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 18 April 2013

A visit from the Green School

Today we were delighted to welcome pupils from the Green School on their first visit to Windmill. The school have their own growing area, and they are hoping we can help them to learn more about gardening. We are also hoping that they will help us by growing some seeds and giving us some of the seedlings.

Half of the group getting on with planting in the high beds

The group had a tour of our various growing areas, and other environmentally-friendly features. Then they got kitted up, and got down to work. Pupils planted our first potatoes of the season - first earlies which should give us new potatoes by the end of June. Then one group went on to plant onion sets with Mark and Ulrike, whilst the other group worked with Tracey and Jade to plant pumpkin, squash and sweetcorn seeds. These have now been taken back to school, and we look forward to seeing how they grow, and hopefully to getting some of them back.

Preparing the ground for potatoes

Planting potatoes

Planting lots of seeds - hopefully we'll get lots of plants

The group took the opportunity to have their lunch with us, and just fitted nicely onto the fire-pit benches. We kept them entertained by showing them some of the many strange things we've dug up, including a medicine bottle, metal bolts, hooks, butter knives and even oyster shells!

Actually we left something out of the story - something else we dug up. When they first started to dig, one of the pupil groups discovered that our local fox had left us a present... Carefully buried in one of the raised beds was a duck! We presume that the fox has decided that our allotment is a good place to cache food, where before it just seemed to be digging for worms and beetles. It hopefully won't be too upset to find that we have now buried the poor beastie in the hedge instead.

So sorry me duck.

Foxes use their scent to show that the cache is theirs, or that an area is their hunting patch, so if the fox keeps burying food, we will try smearing vaseline mixed with citronella around the beds. This strong scent acts like a calling card, saying "My smell is stronger than yours, buzz off!" We won't try this straight away though, because foxes can be a great help in the garden, reducing the numbers of mice and other things that like to eat our crops. We do, however, make sure we don't leave any food waste out in bin bags, as the fox will rip them open and have a party. One person discovered that they had a block of cheese in their compost heap, presumably from someone leaving it out in a bin bag and the fox  taking advantage of the tasty treat!

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