Life and Soil Project to say thanks.

The people of Larkhall – on the eastern side of Bath – are being asked to come together this Thursday for a mini concert to show their appreciation to local traders and care workers who have kept the community going during lockdown.

The following information has been sent to me by the concert organiser Miranda Spitteler – a Larkhall resident and gardener and garden designer.

” Local resident Carole reflected the whole community when she said “The traders were so helpful, especially when they joined together to provide a home delivery service, which was a lifeline for some people”. 

In response, people of all ages recently chipped in time or money to renew four weed-infested planters in the main Square of Larkhall in Bath.

“While this is in part a memorial to those who tragically didn’t make it through the pandemic it is also a way to enhance Larkhall as we move forwards” said local Seamstress Emma Dunham, who lives off the square and was one of a team who wire-brushed flaking paint off the planters one Sunday morning.

Volunteers have also mattocked out tough woody roots, power-cleaned the planters, weeded and drilled out the blocked drains that had caused flooding.  This  volunteer activity culminated in a wheelbarrow procession of plants to the Larkhall Square accompanied by a vibrant Samba band, bringing residents dancing to the gates, with one shaking a tambourine from a window.

  Once planted, more volunteers made and painted wooden letters which, when fixed to the planters, spell ‘LOVE’ AND ‘HOPE’, two values that have underpinned their refurbishment.   The finishing touch was by Nick Churchill, with a jack to nudge the planters into line. 

Local nurseries, Gardenalia, Bathford Nurseries and Hilliers gave discounts, donated plants and compost, while some of the local shops, who’d long been wanting to restore the planters, chipped in to cover some of the costs.  Farrow & Ball donated paint and Carbon Gold donated compost and their pioneering soil enhancer, bio-char, necessary in a planter to help build soil life and retain moisture.

The programme of events.

The planters are ready just in time to say a big thank you to the local traders with a mini concert on Thursday 24TH June . This will be compered by local actor Pavel Douglas. A Samba band will sound the start through the local streets at 5.45 with a minute silence – at 6pm – for all of those lost to Covid, followed by applause for those who kept the community going. 

There will also be the Kids entertainer, Jimmy MacDonnell giving a rendition of the Hippopotamus song with local children in honour of soil (Mud, mud, glorious mud!)  The climax will be with opera singers Maria Danishvar and Francesca Lisanti, accompanied by pianist Nicholas Stuart with a Delibes’s Flower Duet and Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’.  

This will help launch a fund for other community wide garden projects over the coming year: a wild flower meadow in September, a bulb bank in October and a community herb garden next year under the banner of the Life and Soil Project.   

It is hoped Larkhall’s community gardening will inspire other communities to horticulturally build their resilience in a way that will help save the planet, which shopping locally will also do”.

LIFE AND SOIL celebrates the power of soil and community to fight climate change through garden projects that support people and enhance local areas.

Through this it aims to communicate the importance of healthy soil for planet and people, vital to carbon capture and reducing climate change.  Community gardening is a positive way to move forwards and build resilient communities as the pandemic loosens its hold.  


The mini-concert is for the benefit of the local traders and residents have been asked to join in with the applause from their gardens and front doors, where they will also be able to listen to the music.

Please can any media attending the mini-concert observe covid protocols.