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 29 March 2012

More weeding and planting - hottest day of the year so far!

Today involved a couple of small but fun projects and lots of fairly minor but essential tasks which were a pleasure to carry out due to the glorious sunny and warm weather. It seems hard to believe this is still March.

Rosy and Helen get on with yet more weeding
Firstly, it was necessary to weed out the sensory garden and give it a general spruce up. As well as weeding, we felt that the area would benefit from an attractive border to distinguish it from the surrounding orchard and pathway. To do this, Tracey, Helen and Ellis gathered some old discarded and mouldy work boots which we had found during our last big clear out. They were far too worn out and decrepit to be useable, but not falling apart, so we thought they deserved to be recycled Windmill-style.  We filled them with compost and planted them up with beautiful colourful pansies. We then arranged them in a line following the curved edge of the sensory garden and created a really attractive display, complementing the primulas in the main bed. They were also arranged alternate right and left in order to create a theme of 'walking around the garden.'

Helen with the flowery boots.

Ray and Ellis help tame the chicken wire

Meanwhile, the rest of the team concentrated on preparing the new asparagus bed. This is a long-lived perennial crop (meaning it keeps growing every year without being replanted), so we needed to make sure it was as good as possible for the new plants. They like a well-drained soil, which ours is, but we added a bag of sharp sand, just to make sure, along with a few barrows of well-rotted compost. The asparagus plants look like mini mutant octopii, and they need special treatment, to make sure they sit in the ground in the best way and aren't damaged. You need to build a cone-shaped pile of soil in the bottom of the trench and then arrange them on top of it, so you can spread out the roots and make sure you don't damage the crown of the plant. We tucked them up safely in their new spots, and we'll be watching eagerly for the first growth. We don't get to eat any this year, but the spears do grow into attractive ferny foliage, so we should enjoy that. Then next year, we get the first taste, yumm!

Ellis and Chris arrange the 'mutant octopii' in the asparagus bed...
Another job that had us anticipating future taste delights was renovating the strawberry bed. This needed weeding, removal of the runner (baby plants that the parent strawberries grow on long stalks to root around themselves),  and a general tidy up. New volunteers Nathan and Mark got stuck into this and did a great job. Then we added a top-dressing of compost around the plants, and mulched them with straw. As the main bed was full with the parent plants, this meant that we had to find new homes for the runners including some being placed in pots and barrels across the site. Chris also hatched a great plan to plant up an old road cone he'd found in the hedge, so watch this space for the most novel strawberry planter in Nottingham!

Look - we finished the strawberry bed!

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