Monday, 16 June 2008

The Old Garden Key

When we first moved to this flat, the estate agent said there were no keys to the shared backgreen gardens behind the tenement building. As our flat doesn't have windows overlooking the back, for years we didn't even see the back garden! It could have been a derelict wasteland or a beautiful oasis...

A couple of years ago, a project called Green Caretakers was set up to help people in selected areas of Edinburgh to access and improve their communal backgardens. As our backgarden was one of the selected ones we were keen to get involved. We enjoyed visiting various other shared gardens around Edinburgh and getting the first glimpse of our own shared backgreen garden. Our backgreen is shared by a large number of tenement flats and cover quite an area. When we first looked at it, it was mostly unkempt but had lots of trees and bushes with great wildlife potential. (see this post).

Workshops were arranged over the following year but we still never got a key for the back door to the garden and so access was still difficult, we had to go via other people's stair doors which isn't something you can always rely on.... Green Caretakers were. despite their early promises, unable to help us to access keys.

Eventually, we finally found someone who has a key and we were able to get a copy made so now we have access to the backgreen whenever we want. It's much tidier than it was when we first looked in, and we hope to be able to put up some bird feeders and plant some wildflower seeds as well as get involved with the current series of vegetable growing workshops.

Funnily enough we had expected the key to be heavy antique wrought iron.... In fact its just an ordinary key.....

Old Key for Weekend Wordsmith

14 comments:

texasblu said...

Reminds me of the Secret Garden! A good locksmith should have been able to help you too... make lots of copies! :)

apprentice said...

Oh you take me back to my days of Edinburgh flats. One was in MacDonald road and the roof was so high in winter sunlight hardly reached over the roof and into the back green.

Hope your veggie growing goes well. Make sure you grow the things that are expensive in the shops, or just taste brilliant when freshly picked, like sugar snap peas -I just eat them in situ!.

odessa said...

yay on finally having a key to your backgarden! :)

Bill said...

I love that ending.

one more believer said...

thank you for sharing... it is a beauty.. got a kick abt finally getting the key and yr surprise just an ordinary key... that was great... made me smile...

d. moll, l.ac. said...

Finally your own key ;0), now get growing...

Rabbits' Guy said...

What a find! Yes .. we were expecting something quite victorian! Keep us posted on the progress.

jem said...

Great annecdote - I also thought of the Secret Garden. Having lived in flats for a long time and now having my own garden, I can appreciate what a tease it must have been knowing it was there but not being able to reach it.

Janice Thomson said...

Gosh I would have gone nuts not being able to access the garden. I can just picture you planting seeds and fixing it up - what a pleasant time that will be!

golebnik said...

Glad you’ve found the key, and sorry to hear it’s disappointingly modern in appearance! I think it’s excellent in Scotland how all flats in a tenement have garden access. In England it’s rotten that usually only the residents of ground-floor flats have use of the garden, and people higher up can only look on. Anyway, our Edinburgh tenement garden is now lovely, after having been neglected for many years, but it’s at our own expense in terms of time and money, since hardly anybody else on the stair could be bothered to contribute. Keep enjoying your new-found garden, and I look forward to reading about what wonderful and exotic bird species turn up there!

haiku-shelf said...

yeah, you got a key!...

as texasblu said before...it reminds me of a hidden place, a secret garden

best wishes,
Angelika

White Rose said...

What a great idea a shared garden! The last lines made me chuckle, because I had an image of an old ornate key in my head the whole time I was reading the post.

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Selma said...

I expected an old-fashioned key too! So glad you have access to the garden at last.