Back in the 80s, Scarlett had a shaved head, ran the cult club Cha Cha and appeared on the cover of i-D (The Head to Toe Issue, 1982). Nowadays she spends her time in her allotment, spreading her love of gardening and all things organic.
A good teacher is hard to come by, and when Scarlett gave the i-D office a gardening lesson a few months back, our initial reaction was to behave like sulky teenagers. Then we learnt to embrace the seed and the grow bag, and to eat the fruits of our labour! Crowned i-D’s Gardener in Residence, Scarlett is putting her teaching talents to good use running a free beginner’s gardening course at Walworth Garden Farm, with modules ranging from growing and using herbs to spectacular summer hanging baskets. As the sun makes its 2011 debut, outdoors activities like gardening are gaining new appeal. Here, the glamorous gardener herself outlines the pros and pros of reaping what you sow.
We live in a city where outdoor space is at a premium. Some of us are lucky to enough to have small gardens but most only have a balcony or a window box, if that. I wanted to tailor my course modules to urban dwellers and look at making different types of gardens in a small space. In every module students will make their own container garden to take home.
Growing and using herbs
I think that herbs are the perfect plants for urban living because they grow well in containers, provide fresh seasoning for the kitchen, look attractive and smell gorgeous when you rub their leaves, and their flowers will attract city bees and insects. Fresh herbs are expensive to buy, but they are inexpensive and really relatively simple to grow, and I know that growing fresh herbs makes gardening accessible to many.
Growing food in the city
If I’m honest I have to say that this is the module I’m looking forward to delivering the most, food growing being my personal passion and area of expertise. The amount of people growing and wanting to grow at least some of their own food at home has been on the increase in the last few years and shows no sign of abating. Looking at small spaces and containers, using vertical space, and being ingenious with ideas for producing home-grown food, I think it will be great fun. As well as providing unbelievably tasty vegetables I believe that growing your own food is enormously self-empowering.
A splash of summer perfume and colour
Flower gardens are a delight, and exactly as the title suggests, this course will look at highly scented plants and flowers as well as fabulous riots of colour. Perfume and colour are very important in the summer for they attract beneficial insects and feed the bees, whilst providing a visual and olfactory treat for humans.
Spectacular summer hanging baskets
I always want to encourage using hanging baskets because I know a lot of people who have no outdoor space whatsoever, except perhaps the area around the front door. Hanging baskets are perfect for creating a little bit of garden where you would otherwise have none, and they’re quite a fun and crafty thing to make too. I’m looking forward to packing tons of floral colour into this module!
Courses are held on Saturdays from 10.30am-4.30pm. For dates and to book your place, click here.
More from Scarlett on i-D Online here.