THEY have been spreading joy in Pollokshields for more than a decade – now the Ready Steady Grow team has come up with a brilliant way to brighten up the area during lockdown.

With the help of a Streets Ahead grant of £900, the group has launched a marvellous makeover competition and five lucky winners will have their tenement front garden spruced up in style.

Lucy Gillie, who runs the project with Lisa Peebles and Ann Laing, explains: “Normally in June we have a Ready Steady Grow event for the whole community but because of the coronavirus outbreak we have had to cancel.

“We still wanted to do something and we think this will be a great opportunity for people living in East Pollokshields tenements.

“It’s also great for the wider community - we are all out and about just now on our daily walks, looking more closely, perhaps, at gardens and green spaces and it will be lovely for everyone to see these improvements take place.”

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Pollokshields was designed as a garden suburb both in terms of its villas and tenements. It is unlike most parts of the city in that its tenement buildings have large front gardens.

Lucy adds: “For whatever reason, it can be a struggle to maintain front gardens in shared tenement blocks, so we thought if we could revive some of them, it would help turn them into pleasant, easy-to-maintain spaces to share and perhaps inspire others to do the same. If groups in other parts of the city would like to do something similar, we are more than happy to chat to them about.”

Bringing people together in communities across Glasgow is the Streets Ahead mission. Our campaign has been supporting projects like Ready Steady Grow Pollokshields for nine years, backed by our generous partners Glasgow City Council, City Building, CGI and the City Charitable Trust.

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Life in our city may have changed completely but Glaswegians still have plenty of heart. Now, more than ever, people are pulling together – and Streets Ahead is here to help.

Our grant to Ready Steady Grow Pollokshields is helping to provide plants and compost for the gardens. The project has teamed up with two professional gardeners and a trained horticulturalist to deliver the high quality makeovers.

Lucy explains: “The front garden revive involves a hard prune and clear out of weeds, we will lay a weed-suppressing membrane if possible and then plant up with some colourful perennials such as hydrangea and dogwood, which will bring colour in the spring, summer and autumn.

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“We also plan to add some spring flowering bulbs, such as daffodils and crocuses, to bring some colour early in the year.”

Ready Steady Grow Pollokshields began in 2008 when a group of residents, supported by Pollokshields Community Council, became concerned that without actively encouraging residents to use all of the greenspaces in the area, over time these spaces could be lost to inappropriate development or simple decay.

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Deciding the best way to protect green spaces was to celebrate them, the residents and community put their heads together and came up with Ready Steady Grow Pollokshields. Every year, the group holds a summer event, bringing neighbours and friends together and breaking down barriers across the area.

The first event was held simultaneously in seven greenspaces, across both East and West Pollokshields. The team gave away hundreds of planters, pots and hanging baskets filled with bedding plants which residents were able to refill on subsequent years.

RSG also gave fruit to all attendees and over the years both planting and fruit have been the bedrock of the event.

Aware of the diversity in the area – ethnic, religious, age and economic – the group, supported by a number of agencies, most often Glasgow City Council through its Area Partnership and Southside Housing Association through its community fund, ensures each event is free to attend and accessible to all.

The competition is open to all Pollokshield East tenement residents, whether owners, private rentals or social housing tenants. All you have to do to enter is fill out the application form on the website - - and return it by June 10.

Lucy adds: “It is worth applying because even if you do not win a makeover, we are also giving away runner-up prizes of beautiful tubs of blooms to add scent and colour.”

Winners will be notified in June and makeovers, to be completed within Government guidelines for social distancing, will take place in September.

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