Annual report for the Community Garden
March 2015 – Feb 2016
A fantastic amount of work has been achieved in the garden this year including constructing compost bins, constructing storage bays for bricks and rubble, erecting a 30’X10’ poly tunnel; laying a footpath through the tunnel and developing the soil with compost, installing a Porta-Cabin and fitting shelving and took racking for storage, slabbing a pathway from the main garden entrance to the porta-cabin, starting to build recycled bottle green houses and installing ex Longbridge motor industry crates that have been turned into raised beds.
Volunteers have dug out and prepared circular growing beds, used old tyres to produce a herb entrance to the garden and flower beds by the entrance hall, dug out more beds around the porta-cabin which have been planted with apple trees to grow as espaliers and flower beds along the metal fencing, dug out and developed a metre deep pond and developed a bog garden, developed a natural grassed seating area for an outdoor stage, installed a sailing boat in the bed area to form part of a water feature and built a solid brick built earth oven and BBQ.
We have started to develop a wildlife area by clearing the ground and planting pollinator friendly plants, cleared the forest school area and developed a pathway, scattered wild flower seeds in the forest school area, planted more apple trees and potted up seeds for the 2016 growing season.
During the spring and summer of 2015 we grew various fruits and vegetables in the circular beds. Volunteers benefited from free vegetables grown in the garden whilst day centre members benefited from fresh food used to prepare lunches straight from the garden and fresh veg to take home.
We have run various courses on beginners gardening, compost making, making soup, jams and chutneys, delivered weekly evening sessions for children plus 8 forest schools and have held a number of events including a Grand Opening day, mad hatters tea party teddy bears picnic, harvest fest and Carols by Candlelight.
The project has been very popular and has attracted people from all walks of life, 540 people visited the garden during the year, either working in the garden or by taking part in community events. In a recent survey conducted with garden volunteers and on face book 94% of those who replied agreed that the community garden helps residents of different backgrounds to get along better. 100% of garden volunteers agreed that it has brought people from all backgrounds together; all have got along well and have learned something from each other. Comments received have included “awesome, so wonderful to see”, Many Fab ideas, definitely coming again and “Great use of space, brilliant, so inspirational” and “impressive, lifts my spirits coming here”.
The garden is open on Tuesday and Friday between 10:00am and 3:00pm. Visitors are welcome during these times. Other group visits may be arranged by contacting the project manager, Sheila or garden coordinator Jackie on 0121 478 3310