Community Garden Activities
Community Garden News from Tim Lawrance-Owen – November 2015
The future Community Garden Site
Now I can share some pictures of the new site for the community garden, having set foot on it a few weeks ago. I cannot allow all of us to get over-excited as access is not easy and the ground has not yet been officially handed over. With Jane Haskin’s contacts on the ground in Linden, she has done great things even getting just the two of us access. The long-term access will be past the farmhouse/workshops in about two years time, but we are trying to find a route from Kingsmead Avenue for the real pioneers to take!
You will see that the area is on the far Eastern boundary of the Graylingwell Park site where the ground levels out to the bank of the River Lavant. Soil is very much like that of the ‘old’ garden (flinty with silt and sand), which I found disappointing as it is on the flood plain…. No loamy deposits though! It is a sunny site open to the West and South with large trees to the West (you can see shade cast by them in one of the photos).These trees are not great heritage specimens; more Sycamore and Poplar that has probably self seeded there, so may be thinned when the landscaping for the pub is done.
This is all very early days for the project, but it was good to set foot on the ground. Now practising patience will be the order of the day……
After the old garden site became a suspected route for troublemakers accessing the building site, it was locked up and the compost bins and heaps have been inaccessible. However, limited access to the bin area ONLY has now been secured, so community garden members can now return to deposit their garden waste and vegetable peelings. It is likely that the builders will actually develop the area in the new year (2016), so this may be a short term arrangement, but all nutrition will be needed for the new site! If you do use this facility, it is crucial to relock the gate as soon as you leave to keep it secure.
Autumn 2014: Out in a blaze of glory
The harvest event on Sunday 26th October, marked end of an era and beginning of a new phase in the life of our community garden. It provided an enjoyable afternoon in the sunshine for residents to sample this year’s delicious pear and apple juice, as well as some very tasty pumpkin soup.
With the impending, temporary closure of the existing site from Christmas, to make way for the next phase of building, arrangements are being made for the interim.
The plan is to to put the plants in a small patch of soil to keep them ready for replanting and there is also space for the tools, sheds and glasshouse. Grange Management have lent us a lockable, dry store in which to keep some of these items. However, there is much work to be done between now and Christmas!
Events, including children’s garden and wildlife activities, will continue next year, garden site or not! The community ‘Lodge’ will have raised beds where some of this work can be done.
We hope to be allocated a new Community Garden space towards the end of 2015
The Britain in Bloom ‘Outstanding’ Award this year was for the garden’s community interaction, so we will keep that up and hopefully win other awards, such as the first prize for blooms in a vase, won at the Weald and Downland Autumn Show recently.
The Community Garden has been hosting children’s activities for the summer break. There is a good harvest of beans, courgettes, and now sweet corn. Come by on a Saturday morning and pick some fresh produce!
Thirty or more residents enjoyed local craft made sausages at our recent barbecue (pictured).
Come and visit and enjoy the garden before we move out at Christmas. We will have another harvest event in the Autumn.
The Garden is available to all residents to share and learn gardening and to grow their own produce.
“Well, there’s been no shortage of water over the past few weeks (months), and as expected work over the winter has slowed to a gentle pace. However as we race through March, and Spring, things are beginning to pick up pace and we’re looking forward to another fantastic growing season with strong plans underway for a variety of amazing and delicious fresh fruit, veg, herbs and berries.
Saturday 8th March sees the arrival of our new sign, and start of the 2014 gardening season. The garden will be open to all members from 10am. Come and wake up the beds and see what we’re doing behind the fence.
We’ve had some fantastic events in the garden recently from bird watching to a really successful and fun visit to Petworth Community Garden by the Graylingwell Park Kids Club. Potato cress hedgehogs were the order of the day as well as flap jacks and hot chocolate to keep us going.
We’re planting our GYOP (Grow Your Own Potatoes) and Woodland Trust small copse on 15th March for anyone who’d like to come and join us. It’s predominantly for the kids but all adult support and help would be very welcome. 10-12am in the community garden.
We would like to invite you to come and join us on Thursday 27th March from 7-9pm at The Chapel at Graylingwell Park for an evening of food, fun and frolics, garden related of course! Everyone’s welcome and we’d love to have you along to engage with the garden, gardeners and the steering committee whether you’re a pruner, a digger or a food enthusiast you’ll find lots of like-minded people keen to work closely with our local community. Information about the work with local groups, schools and our kids gardening group will all be available as well as some fantastic guests from other local community gardens. Please get in touch for more information.
We’re now on facebook and twitter. Follow us to find out more.
Finally, a huge thank you to everyone that has made our garden what it is today, and here’s to a new growing year with lots of Britain in Bloom success, fantastic activities and events with Sarah Hughes at Chichester District Council and thanks as always to Linden’s for providing the land to make our garden possible.
Watch this space for more information on up and coming events, activities and generally foody fun in the garden. Everyone’s welcome. Spread the word!
From the Graylingwell Park Community Garden on Lloyd Road”
Also take a look at iRecord.
The goal of iRecord is to make it easier for wildlife sightings to be collated, checked by experts and made available to support research and decision-making at local and national levels. Join iRecord now to share your sightings with the recording community, explore dynamic maps and graphs of your data and make a real contribution to science and conservation.
Autumn in the Community Garden saw several weeks of apple and pear picking from the whole community. The ‘Kids Get Growing’ group also learned how to pick, collect and store the fruit whilst side stepping sleepy wasps. The harvest has now been pressed and made into apple juice to refresh our gardeners during 2014 events.
Our pergola has arrived, and with the expert help and generosity of Longley Road resident (and skilled carpenter) Dave, we finally have a spot of shelter.
Awards have also been won. Britain in Bloom and the Weald & Downland show both gave praise and accolades for the garden’s thriving crops this summer.
Everyone is welcome, regardless of level of experience, so to find out more come along and visit when the garden is open. Watch out for notices around the estate or drop by on a Saturday morning.
If you are particularly interested in gardening, please consider joining the Steering Committee to help drive the garden forward and plan future activities. Contact Jo on 07977 954372 to sign up.