ITS proud Victorian houses may have been left derelict for years, but for the people left living in and around Granby, that doesn't mean their area has to rot.
You could say the hardy Liverpool 8 lot aren't the sort to let the grass grow under their feet. But trees, now that's a different matter.
And now a historic moment - Granby gets its first orchard. One hundred apple trees will be planted this Friday with the help of local children in a project that will see the run-down area blossom again.
Jean GrantIt's part of a project called Growing Granby which, in the last few years has seen the area enjoy the fruits of the labours of locals. They have already transformed grey ghosts of streets with tumbling plants, flowers and foliage.
”The orchard will be unique it is planted all over the area in back yards, gardens, streets, community spaces and derelict land, a true blossoming of the communities in the area,” says artist and founder member of Growing Granby Jean Grant. “It will be the first orchard in the area since the terraces were built 100 years ago.”
The story of the new Granby orchard began with residents grafting old Northern apple trees onto rootstocks to make small apple trees suitable for backyards and gardens.
Then the idea got bigger.
“We wanted an orchard to belong to the community and so decided to give trees to residents and local community groups,” says Jean.
Edible apple trees are thin on the ground in Liverpool and L8 locals can not only look forward to fruit from Lancashire heritage varieties, but a spectacular show of white blossom in springs soon to come.
No Royal Galas here though. These varieties date back to the 17th century, in some cases, and include Charles Ross, Doctor Mogg, Cats Head, Irish Pippin, Ashmeade Colonel, Cambusnethan and Hargreaves – named after the old Liverpool greengrocer, says Jean.
Funding has come from the Neighbourhood Learning and Deprived Communities and Trafford Hall in Chester, with trees supplied by the Mersey Forest, Middlewood Farm, Lancashire, home of the Northern Apple Collection and rootstock from Trees for Life in Shropshire.
It's not just about putting on a pretty face either. Local children have already been involved in tree planting, apple tasting and apple cooking while learning about the history of Granby.
“They are taking part in making a rich future for the area,” Jean added.