Wow! What a day! We have just finished an amazingly productive session with the help of Gateway to Nature, and all that work was done in between downpours and a massive hail storm. And we even managed a gourmet lunch in the middle of it all (gardening Windmill-style - we love it!).
Our goals for the day were to put in a wildlife pond and to renew the willow-weave edging around one of the herb beds.
The pond is something that Lizzy and Chris were really keen for us to have, so it's great to be at this stage. It will give another good spot for wildlife in the allotment and hopefully increase the frog population so they can help with the slugs! Laurence is really interested in wildlife and has put in a few ponds before, so he agreed to lead the team.
|Laurence checks the levels of the
|Stabilising the sides of the pond.
|Putting in the pond liner.
|The pond is nearly finished- and quite a bit of that water
is from melted hail!
Putting in the new edge to the herb bed was really satisfying, because all the resources we needed were taken from our own coppiced and pollarded willow, literally from within 10m of the bed! The last time we created woven beds, the willow was left over from a weaving project and came from Somerset, so we have managed to be a lot nearer to carbon-neutral this time.
The method is simple, with stakes knocked into the ground and then more willow woven around these in a rough basket style, a little like a very low hurdle. We first cut stakes. Because willow is so good at growing from cuttings we shaved the bark from the part of the stake that would be below ground so that there is no danger of them making roots.
|Shaving the bark from willow stakes.
|Hammering the stakes into the ground
|Starting the first weaving of the willow.
|The completed bed. Brian the snail approves!
|Hassan plants up the lettuce in the
warmth of the polytunnel.
A huge thank you to the volunteers and the Gateway to Nature folk for such hard work and for your stamina in difficult weather. Thanks also to Hassan, who made sure that the growing remit of Windmill wasn't forgotten in all the rushing about. And a final thank you to Paul, who has been such a great chef for our lunches over the last few months. You will be sorely missed, but we hope you have a great time visiting your family in the US.