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 June 2012

Sorry birds!

Today, we are probably less popular with the birds than we were yesterday. We're keen here to work with nature, rather than against it, so we definitely aren't anti-birds. In fact you may remember that we even provided a des-res for the local wrens, who successfully raised 2 chicks there. We also leave the fruit cage open for the Spring, so that if we get any saw-fly caterpillars on the gooseberries, the birds can come in and snack on them to solve the problem for us. However, the time has come to put the lid on the cage again, because the berries inside are ripening, and we can see the birds starting to plan their dinner parties. Marc and Ellis did a great job with the net - it's really fiddly and tends to lead to various comments that we won't print here, but they seemed quite calm and approached the task methodically.

Mark works on the fruit cage roof

We've also put the net down over the strawberries now. They were also getting quite a bit of attention  with the blackbirds sneaking in for a crafty nibble any time we gave them enough room. Added to that, the smaller slugs seemed to be laughing in the face of the organic-approved pellets that we used, nibbling the ends some berries, just enough to make a good route in for ants. Because we didn't just want to provide the slugs with a nice warm patch to live in, we've introduced another possible way of stopping them, by putting down bran. This is apparently irresistible to slugs and when they eat it, they get full and dried out. Let's hope that works - with all this rain it might not, but we're always happy to try things out.

Merion sows the late carrots
Another try out was some late-sown carrots. Merion put some in between the onions and the leeks, where we hope the carrot fly won't find them. We were told that we'd be likely to get a good set if we sowed just on or after the solstice, by a local Biodynamic Grower, so we'll see. It would be good to get some going, as our carrots are rubbish at the moment - they really haven't liked the weather, even in the sand-trench we put in.

Helen,  Jade and Merion plant the calalloo and some shark's 
fin melons

A final measure against bird-attack was to hang some of the painted CD's from the open day to annoy any birds trying to eat the calalloo. Our lovely neighbour Ken gave us a tray full of his best calalloo (he's not impressed by what we grew from seed at all!), and reckons that birds don't go for the plant. We'd love to believe him, but we're not so sure after what happened to the red-version, as that really did look like bird damage. We'll see - we've protected some of it but not all, so it will be interesting to see if there is any more damage and if there is, whether the CD's make any difference. It's a bit like having a living "who done it"!

Jade puts in the bird scarer - will is make any difference?

Tony and Mark from Framework with the roof
supports for the clay oven

Added to all this hard work, we managed to collect enough bricks so that we can build the plinth for the clay oven which Framework will be helping us with. They've already put the roof-supports in, so we're looking forward to being able to get on with that shortly, and trying not to get too distracted with thoughts of freshly-baked bread...

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