So, we can feel the first stirrings of spring at the garden. As, Pete, one of our neighbouring allotment holders said, "You know its spring, when the Ground Elder starts growing". What is underground, becomes overground, and the gardening year begins again. There have been a couple of hardy Hellebores flowering overwinter, but because of the cold weather, not much else. We have been feeding the birds with fat balls and seed, which has been much appreciated, particularly by the Robins. The lettuce and spinach that we have in the poly tunnel have been feeding the wildlife too. We are not sure what variety, but I have put down some cotton wool balls soaked with Peppermint oil, as the rats are not fond of them. Previously I used vinegar, but this obviously wasn't a deterrent as several of them disappeared, presumably to make nests.
Despite the weather, volunteers have been busy pruning the fruit bushes and thinning Raspberries. Along with Tracey, they even managed to Wassail the Apple tree. Please see our Facebook page for a video of this: (6) Facebook
We have been carrying out general maintenance in preparation for the coming planting season and making plans for seating areas and covered seating for Mohi and Mohamed. Also Tracey has grand plans to create an earth sculpture under the tree near the gate, similar to the ones at Helligan:
OUR OWN COVERED CLASSROOM
Yes, at last the Windmill Gardens Committee have given us permission to take on the next allotment. This will give us a much larger space in which to build an outdoor classroom, so we can carry on with activities during the winter and when the weather is bad. However there is a slight hitch - the next door allotment is very wet. We will need to dig a pond to contain the excess water, then make a mound out of the dug earth. We will then put the building on pads. So we will be after your muscles over the next few months. We do not have a final design yet, but we are thinking of a wooden structure with a sloping roof, possibly with windows, or doors, on one side. We are joining with Refugee Roots to fund the project, as they enjoy using the site for meetings and gardening and would like shelter for the winter.
In the mean time, we are carrying out an experiment to see which of the thousands of seeds we have instore are viable. Tracey has been giving out samples of seeds to volunteers to germinate at home, using damp tissue paper, as in the photo. Then we will know which to plant and which to discard.
We have decided not to hold our normal Feel Good Garden Party in the summer, as we don't know yet what Covid restrictions will be in place. Instead, we are going to hold a weekend Art Exhibition in the early summer. This means that a few people can enter the allotment at a time. If you are a budding artist, or know someone who is, please start thinking about what you could do. There will be some undercover space, but it will be mainly outdoor.
For more news, see our Facebook page: (6) Windmill Community Gardens | Facebook
Rosie Jarrett 04.02.2021