This month has seen the ground cleared and prepared ready for more raised beds to be made. One of our volunteers has kindly donated a real Christmas Tree and volunteers have been digging a huge hole, which will hold an IBC to collect the rainwater run off from the polytunnel.
Planting and extending the Food Forest continues. This is really starting to fill out now but still plenty more to be done!
As we head towards winter, our attention has turned to planning for next year, including building the wildlife pond, shelter, developing the children’s natural play area, building more raised beds, plus much more.
Volunteers were busy crafting, making poppies and poppy wreaths we displayed on the entrance gates and in the notice board, in support of Rememberance Sunday and Armistice Day earlier this month.
This month has seen the Sensory Garden show off its Autumn colours, the Polytunnel cover has gone on, planting has continued in the Food Forest, the planting area around the Children’s Pond has been expanded and planted and we launched ‘Veg on the Hedge’.
We say a special thank you to our friends Christina and Robin on Hassock Lane for their extremely kind donation of wildlife friendly plants, fruit trees, currant and berry bushes from their allotment. We have already planted a couple of full car loads and there is still more to come!
The plants and shrubs have established so well that the Sensory Garden beds were actually too full (a nice problem to have!)
We had planted a lot of Goat Willow in some of the beds, not expecting that all of the donated plants would settle and do so well, bearing in mind some of them had even gone passed being good enough for the clearance trolleys in the Garden Centre! So we have been busy moving the Goat Willow into the Food Forest and moving plants into different beds where they are more suited for that specific sensory experience.
Stunning autumn colour and late nectar sources for the Bees.
We managed to find a fairly wind free day and volunteers rallied to get the cover on. This wasn’t an easy task but we did it! Work has started on repairing and painting the donated staging and designing the inside. It won’t be too long and it will be a fully operational Polytunnel.
Awesome work everyone
Veg on the Hedge
This has been an idea in the making for a while and sees a trough fitted to the notice board at the Garden’s entrance, where volunteers will routinely be leaving produce for passers-by to help themselves to. So far there has been Raspberries, Tomatoes, Apples, Green Beans, Chard and Kale. So keep your eyes out, help yourselves and spread the word!
A number of the regular volunteers have been on their holidays this month, so we haven’t had the normal numbers but as usual, all the volunteers have been working hard and socially distanced on various projects.
We also welcomed the wonderful Gardener Steve broadcasting live for Erewash Sound’s Saturday Lunch and Gardening Show on the 19th. Unfortunately due to strong winds it wasn’t possible for any interviews to take place and as the only shelter we currently have is the Compost Toilet, yep you guessed it, Steve broadcast from in there!
The frame is now in place. Once Graham has made the doors, we will be able to fit the cover. We just need to wait for a day with no winds, otherwise you may spot one or two of us flying over Ilkeston!
We are enormously grateful to Jim Steele, Butterfly Conservation Officer for Derbyshire for taking the lead on planning and designing our Butterfly Bank in the meadow area. Jim was also able to secure funding from the Butterfly Conservation for the plants.
Sensory Garden and Paths
There has been some tidying up to do in the Sensory Garden from all the digging by our resident badger/s! We have harvested herbs from the Herb Bed and some of these were bundled up for passers-by to help themselves to. More plants have been added and we had Limestone aggregate left over from the Butterfly Bank, which means we have been able to continue with the main footpath leading away from the Sensory Garden to the Friendship Bench.
Team work! Tammy and Dawn fetching the aggregate ready for Graham to lay the path.
Another great couple of hours at the Community Garden this morning. Visits from Jim and Bob our local butterfly and bird experts offering fantastic advice, which has given us some exciting ideas to make our Community Garden even more wildlife friendly!
We welcomed new faces and had many children visiting and enjoying the Scarecrow Trail – thanks to our member Ruth for running this.
More work was completed on the Sensory Garden paths; the main MOT path; painting the shed and trellis; weeding and planting the rockery at the entrance; and bird boxes installed. Not bad for a couple of hours!
We have our first apples and figs on the trees and magical mushrooms have appeared!
Great start today on the raised beds. We’re using Sleepers and decking boards to build the raised beds. Once we have these sleepers lined we will be able to fill the beds with topsoil and compost ready for a season of growing.
We plan on having an ‘adopt a bed’ scheme so for those interested in having their own veg plot, please get in touch with us.
A big thank you to Kate Lemon from the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust for donating her time and willow crop this Saturday.
It was great to see some new volunteers this week who worked with Kate to create the start of the hedgerow willow arch and large half circle at the corner of the wild flower meadow which will house a bench. As the planted willow whips grow, we’ll be able to complete the structures by joining the ends and weaving more willow to strengthen both structures.
While the willow was being planted, the children did a great job creating our first bug hotel.
Noticeboard up, seat uncovered
from brambles, neighbouring conifer hedge cut, roadside path widened,
pallet wood compost bins x3 erected, raised bed x 9 started, paths in
meadow and social/event area mown, haybales moved and positioned (for
trees in the Forest garden, pond etc) Areas staked and labelled, health
and safety checks, signing in and disclaimer sheets completed by
Also plenty of ideas, enthusiasm and future plans shared over chocolate and raspberry brownies (OMG yom!) and tea.
Really blessed with sunshine and laughter. A great morning. Many thanks to everyone who helped, supported or just visited. Our community is growing. 👏👏
If you can spare an hour or two on a Saturday morning we would love to see you.