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 5 May 2011

The day we nearly finished the polytunnel!

The big push at Windmill at the moment is to get the polytunnel finished. It's been quite a saga, with the space created for the structure found to be 3 feet too short and left at rather an angle. Not quite the layout and drop in situation we hoped for. Because we didn't want to leave it out to be pinched, all the bits have had to live in the container shed, leaving us with no indoor space, so it's all been a bit fraught. Enter knight in shining armour, Mike Gosnall, who has put up more polytunnels than most folk have had hot dinners. He's worked to help us get the beast up and put in a 9-5.30 for us today.

Ellis, Nicola, Helen and Alison turned up to help, and all of us did a bit to help the process along, though Ellis definitely did the lion's share. In between things we could help with, we managed to plant some peas, sweetcorn, carrots, parsnips and radishes, and also to continue the war against bindweed, couch grass and mare's tail. The other big scary weed in the allotment is horseradish. Presumably planted deliberately at some point, it is appearing all over the allotment, despite a lot of it being dug up last year. Horseradish is one of nature's big-hitters, with roots that are trying to reach Australia. Fortunately, the very dry weather makes it easier for us to tackle it, as it is too dry to shower us with it's burning sap. However, even with trenching spades (extra long and thin), it was exhausting to remove the larger roots, which were easily 3 feet long, and had to be chopped out in stages. Well done to Alison and Nicola for their hard work in doing that. Helen also did a great job, making us more popular with our neighbours by beheading a lot of the dandelions, weeding with great care and watering all the things that were desperately needing it.

Ellis doing a stirling job of assisting Mike with the polytunnel!

"Mini ploytunnel" containing some embryonic sweetcorn plants!

Some herbs surrounding wildflowers - we've probably saved their lives now!

Despite it being revision week, New College Nottingham managed to send a small group to continue painting the  murals on our raised beds, which are looking increasingly stunning. They were also entertained by our first use of the Kelly Kettles which will be our main water heating on site. These are a little like a samovar, and very useful as they will boil water in a few minutes with the heat of a few sticks, giving us carbon-neutral hot water. We're aiming to produce all our fuel on site, with willow and hazel coppice being the main sources. All the gardeners had a go at lighting them with varying degrees of success, but we did manage to create plenty of hot water, with the small amount we had left being poured on a large horseradish that has forced its way up through tarmac by one of the raised beds!

The artists pose with one of their masterpieces!

It's so much fun all this kelly kettle business!

All hands to the deck - Helen, Nicola, Ellis and Mike

Sadly we didn't quite manage to get the polytunnel covered, although it's so close to being finished that we are confident we will be finished next week... Fingers crossed!

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