Friday, 29 January 2010

Spring is coming!

Even in the depths of winter, gardening can make you feel like spring is just round the corner. We're already preparing for the busy growing season to start, by putting in seed orders, chitting potatoes and cleaning beds, when the weather allows. The phase 2 gardeners, who participated in the community garden last year have marked out 5 beds for themselves and are making their own plans for what they want to grow. They will be working independently in a group of 5 or 6, organising and working their garden, with a little help from the on site gardener (me!). They seem pretty excited, and I'm impressed with how well organised they are.

The main garden plot is looking very wintry and desolate, and to be honest has been abandoned over the winter. But I'm starting to clear beds and mark out where things are going. I've also put in a willow fence to mark out where the garden will end.

As I write this in Belfast it's started snowing! It was really sunny and warm a moment ago. I think one thing to look out for at this time of year is not to get too enthusiastic and start sowing stuff on a sunny day only for a frost or cold night to come along and crush the poor little plants. I'm going to sow some salad and scallions on my windowsill today, but nothing in the porch til late February.

Mainly at the moment I'm devising lots of systems and diagrams for being super organised with my seeds and the layout of the garden, because in the heat of the moment during the summer it can become hectic and hard to stay on top of what's supposed to be happening. I have a rotation plan this year, and every bed is accounted for at every stage of the year. the seeds packets are labelled according to their sowing date, and other jobs (e.g. harvesting nettles for liquid feed in April, and cleaning poly tunnel in February) are being pencilled in. Good to be organised! :o)

The other things I'm doing are getting ready to advertise for new recruits for the garden. I hope we have such a great crowd as last year, with a good range of people. Really looking forward to it.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Community Garden and Shared Space Seminar

Welcome to the Helen's Bay Grow Community Garden Blog!
This is the first of what I hope will be many interesting posts.

The news today:
A group of Gardeners from the Helen's Bay garden are going to the Belfast City Council's Community Garden and Shared Space Seminar tomorrow, and we're really looking forward to it. We'll then be taking our new friends back to see our garden at Helen's Bay! Unfortunately the garden is quite muddy at the moment, but we hope they will appreciate all the care and work that has gone into our garden over the past year. Will let you know how it goes.