Thanks to Mike Paszkowski at Bridge Drone Photography we can now bring you a tour by drone of Shipley Woodside Community Garden.
We have more raised beds to build once we can safely collect the rest of the donated sleepers. There will also be a growing area specifically for the little ones.
The mound was really created by accident as the excess soil from the levelling of the ground for the polytunnel was put there and then grass sods seemed to keep being adding to it! This has already proven to be a hit with the kids, so we will let the grass grow on this and perhaps install a slide in the future!
At the bottom of this picture you can see the working area, with the compost bins, shed, IBC’s and raised beds. Thanks to funding from Amber Valley Centre for Voluntary Services, we have been able to purchase a large polytunnel and this will be situated at the clearing on the right.
Beyond that is the sensory garden and what will be a large wildlife pond on the left, currently roughly marked out with hay bales.
Above the pond is a young hazel wood and then the forest garden area. Currently we have the canopy layer planted with many different fruit trees, the next stage is to plant the shrub layer such as currant and berry bushes. Then will come a herbaceous layer which consists of perennials and annuals such as herbs and rhubarb. Next will be the ground cover such as strawberries and clover. Once the fruit trees become more established, we will also be able to plant vines and climbers such as runner beans.
The sensory garden has been our focus for the last couple of months and although not finished yet, we are so pleased with the progress. You can see the different sections of the garden which are planted differently such as touch, sight, sound and smell. We have used different textures for the various paths and at the centre is a weeping birch tree. This will have a seat around it and as this magnificent tree grows, it will form a beautiful focal point of the garden.
Thanks to funding from Amber Valley Centre for Voluntary Services we have been able to lay the main wheelchair accessible path from the entrance to the sensory garden. The path goes around the weeping birch and will continue on up to the social area and wildflower area.
This area shows the start of the natural play area for children, we have a small pond ready for planting and a bug hotel. There are lots of exciting ideas to add to this such as a barefoot walk, music station and stepping stones.
The area above has been cleared for a barn structure and we have a couple of seats and benches in place. Also just out of shot on the right, is the compost toilet, which is currently a work in progress!
The wild flower meadow at the top of the garden showing off our volunteer Karl’s creative mowing skills!
You can see the young hedgerow whips planted with the assistance of children from Mapperley Primary School, which will create a wildlife corridor and the willow arch, planted by volunteers and with the help of Kate Lemon from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
The wildflower meadow is a longer-term project and will take some time to establish. So far we have lifted the turf, scarified and sown seeds purchased from Naturescape on a small area at the top of the meadow, although it didn’t feel a small area when our volunteers where working on this! In August 2020 we will be completing a survey on this area to see what flowers have joined us and whether we need to over seed that area.
We plan on creating a butterfly bank as part of the meadow and are fortunate to have the benefit of a local expert to guide us on how best to go about this.