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 19 April 2012

Time for Tomatoes?

We headed down to Windmill Community Gardens for a busy day of planting and weeding. Despite the very variable weather, we managed to get lots done, but it's a worry - some things that should already be in the ground are still in the polytunnel because it's so chilly, and some things we have put in to the outside beds have just sat and sulked, like our first planting of cabbages.

Ta da! Chris is thrilled with his newly sprouted broad beans
However, some things are working very well. Chris did a sterling job planting broad beans a few weeks ago, and was delighted to see that they are now showing. The peas also seem happy, and the twigs we put over them have done a great job at protecting them from birds. We planted up our raised-bed potatoes, which was a lot less effort than planting the ones in the low beds, reminding us that high
raised beds really make a difference for folk with bad backs or trouble bending. Helen bravely tackled the weeds in the herb garden which seem to be enjoying the plot more than we'd hoped, although thanks to efforts like hers, the herbs are still winning the battle.

Rosy planting potatoes

Newly completed potato bed

Pink Lady - Helen weeding in the herb garden

In the polytunnel (a very popular place in this weather!), Ellis and Phillipa planted Helen's tomatoes, then Rosy planted a living mulch of lettuce and basil seedlings around them. Dan and Ellis also used the warm space to pot on some French and Runner beans for planting out once the weather improves.

Ellis and Philippa planting tomato plants in the polytunnel
Rosy appearing surprised by the plants

Dan and Ellis with their little beany friends

One problem we hadn't anticipated came not from the weather, but from one of our robin pairs, who have decided that the narrow ledge above the sink in the outdoor kitchen is a good place to make a nest. Unfortunately, gravity and breezes keep knocking the nesting material into the sink, so we made them a state of the art nesting shelf at the front of the structure, where any fallen stuff won't be a health hazard, and we put the remaining nesting material on it. We'll see if they take the hint and go for the new site.

Ellis constructing a new house for the robins

One of the most novel creations of the day had to be the strawberry cone! This is the answer to "What do you do at a community allotment when someone dumps a damaged traffic cone in your hedge?", and involved cutting holes into a traffic cone, turning this upside down and filling it with strawberry plants and soil. We topped it off with a funnel made from a plastic bottle to make watering easier. It should be quite a sight once it gets growing... and also rather tasty!

Rosy and Tracey battling to construct an amazing traffic cone strawberry planter

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