Welcome to the Secret Garden behind Bobber's Mill in Nottingham

Welcome to Windmill Community Gardens, home of the Climate Friendly Gardeners Project.

We are a group of local people, helped by Groundwork Greater Nottingham, who are resurrecting a wonderful community garden in the heart of the city. You'll find us at the South end of Ascot Road, near Collins Cash and Carry. The Gardens are a great place where anyone can come to find out more about growing their own food in a changing climate. We cater for all abilities and welcome any nationality or age group.

Why not come and join us?

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Another busy day at Windmill

We had another great day at Windmill, which again lived up to its name on a very breezy day. We have to get a wind turbine going to take advantage!

In normal Windmill tradition, we were also aiming to do something that wasn't really sensible in the windy weather - sow the seeds for the wild flower meadow. We bought the seeds from a wonderful local firm - Naturescape - based at Langar, who do a lovely range of different seed mixes. We've chosen their long-season sunny meadow mix for the middle and their hedgerow mix for under the trees and the edges which will be more shady. We've also added cornfield annuals to give some colour in the first year as the perennial meadow plants establish. We're intending to use a similar technique for the meadow area, but we will grow some heavy shade plants for when the fruit trees in the orchard get large enough to cast dense shade.

But this being Windmill, we had to do quite a lot of ground preparation before we could sow the seed. The site has a healthy (!) population of couch grass and we were only able to get the ground ready thanks to another group from New College Nottingham, who did a good job battling with the ground conditions alongside Helen, Alison, Daniel, Ellis and Wayne. We also have to thank Mike and Simon from the work team who did some of the job for us earlier in the week.

Some of the NCN crowd had a talent for finding archaeology, finding a Victorian medicine bottle, a vintage butter knife, some interesting pottery shards and an oyster shell. Of course they also found large amounts of big rocks, bricks and broken glass as well, but eventually we got it all dug over, fairly weeded (we'd have to sieve it all through a fine mesh to completely clear it), and raked. The New College bunch had to leave before the sowing, but we still managed it with care, though it meant everyone had to release the seed just a fraction above the ground so that it didn't blow away. A quick watering and we were done.

We must also thank the New College artists who quietly got on with the job of decorating the high raised beds. Some of the group are doing carpentry skills as well, so they are hoping to help with a number of nice jobs we have planned, like getting our outdoor kitchen up and running.

Next week, all being well, we'll do a long day and finish putting up the polytunnel. Fingers crossed!

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