Kirsty Ward

I am a self confessed allotment and Dahlia fanatic – documenting my gardening journey down on my allotment in Lincolnshire

How did you get into gardening?

I started my growing journey on my allotment nearly 5 years ago. I took on a plot in Lincoln after falling ill with my mental health after suffering a traumatic pregnancy and birth with my daughter. I had been diagnosed with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and found myself in a dark and troubling time.

When reading about PTSD and ways to help myself and improve my mental health I had read how gardening therapy can really help with treatment for PTSD. I decided to investigate getting an allotment after having fond memories of me being on an allotment with my Dad as a child. After taking on the plot in April 2017, it completely changed my outlook on life, helped me keep my mental health on track and allowed me to find a new passion and hobby I never knew I had!

What is your key focus?

For me, it’s all about spreading the word about how gardening is good for our mental health and wellbeing. How easy it is for anyone to grow their own by getting people to use my hashtag #everyonecangrowtheirown to show different ways you can learn to grow.

But most of all I love getting involved in wonderful projects to help turn unused/unloved spaces into thriving gardens and allotments for the community to benefit from, it’s extremely rewarding, beneficial to the community and helps create extra space for bees, plants and wildlife to thrive – to create a better place for us all to live in.

Why are you working with RocketGro?

I’m working with RocketGro to help them keep gardening moving forward and being more sustainable and eco-friendly in the approach to gardening.

I think it’s important for gardeners to look at going peat-free and using products that do not harm our precious eco-systems.

I have been growing fully peat-free for nearly two years and after trying some of the RocketGro products I have been extremely impressed so I’m looking forward to my 2022 season on my allotment as a RocketGrower.

I will be growing a huge range of lovely fruits, vegetables and flowers and I’m really excited to see the results.

Top tip for a budding gardener

When tackling a new gardening space, whether it be a garden or allotment, try to tackle it in small chunks. Gardening can be quite overwhelming, looking at it as a full picture, so break it down into bite size chunks and complete each bit before moving on, this way it feels less overwhelming, and you can see continuous results.

But, most importantly give it a go, gardening is one of those amazing things where you will never know everything and everyday is a learning opportunity.

Fun Fact…

I absolutely love musicals, theatre, Disney and Pixar. I think if I ever got the opportunity, I would love to be a Disney character on stage in the West End. . . but for now all I can do is sing along and dance around my allotment, it’s pretty entertaining!

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