Welcome to the Secret Garden South of Bobber's Mill Bridge in Nottingham

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

We are a group of local people, who are nurturing a wonderful community garden in the heart of the city. You'll find us just South of Bobbersmill Bridge, on the allotment site at the South end of Ascot Road. 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 24 February 2011

24th February - The Big Painting Week!

We were keeping our fingers crossed for the weather this week, as two wonderful groups from New College Nottingham had offered to help us, along with additional help from Claire and Helen.

The painting group came on Tuesday and Thursday and made a wonderful job of decorating our raised beds. The pictures don't do justice to them, so you should come and have a look for yourselves.  The designs were inspired by a number of colourful, gardening-related pictures which Helen had found on the internet

All in all, very productive and enjoyable days with glorious sunny weather as it turned out!

Helen providing her contribution to the artistic process

Part of the headlining mural showing the sun shining away

The brightly coloured flower as painted by Helen

Some of the highly talented artists in the process of painting the headlining mural
A flowery mural with a pretty sky-blue background

Thursday 17 February 2011

17th February - Lots of Painting!

It's been a busy week at Windmill, as we've been pushing to get things ready for the student volunteers coming next week to decorate the raised beds for us and to help put up the polytunnel.

A good job takes good preparation!

Jake and the team have had fun, having discovered that the space left for the polytunnel wasn't actually quite big enough, which has meant a lot more digging and possibly a few choice words being said. However, despite all the problems, they have managed to get most of the footings in ready for the big day on Wednesday.

On Thursday, we had a really nice crowd down, and all worked really hard to finish scraping off the raised beds and painting them with a base coat. Many thanks to Helen, Wayne, Hugh, Glenford, Amanda, Ray and Ellis who all did a brilliant job. We've used a low-toxicity Cuprinol garden paint for wood that doesn't have the vapours of gloss, and is matt, so it should give a good surface for the art work. It's also a preservative, so we'll let you know if it's as good as it says on the tin!

Hugh showing off his very useful electric sander, not to mention the crazy flourescent hood
Ellis posing for the camera while painting!
More sanding - groan!
Helen painting - and splattering her best outdoor coat and starry wellies in the process

Thursday 10 February 2011

Hard work!

Today, we had hoped to paint some of the raised beds, but the weather wasn't on our side, and we were a bit low in numbers, with only 4 of us all together. In the end, we spent most of the time wire-brushing and sanding the beds we hadn't got round to last time, and even with frequent breaks, we were all exhausted, because it definitely uses muscles that don't normally get much of a work out. In fact, typing this, my forearms are protesting!

When the muscles gave up, we went to work on the area that will hold the fruit cage. The good news is that it will fit! The bad news is that the ground is in need of a lot of attention. Still, we'll all be a lot fitter when we've finished.

We ended with a quick tidy up which has left the place looking much better. It's starting to feel as if we're on the home strait. Helen certainly thought so - she's already thinking about what it will look like in Summer.

Thursday 3rd of February - Retail therapy, allotment style

Today was a nice mix. We began by working to remove old flaking paint from the tall raised beds. These beds are really high, which makes them great for folk in wheelchairs, or anyone with a bad back. It also makes the sides of the beds perfect for murals, which is great, as we have an offer of willing and skilled labour to paint some! A group of art students from New College Nottingham will be joining us in 3 weeks to create something wonderful, but that means that they need sound paint to put the artwork on. So - wire brushed and sandpaper were applied with gusto until we could feel muscles in places we didn't know we had.

There was a respite. We took a quick trip to Cossall to see Phil Corbett at Cool Temperate - a brilliant local tree nursery that has a huge variety of tree fruit and soft fruit. We'll have a fruit cage in the new plan, so we had a lot of fun rounding up some really good varieties of gooseberry, currant, raspberry and blackberry. The new arrivals are all safely potted up and waiting for us to dig over the area for the fruit cage. Watch this space!