Creative writing in the Garden

Autumn bumblebees on a sunflower

“…I ask for patience, as one day I will transform, my full glory for all to see.  My bright yellow petals bringing joy to bees and other garden creatures…”   extract from, The Promise.

I had a wonderful opportunity recently to combine my volunteer role with PLANT and my job as creative writing facilitator for a Dundee arts project, Art Angel.  The synergy for the project came though the photography group, in the latter project, who have been using Tayport Community Garden as a rich source of material.  Since a few of our writing group have mobility issues it wasn’t possible to visit the garden so, the next best thing was to use the photographs as a stimulus for our writing.

One of our bug hotels

“Well, a big hello and welcome to our Bug Hotel. I’m full of smelly peat, rotten veg; forgive the smell. But for all the bugs that creep and crawl; I’m their wonderful ideal; I’ve perfect, simply swell…” extract from, Bug Hotel.

The photography group printed off a variety of their photos and we all took a couple of prints to look at and see what we could come up with. One of the prints that sparked memories was a photo of the potato beds.

Sean working in the potato bed

“ Thi tatties mack me hink, a hint, ti thi days o hard graft…A couple o quid, wis a yi hid, at the end o the day, a career move that proved nae help fin in poverty…”  extract from, “The Tattie Howkin”

Naturally, the senses played a big part in the writing and the benefits of the garden were celebrated too.  Most of the writers in the group suffer from mental health issues and it was encouraging that, even second hand, through the prints, a garden can bring such calm and happiness.

A photo of the annual flower bed

“All I can see is the beauty within you.  Your colours make me smile.  Your scent wafts through the air.  The making of a summer’s day.  Looking at you makes life worth living…I will leave you in the sun, so that others may feel your joyful presence…” extract from, Hope.



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