Well, what a start to the month!


As mentioned in my last update, the challenge was to start work on the very overgrown front side garden.


On a sunny Friday morning, 2nd October, Caroline Deval and I joined forces with secateurs and loppers at the ready and by mid afternoon three huge forsythia monsters, a buddleia and a climbing rose were pruned back and had been transformed into a mountain of greenery for disposal.  Then at 2.30pm Richard Lathwood arrived armed with shredder, pick axe, crow bar, giant saw and other implements to lend a hand.  The shredder was cranked up and away Richard went, attacking the mountain.  After I ‘clocked off’ at 5.30pm Richard returned to do some more work!


With the vast majority of the prunings shredded, Richard and I met again on a rather wet Saturday morning when all the shredding was completed and bagged up.  Whilst I was digging and removing huge amounts of rubble, stones and slate roof tiles, Richard extracted shrub roots with the aid of the pick axe, rebuilt the dry stone wall at the end nearest the Church, removed a huge root which had actually been growing in the garden wall and moved everything into neat piles ready for disposal.





On Sunday morning I arrived at Church at 9.15am to pick beans etc for the sale table and prepare for serving coffee only to find Bob Wrench and John in the car park.  Bob had already made a couple of trips to the tip and had removed all of the rubbish!


What a fantastic effort from Caroline, Richard and Bob!  Thank you all very much as the side garden is now transformed.


Laura Hobbs has kindly donated 10 bags of Organic Manure Compost, 5 of which I have raked into the soil in the side garden, a large bag of daffodil bulbs and some wall flower plants.  I have been steadily collecting plants over the last few months and intend to plant them all during October, in the side garden, some areas in the car park gardens and in the sloping perennial bed at the rear of the Church.


In the vegetable garden I have removed the peas and replaced them with some spring cabbages, after digging in some compost to give the soil a boost.   


On 14th October I was invited to the Guides meeting to help them work towards their ‘Muddy Boots & Dirty Hands’ badge.  It was based on a garden Treasure Hunt and involved them locating various plants/flowers that fitted 17 different criteria eg. A plant that grows in the sunlight/shade, a plant that has a seed, flower and fruit, a plant that smells like perfume etc. 


Although it was dark and the outside lights did not work at the time (Richard has now replaced all the bulbs), the light from the hall was just about enough to complete the challenge.  Each of the 4 patrols took it in turns to venture outside clutching their question sheets and showed real interest in learning about the plants, flowers and fruit.  The best behaved and attentive patrol received a star for their effort! 


The garden is definitely having an impression on the Guides as Emma, the Guide Leader, has used the Tesco vouchers they were collecting to order bird boxes, an insect nesting box, trowels, gloves, planting tray etc, at the Guides’ request.  They have all been extremely busy making a variety of items for the Autumn Sale on 7th November, where they will have a stall, including a selection of greetings cards and lavender bags, using the lavender collected from the patio garden.


It is absolutely brilliant to see young people taking an interest in the garden and nature in general, greatly adding to the title of Community Garden.


Emma is also interested in finding any ladies who might be able to assist with other parts of the badge such as flower arranging and making corn dollies.  So if there is anyone who possesses these skills, please contact either myself or Emma.


I also had cause to request the skills of Owen North this month.  I discovered Sue Hayes was in possession of a plaque containing a short poem about the garden.  Owen has been kind enough to mount it on a wooden base and stake so it is now another permanent feature of the garden, and very apt it is too.


Having tidied up the side garden and collected quite a number of different plants over the last couple of months, I thought I would try and organise a ‘Plantathon’.  3 willing helpers, James & Janet Wisheart and Caroline Deval gave up the morning of 23rd October to join me.  Paul Dunstan arrived to start the painting of the cottage wall facing into the patio garden accompanied by daughter Zoe.  Zoe was obviously not interested in the painting and spent the whole morning ably assisting the gardeners, and a thoroughly good job she did too!  The side garden was planted, the shrubs in the car park gardens were pruned, 3 bottom branches of the large tree were removed and a few wallflower and tulips were planted for some spring colour. 


I stayed in the afternoon to clear the perennial bed in the patio garden, reorganise some of the rocks, add some more plants and also a selection of daffodil and alium bulbs.


I received a surprise phone call the following week from Richard Lathwood telling me that he had taken the time on a beautiful Autumn day to remove the roots of the old shrubs behind the emblems.  This has paved the way for the next challenge which is to buy and fit trellis to the back fence, plant the climbers and plant a winter bedding display around the emblems.


So a good and busy month all round really and, once again, a big ‘thank you’ to all my helpers. 







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