Saturday 22 February 2020

Festival Bargains

Good news for the retail bit of Festival Park in Stoke-on-Trent. The long-disused PC World is to become a £2m Home Bargains, providing some healthy competition to nearby stores. Most important for gardeners will be the effect of setting up a four-way competition with the likes of Morrison's summertime mini-garden-stuff shed, garden bits at the large Poundand, and the long-established B&Q DIY store. No opening date yet for the new store, but a planning application is said to be in and "2020" is the target. It should bring yet another tranche of jobs to the site, too, which is always welcome.

It's already had the effect of closing the "shortcut steps" which went from the green part of Festival park, dropping a walker onto what used to be PC World's back-loading bay. The steps have been dug out and the slope graded to soil, and I imagine that now it'll either be planted by St. Modwen in the spring or left to green up naturally. No great loss, as almost no-one ever used those steps.

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Yank your carrots

An American review of the new 'flexibound' 2019 edition of the book The Half-Hour Allotment reveals a difference between the UK and the USA:

as I sat down to read the book — with its beautiful photographs of vegetables and gardens that included flowers for bouquets, and ways to prepare the soil — I realized it had a British publisher and the allotments being talked about were garden spaces away from the house.

When talking to Americans, conveying the idea of allotments needs something like the phrase "vegetable gardens elsewhere in the town" or "the town's vegetable-growing gardens".

Young 'castle

The top 10 UK hotspots for young people, which are seeing the largest relative increases in their population of 18-34-year-olds, are:

8) Newcastle-under-Lyme - 1.74%

Interesting. Though I'd guess a chunk of that could be due to the NHS recruiting more young nurses for the University Hospital, and expansion at Keele. I doubt it's about hipsters downshifting from Stoke Newington to the edge of Stoke.