Busy bees and big butts.



Last week I took my Junior Church (Sunday School if you’re over 50) group down to do their bit for Tonbridge. We had made an Easter garden for our Tonbridge Methodist Church this year and the youngsters had so enjoyed the project that it seemed a bit of ‘proper’ gardening was called for.

Children can learn a huge amount about our world and the need to care for it by getting their hands dirty in a garden. They, and I, had great fun. We planted Pansies, Sun Flowers and Busy Lizzies. We watered, picked up litter and made some bee hotels to hang on the fence. We thanked God for our beautiful world and did our little bit to make it more beautiful and become a part of our Tonbridge community.

Maundy Thursday, an unseasonably warm day and a bunch of yellow shirted guerrilla gardeners set about turning one of  our town’s grot spots into a bee haven.

It was hard work, but oh so rewarding. Of course the doughnuts generously donated by Gorgeous George helped with our energy levels and the coffee from Finchhouse provided a much needed source of caffeine. By the end of the day every joint and muscle in my body was sending a screaming SOS for Ibuleve, but when I stood back and looked at what we had achieved I could not have been happier.

After the wettest winter I can remember and in a part of town which only a matter of weeks earlier had been flooded under several inches of water, lack of water was now our biggest problem. During our digging and planting day one member of the team had hauled filled watering cans from a tap we discovered at the back of the High Street shops. Goodness knows how many gallons she carried in the day, but Gunga Din  would have had a run for his money.
A daily watering rota of willing volunteers was set up, using the tap as our source but within a couple of days Fred discovered a tap underneath the walkway adjacent to the garden. Much Facebooking and Tweeting with great joy and hallelujahs. No more long walks with full watering cans; sighs of relief.

Then disaster struck.The tap was removed by council workers. Sarah’s investigation with the council provided the reason. It keeps getting damaged and costs too much to keep having it repaired.

Back to the tap behind Boots the chemist and the long walk. Just when you think things can’t get worse, they usually do. The Sunday watering team discovered that the tap only works when the shops are open, oh! and the water is metered and paid for by the shops, so we probably shouldn’t use it anyway.

Being a bunch of pretty resourceful guerrillas,  Fred and Fran made contact with the AngelCentre manager who now allows us to get water from there. It’s a short term solution but long term we can have a water butt to collect rainfall from the Angel centre roof. We decided on the biggest butt we can get, many hilarious posts and tweets about big butts followed that decision.




  1. Fran Charman

    Lovely to hear about the Junior Church children doing their bit. It took me back 60 or so years to when I went to Tonbridge Methodist Church Sunday School from the age of about 4 until I was 12 when we moved away. If anyone was around that long ago, my name was Frances Whitaker.

    1. Thanks for that, Fran. We’ll ask around on Twitter too.

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