Developing and enhancing the open spaces within and around the Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine
Through their Office Sustainability Awards Gold project, the IGMM team brought together staff from different areas, united by their enthusiasm for gardening. Read about their experience.
How the project began
Our gardening project started out with an all staff email asking if anyone was interested in becoming involved in a medicinal garden project. The response was encouragingly good from staff from all sort of disciplines who included gardening gurus to complete beginners.
Old decking transformed into planters
Focus on a medicinal garden shifted to instead create some planters and place them on our rather barren patio which had recently been re-decked; this was decided on by the gardening committee. Old decking and leftover new decking was used to create some of our planters. The University’s Landscape Team were very helpful and provided soil for the planters and some useful advice.
Much effort was required to move the soil onto the patio but all the team mucked in and over the course of the summer shifted ~10 tonnes of soil.
We have now ended up with seven planters that are full of shrubs, plants and our centrepiece Acer tree. Inspired by our success we planted an apple tree in some waste ground, have taken over another area that was not being used and introduced hanging baskets.
Our next initiative was to build two vegetable planters which have now been constructed and we hope to plant potatoes in them soon.
We recently carried out a survey of staff who use the patio area and received very positive feedback regarding our efforts in enhancing the patio area. On the back of our success, we asked for more volunteers for the gardening committee and have attracted more keen members.
The future of the garden
Going forward the gardening committee will be maintaining and improving the planters, establishing our vegetable planters and completing the medicinal garden. We feel this project has improved the wellbeing of the staff who took part in this project and all the staff who use the patio. It has been and is a very worthwhile project.