hearing on Radio 4 that farmers in Yorkshire were taking cattle feed down to the farms in Somerset, and EVEN TESCO had offered a truck to help! So I think the idea of getting commercial companies involved as their contribution, and also Verdun's suggestion that rooted cuttings can be posted, covers all the bases.
I've been out and about getting nearly free plant pots this a.m.
Rosie, I will also keep bumping this thread up and we are relying on you to tell us what people need.
I know that work is going on at the Somerset end to get a system set up - I'll keep bumping this too, and keep everyone informed.
So far, it's still the pasty support down here. At the foodbank on Tuesday I will ask about ways we can possibly help. I feel chuffed that so many here are concerned like this
I would love to help. I have loads of plants needing division, and have already agreed to send some to a forum member who will arrange courier collection at a cost of around £10 per 15 kg parcel. (the max weight for 1 parcel). I will rinse most of the soil off and send bare-rooted, as that way I can pack more in.
This got me to wondering whether a courier company may be persuaded to help, as Artjak said Tesco did. Especially for those of us in Scotland,and far away, and others without easy access to motorways, or without transport. I wouldn't mind sending a couple of parcels, but couldn't afford to send many.
I will also have far too many veg plants (hopefully), and I usually give them to the school, friends and to charities to sell, so it would be no prob to spare them for this cause.
People will need an escape from the huge job of cleaning and sorting thier houses, and I'm sure that this forum has proved that a garden can cheer us up in the worst of times. I would be devastated to lose mine, and would be really cheered by reading this thread and knowing that people empathise to the point of being willing to give their time and effort to help restore it. Any help would be welcome, so mine is here, waiting for the 'Good to Go' signal. Plants will be waiting.
A lovely thought, and thread. What a great forum full of caring people this is. It is inspiring, and pushes me to be a better person. All of you have helped me and others through bad times, so if this is a way for me to say thank you, and to help in my turn, count me in.
Brilliant, gardenjeanie, thank you! I'm going to try to entice some national carriers to help us out. Also I know that the Cadbury Garden Centre in Bristol is already helping as a distribution depot for (general) donations, so they might be able to be the heart of a nationwide network of drop-off centres.... (well if you don't ask you don't get). I'll come back to this message board as soon as we know more. In the meantime thanks everyone for keeping this bumped up!