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 21 April 2011

Planting here we come!

This is the last week at Windmill before the extended Easter break and we finally had the water supply restored! This meant that we could plant many types of seeds and bulbs which may have failed to germinate without the supply due to a lack of rain.

One feature that climate change models suggest will become more common is that rainfall will become less regular and more will fall in large storms, so we aim to collect as much of it as we can. It is ironic that this demonstration garden, which shows how to cope with such conditions, ran out of water so early in the season, but also understandable. We are set up to collect large amounts of rain water, with 2 water butts and a dip-barrel taking water off the toilet roof, and 3 water butts and a dip barrel taking water off the kitchen shelter roof. However, these weren't set up until December, and even with all the snow, we hardly collected any water. Tracey thinks that even if the set up had been put in place earlier, the area of roof-collection isn't as much as we need, so we will aim to collect from the roof of the shed (which will need modification) and the polytunnel, as well as any other surface we can use!

A few of the regulars had turned out in force to carry out the planting including Ellis, Alison, Tracey and Helen, and we were also joined by Jonathan.

Items which were planted included leeks in the raised bed, many different varieties of wildflower seed including giant sunflowers and also some sweet peas around the willow obelisk.

Leeks in one of the raised beds

This bare area is to become a beautiful flowery meadow - fingers crossed!

Fruit bushes now flourishing and have finally had a proper water!

Sweet peas to grow up the willow obelisk

Thursday 14 April 2011

More Polytunnel Labour!

Today, most of the regulars turned up including Alison, Helen, Helene, Jonathan and Ellis along with gardening and polytunnel construction expert, Mike. Further to the ground preparation and laying of the foundation pieces of the polytunnel; frame, we all set about constructing the frame according to the meticulous measurements which were taken in the previous week. Claire did a stirling job of standing in for Tracey due to her hospital appointment, helping to construct the polytunnel and assisting Helen in sawing a large dustbin in half in order for her to plant up the two blueberry bushes which she had been very eager to do!

Very relieved blueberry bushes!

All had gone very well and the only real issue was the fact that there was a leak in the water supply system and lack of rain over the past month and a half had meant we had completely drained the water butts! This was resolved in the most part by the fact that we had filled the butts with flaggons of water which we filled up in the office beforehand.

Thursday 7 April 2011

Finally some planting!

Today at Windmill felt like a really good day, with lots of happy volunteers and nice weather. The lack of rain is a bit of a worry though, since we don't have the water turned on for the season yet, and stocks are running low.

Another group of volunteers from New College Nottingham came today - this time the group come from a Land course. We were delighted to give them a first taste of planting and weeding.  They've put in onions, garlic, shallots and potatoes for us, and done a great job of cleaning most of the remaining weeds from the beds.

We'd hoped to get the polytunnel properly erected today, but our expert, Mike, wasn't able to come, so whilst the NCN team were doing their bit, the regulars worked on putting in the footings for the polytunnel in their final positions. This isn't easy as the site isn't at all level - neither side to side, nor front to back, and we have to get the poles in absolutely vertical in order to be able to slot on the hoops and perfectly in line. We managed it in the end, with difficulty, and also fitted in some watering as well, so hopefully the meadow seed we sowed last week will survive well enough to give the couch grass and bindweed a good fight!