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 13 November 2014

Getting ready for Winter, or not.

Winter may or may not be around the corner. There are lots of confused plants all around us at Windmill. The hazel saplings that we have in pots have put out next year's leaves already, and we have poppies and marigolds in April and May mode springing up all over the place. We aren't seeing many flying insects (apart from the whitefly!), so some things may be getting the idea, but there are healthy populations of aphids appearing in some of our Winter brassicas.

Hassan and friend discuss the unseasonably mild weather

Squirrels seem to be making preparations - we keep finding big juicy hazelnuts when we are digging, and we find various frogs have staked out nice cosy hollows around the grounds. We're hoping the birds don't get confused - a few years ago a pair of robins nested really early and there was a freeze, so we know it can happen. Hopefully the reducing day length will be a sufficient hint to them.

Guy, Mark and Michael take the lid off the fruit cage
We decided we would start to make Winter changes anyway, and took off the net from the fruit cage. It's a fiddly job, but fortunately we had enough help to make it easy, and the net is now safely stashed away for next year. With any luck, as we dig over and mulch the area, we'll be helped to get rid of pests by the birds that can now get into the fruit bushes. We also took the time to cut off the old growth on the blackberry / raspberry cross and thornless blackberry plants that we have planted around the edge of the fruit cage. We then tied in the new growth so it won't be damaged by winter storms and we will hopefully get a good crop next year. We also layered some of the stems - pegging their ends down into the ground. This should hopefully create a rooted plant that we can pot up next year.

Ellie tying in new stems on one of the blackberries

Lunch was a just reward for hard work - savoury gram-flour pancakes with a lentil dahl - filling in just small portions, though the crispy and yummy pancakes meant that everyone had seconds of those.

Chickpea pancake in preparation

New volunteers Dan and Danny lifted some of the vine cuttings taken from Hassan's black grapes on Monday, and Ellie helped to pot up the ones from the bottle bed. They have rooted mightily! The roots are so deep that we had to abandon digging some of them out. We'll have another go next week, as we know some people would love to have them, and we have some ideas about where we want to plant them ourselves.

The few vines we managed to pot up.

Chris showing an idea for a gardener's coat of arms...?!

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