The Trellis national conference is always an inspiring event to look forward to, especially for a small group like ours. Trellis supports its members to support ‘health through horticulture’ by providing training and advice as well as vital contacts and networking opportunities.
The amount of information available reflects the array of aspects of health that can benefit from that connection with growing and with nature, summed up by the unavoidable, innate metaphors for the growth of the person who practices some interest in ‘the field’.
This year’s event was held at The Bield at Blackruthven, in Perth which couldn’t have been more empathetic to our shared efforts. The venue buildings and landscape were as inspiring as the conference content and workshops in breakout spaces echoed the choice of routes to achieving benefits for our groups and ourselves, through horticulture.
We had the chance to see the amazing work at the Southton Smallholding on the garden tour and enjoyed ‘mindfulness in the garden’ as well as having the chance to learn from the wildlife workshop, courtesy of Froglife, Health and Safety and, of course, a gardening MasterClass from Trellis Patron, Jim McColl MBE.
Polly from Alzheimers Scotland spoke about her group at Bellahouston – neighbouring our space there, and we heard of other practical and successful projects such as the Shore Garden Project run by Turning Point Scotland, in Perth and the EATS public food growing project in Fife – which, as a child, I believed, due to a spelling error, was where they grew bananas.
The RCHS Grow and Learn Award is under review too and this promises to become ever more relevant within our field, helping individuals to build their experience, confidence and esteem in the most natural way possible. I’m sure we’ll discuss this more in future posts but for now, time marches on and we have gardening to do.