April is always a busy time for Friday Garden Club. The Forest and Community Gardens have been waking up since early spring with lovely blossom on the almond and apricot trees, ferns unfurling and sparkling blue and white anemones carpeting the ground. A few nettles and brambles are being cleared to allow shrubs, trees, herbs and perennials to hold their own against these more rampant plants. Some of the original weed-proof membrane is being removed to enable the walking leeks, camomile and mints to spread freely and create dense mats which it is hoped will act to suppress the nettles!
In the polytunnel and cold frames vegetable, herb and flower seedlings from the different Triangle groups are growing rapidly. In brilliant spring sunshine, working separately at little tables to ensure social distancing, the volunteers busily sowed hundreds more seeds, most of which we hope will be ready for sale in late May. These include butternut squash, sweetcorn, beans, basil and many others. One volunteer potted up lots of the strawberry plants that have naturalised in the soil around the raised beds. Already healthy plants, they should bulk up nicely in the next few weeks. Woad seeds collected in autumn from the forest garden have created innumerable tiny plants some of which have been pricked out to add to the forest garden planting.
On plot 5a the asparagus, which has been waiting patiently in pots, was planted out and watered thoroughly; the raspberry patch is looking healthy and tiny gooseberries are forming. The greengage has blossomed and the herb areas are flourishing, while offstage vegetable seedlings are waiting to be planted out when all danger of frosts has passed. Hopes are high for a productive spring and summer, with lots to look forward to and plenty of gardening and tending to be done.
Thanks to Gill Martin of Garden Club for this uplifting blog post, hopefully the first of many from indivduals involved in our projects