too long since last entry

It is much too long since I last wrote. With out writing a veritable essay it would be impossible to catch up on everything that has happened since my last entry.However we have had a very good summer with the garden really coming into its own and starting to to be really quiteImpressive.(At least that’s what visitors tell me!) It gives me tremendous joy on a daily basis and I hope over the summer has given enjoy to a number of other people as well.

We had a very successful PlantSale and open day on the first Saturday in September with lots of people spending time walking round the garden and enjoying it and very pleasingly for us providing positive feedback on how it has developed and what it’s like to spend time in it. Not only have the plants matured and made the garden a lovely place to be but we have worked really hard at regular and increased birds feeding and been rewarded by a significant increase in the number of birds in the garden which of course means we are rewarded by beautiful birdsong as well as by seeing a wide variety of feathered visitors including goldfinch, Longtailed tits, Blue tit,Coal tits, Nuthatch, and even on two occasions woodpecker. The annual housemartins’ visit has been as much fun to watch as ever.

It is hard to know which of the plants I like best because like babies I love them all. However the echinaea purpurea in the allotment area has been especially spectacular and the rudbeckia prairie glow have been great for long lasting colour in the hot bed. By the stepover a glorious red schizostylis has been very impressive and close up is simply beautiful. So many more I could highlight but will post some photos instead at the end of this. Some species, particularly echinacea and heuchera we are trying to build up a collection of different varieties.

The wheelchair broadwalk is nearly finished. We had hoped to have it done for this summer but building delay means it won’t be ready for use until the autumn. Paths need replacing as well to make accessibility meet the standard expected for public use. It is an exciting development though and I can’t wait to actually get planting my design for the Japanese garden which will be adjacent to the broadwalk. My vision is of a very green serene place with topiary, predominantly pittosporum, ferns, grasses including lots of Hakonechloa macra, Japanese Forest Grass. As well as the usual variety Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ we are also planting a variety which has red in it Hakonechloa macra ‘Sunflare’

Nurturenature is progressing too. Now we have charitable status we will be able to apply for a wider variety of grants to support further development of the project. Amongst other things we need financial support for is to increase the standard of accessibility so that it meets that required by the public.We need plug plants for potting on (Ordered yesterday) and we will be able to use some of the proceeds from the plant sale for this. We also need equipment to be used during events in the garden and funding for subsidised places at events so that those on benefits or low income are not excluded. We are planning both urgent and longer term needs.

We have been in touch with Rotary and I did a presentation about nurture nature to their meeting last week. There was a great set of questions afterwards. Hopefully we’re going to get together a small working party to collaborate on some aspects of developing the garden and nurturenature as a community project. We are very excited at the possibility of working together.Thank you to Emma Scoffield who made the initial contact with the local Rotary. And of course a big thank you to Rotary for being willing to listen to me talk about nurturenature and work with us in the future.

Still lots to do in the garden; sweet peas to plant soon as well as some perennials to give them a head start for next year. Bulbs to be ordered and planted as the temperature drops. Winter vegetable planting to be planned and undertaken. Polytunnels to be cleaned…..and more………..will keep you posted.

Enough for today…..will post some photos of the garden and try to write my next post soon even if it’s only short!

Allium schubertii

Cephalaria gigantea

Hornbeam pleaching (left) underplanted by anthemis EC Mrs Buxton opposite apple “stepover”

Knautia macedonia “Pastels”

Lily Margaton ‘Arabian Knight’

Rosa ‘Buff Beauty’

Sweet pea ‘Nearly black’

Cosmos chocamocha – smells strongly of chocolate

Heuchera ‘Lime marmalade (top) and ‘Autumn Bride

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