This is Richard, one of our regulars at Wellbeing in the Garden, a session we run on Thursdays from 10:30am-12pm Richard has had a few difficult months and we have been chatting to him about his interests as he has helped us in the Garden with a few tasks.
It turns out that Richard has a real love and a talent for growing fruit and flowers and has brought us tasty blueberries to sample. During the summer, he was telling us about an unusual kiwi fruit that he was tending to and nurturing...
Despite living with pain, Richard also managed to sort out some of his old tools to donate to the Garden Team and a supply of herb and flower seeds for our group to grow. More recently, he has brought in some planters which we gratefully received and promptly filled with bulbs ready for a spring show!
Back to the kiwis...
During the summer, Richard filled us in with progress of his kiwi vine and we were all intrigued as to how they were doing and whether they would provide a kiwi fruit – of course we were thinking about the more traditional fruit. However, we were pleasantly surprised and a little curious when Richard came to the garden with his prize fruits – the size of a grape!
It's safe to say that we all thought the Tara Vine (Actinidia arguta) kiwi was delicious! Extremely sweet and juicy and quite a find. The Garden Team were all very excited about finding this new fruit and were keen to locate a plant or seeds to try our hand at growing them. It turns out that Richard had kept his vine going for over 20 years, so we thought it might be difficult to match this!
By sharing his love of gardening and nurturing his fruit, Richard has connected with the community he lives in, including his GP surgery and pharmacy – all of whom were impressed to try his Tara Vine kiwis. He even received a note of thanks from his surgery practice manager; such a lovely acknowledgement.
We thought this was such a wonderful example of the fact that even on our darkest days, there is always something that can connect us: nature and nurture are right at our fingertips.
Here at Redcatch Community Garden, we welcome anyone that might be struggling with mental or physical health difficulties. Everyone is welcome to come and have a look around, sit and watch or drink a hot drink: there is always delicious food available and someone to talk to.
The Garden changes almost daily during the year, so there is always something different to observe. You never know, we might in the future be growing the Tara Vine - with Richard’s help and advice of course!