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?

Wednesday 1 May 2013

New Tricks with Gateway to Nature

Windmill welcomes Gateway to Nature
This year, we are aiming to get more of our ground into production than in previous years, but that's also given us a chance to try out some different ideas which may help folk trying to garden in our currently extremely changeable and changing climate. Our good friends from Gateway to Nature were pleased to join us to help start the ball rolling on making the new beds, which also helped us to get things organised quickly.

One of our aims is to create a half-moon shaped tyre structure which will act as a wind-break and also as a warming bed, as the tyres will warm up fast in sunlight and some of that heat will collect in the middle as well as being released overnight. If we get it right, it should mean early strawberries, some happy mediterranean herbs on top, and a good space in the middle for plants like tomatoes or pumpkins.

The other aim is to make a hugelkultur bed. This is an idea from several sources, but got its name from Germany. With hugelkulture, a hole is dug, then this is filled with rotting wood which is then covered over with the same soil to make a mini hill. In our version, the gap will be also contain composted and fresh bark chips. In all cases, the wood should gradually rot down, warming the soil and also eventually breaking down to form humus-rich soil and being both free draining and offering a store for water.

Making a start on clearing the ground

Of course the first step in any project for us is to weed thoroughly. Our Gateway to Nature friends helped a huge aamount with this, setting to and making short work of vegetation removal, as well as helping us to process some of the wood that had been stored on the site previously. Thank you so much, and we look forward to showing off the finished beds very soon!

Ground quickly cleared - thanks all!

Thanks for cutting more firewood for us folks!

We also got some help from Stevan, who is an experienced gardener, but now has mobility problems, so he was happy to help us with our raised beds. He and one of our regular volunteers, Andrew helped us to finish planting up our potato and onion bed - just what we needed!

Stevan and Andrew make a start on the spuds.
And anyone who fancied a rest from the more energetic work helped us to pot up seedlings. It was really nice as some of the group had never had the chance to do this before, but they quickly got the hang of it.

A newly expert potter-up!

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