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 12 February 2015

Doing a Bit of Titivating

Some years, we'd be getting all kinds of seeds planted and things would be growing already, but not this year. We've been having a proper "don't forget your thermals" Winter, with a prolonged cold snap that has left us all appreciating the small fire we light when it gets really chilly. The cold has also given us a bit of extra time to do some general sprucing up of the site, so today we gave the pot area a makeover.

Vanessa and Rachel tackle one of the blueberries.
 We are pretty sure that one of our major problems in the pot area is due to squirrels or other wildlife eating our damsons and either discarding or caching the stones in the blueberry pots. This means we have a lovely array of little damson trees (and a few really large ones) growing out of our large planters. The blueberries that are supposed to be the main feature, have been having to compete with these vigorous growers. Last week the pots were too frozen to do anything, but today we bit the bullet and managed to restore the blueberries to their rightful places.

Ellie and Vanessa separating the damsons from the
blueberry roots

 We also discovered that some of the pots had turned into couch-grass farms! It took a lot of fiddling to remove the spaghetti of roots, but we finally managed it!

Just a little of our couch-root collection.

Whilst we were playing with the weeds, Brian was getting on with the preparations for the bottle screen. Ellie helped to do the last bits of painting, and it's now ready for putting the bottles on, weather permitting.
Brian sets up the last few planks for the bottle screen

It's normally hard to feel blue at Windmill!

In the orchard, Mac and Hassan did a grand job cutting back some over-grown hedging and using it to plug the last gaps in our defences.

Mac and Hassan give the orchard a haircut 

Lunch was a bean chilli with lots of our own produce, which went down a treat. Hopefully next week we can get the bottle screen finished and start actually planting some stuff. Fingers crossed for a bit of warmth!

Friday 6 February 2015

Lovely Light Nights

Light Nights? At this time of year? In cash you didn't notice it happening, it's an initiative of the City Council to get us out into town in February. The idea is to have lots of beautiful and interestingly lit art and design. The Council also had a competition for community groups to create light installations from reused and recycled materials, which is very us, so we joined in, using and adding to the wonderful punched tin lanterns that we've been gradually accumulating. We also used the soda can lanterns we made for Old Twelfth Night and volunteer Joyce made some fabulous lanterns with old glass jars and recycled-wool used to knit covers for them.

Some of our fabulous lanterns

Some of Joyce's beautiful jars and the soda-can lanterns in action

We were given a brilliant location - outside St. Peter's Church (near M&S in town), there is a raised area with some mature trees, which has a raised stone edge. The edge was the perfect size for us to be able to put a lantern on each stone block. The we tied string between the trees so we could hang up lanterns and arranged Joyce's creations, with their flower and insect themes, on the ground in the gap.

Our stunning location really made the lanterns look wonderful

A team of volunteers helped Tracey to light the lanterns with tea lights, and then keep them lit until the event finished at 10am. Once they were all lit, we were able to relax and enjoy the reactions of the public, fortified with a chocolate and ginger cake that Tracey whipped out from somewhere!

It was wonderful to see how much passers-by enjoyed the lanterns. Lots of them made a point of looking at each individual design, and we were a huge hit with photographers, who were out in droves.

Some of the lanterns in action

At the time of writing, it doesn't look like we won, but we had such a good time watching other folks enjoying all the hard work of volunteers and visitors who made our beautiful lanterns, that we almost forgot there was a competition. We'll certainly have raised our profile!

Did someone say there was a cake?!

Many, many thanks to  - Rowan, Joyce, Matt, Karen, Anna, Jeremy, Claire, Hassan (and son!) and all the folk we knew who made a point of visiting to wish us well.