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 28 June 2012

Posh Poppies and Nervous Newts

We've had a couple of really hard working days at Windmill. It's the final push to get an area of the Sensory Garden ready to house a bench dedicated to Paula Dixon. Paula was a youth worker who used to work here before the Climate Friendly Gardeners project started. She died suddenly last year and is much missed. We have planned an area of the orchard to be dedicated to Paula. We have had a seat made and we will be putting in some paving and then planting it to create a nice place to sit.

On Wednesday afternoon, Jade, Tracey, Dan and Merion got the basic layout of the slabbed area dug out, ready to have a concrete foundation laid.

The bench area ready for the foundation

We also got on with clearing some of the areas which have got a bit overgrown with all the rain we've been having. Rosy is a dab hand with the shears, and soon had the area around the fruit cage back under control. We did make sure to save some of the bee and butterfly-friendly plants though. One of the poppies this year is quite amazing, as you'll see from the picture.

Rosy prepares to cut a path to the fruit cage.

Our spectacular purple and red frilled poppy

Jade did a great job planting up hanging baskets with bush tomatoes which we'll be hanging up outside, just as soon as the weather convinces us that it's Summer!

Jade plants up our tomato hanging baskets

Thursday has been a different story. The tight schedule hasn't been helped at all by the weather today, which has been astonishing. We have had so many episodes of torrential rain that we've been dashing in and out just to get work done, but it's been sticky work, as it's incredibly humid, so we're all dripping whether it's wet or not! Fortunately the area where we will be putting the bench is pretty free draining, so we've been able to keep going, but the concrete foundation has been laid only thanks to Ray, Marc and Dan staying on really late to get it finished, once the rain had gone. 

Sheltering from the rain in the polytunnel

Sheltering from the rain in the outdoor kitchen!
In between the showers, the volunteers managed to get a surprising amount done, so Chris and Dan have managed to clear a lot of the rubble pile next to the seating area, using some as hardcore for the new paved area foundation, and putting the rest aside for when we put in the clay oven. Marc, Rosy and Philippa got a lot of tidying done in the polytunnel and also managed to get the tomatoes tidied up. Ellis made sure everything got it's feed in there too, and we dosed some of the outside areas with seaweed solution, as the pumpkins were looking a bit peaky. Tracey managed to make popcorn and pumpkin pancakes in between showers, using the rocket stove, so the troops were fed. 

When we were re-organising the rubble, we found a newt taking advantage of the habitat that the rubble pile provided. It was a good reminder to us that we need to make sure there is a rock pile created to take the place of the dump, so we have made a rockery next to the minibeast hotel, where we re homed the newt. It's also a reminder that amphibians need places to hide out of the water, as they spend quite a bit of their lives on land. We should be a good spot, with all the long grass, stumps, wood piles and other good wildlife habitats we provide, so we hope the newt will find something to it's liking soon.

Rehoming the newt

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