This week, we sat down with our new Community Gardener, Sam, to hear a bit more about what brought her to St Luke's and what she hopes to introduce to the centre's garden over the next year. 

Sam was born in London and has since lived all over the country. Spending the last thirty years as a horticulturalist, she's worked for numerous charities, social projects and community gardens over the years, bringing her expertise to local communities for three decades.  

How did you first get into gardening? 

‘As a child I was always playing outside and getting messy. I was a bit of a tomboy and I think gardening has been an extension of that childhood experience and given me a sense of freedom in my adult life!’ 

What do you enjoy most about gardening? 

‘I love how everything in a garden is always changing, I find it really exciting that – given the right conditions – you can create something amazing. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked with plants; you can always learn new techniques and ways of doing things to help and make people notice the beauty of the world around them.’ 

What are you most excited for over the next year in the St Luke’s garden? 

‘I’m looking forward to starting to plan the garden for spring and start buying seeds. We have a great kid’s group that is already teaching the younger generations how to garden but what I’m really excited about is to start a new weekly drop-in session for gardeners. Every Thursday starting from the 18 November, we’ll be welcoming people of all ages to drop in on the garden and lend a helping hand from 10am-3.30 pm. I think gardening is very therapeutic so I’m excited to bring that to the community in a flexible way that can fit around people’s daily lives. ‘ 

St Luke’s just won the London in Bloom Award- does that make you excited for what's to come? 

‘Yes, absolutely! I’ve only just started in this role and so I think the success is a testament to the hard work of the volunteers that have been here to keep things going through Covid. It shows we have a really dedicated team of volunteers to ensure St Luke's is always looked after. It does make me feel optimistic because the volunteers here are really serious about making something nice for the community.’