Symphytum officinale in the family boraginaceae with its tall clumps of large green hairy leaves and clusters of tubular flowers appears all over the Triangle Community Garden and allotments in May and June. Upright and growing to around 1.5 metres the flowers vary in colour from pale pink and white through to blues and lilac, a handsome plant particularly attractive under trees and on banks, when allowed to spread in drifts it is a spectacular sight. Easy to propagate from root cutting, division or seed, it is also almost entirely pest and disease free.
One blustery Friday morning in May, Garden Club members set about clearing the waist high weeds smothering the fruit bushes in the Forest Garden. Pulling nettles, cow parsley and goose grass out of the rich, moist earth to uncover half-hidden bushes, discovering snails in unexpected colours and seeing the beginnings of this year's berries, was an oddly satisfying experience on a wet morning.
Activity continues in the Forest and Community Gardens to help plants and shrubs recover from the long period during lockdown when it was not possible for the volunteers to work. More membrane has been removed in the Forest Garden to give the rhubarb and day lilies chance to spread and thrive, and the currants (pictured above) have been thoroughly weeded, opening them up to the light and air. The Cercis (Judas Tree) is nearly in flower with a touch of colour coming through.
Garden Club members have spent several sunny Friday mornings clearing the Forest Garden and rediscovering forgotten plants amongst the undergrowth. It’s been instructive to see how the garden has evolved over the past year with minimal human intervention. Some plants have held their own while others have disappeared amongst the more vigorous weeds around them. As we cleared one sheltered spot of nettles and brambles, the unmistakable scent of mint hung in the air, reminding us of the mint that was planted several years ago.
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.
Here's an update from our community events team on what we have and haven't been able to do this year:
As you can imagine this piece on events and workshops is going to be quite short but we hope you enjoy it and perhaps get inspired to join our merry band on the events committee!
Here's a short update on what's been happening at Ransom's Pavilion this year by Vicky Wyer of the TCG premises and safety committee:
After 2018’s injection of funding and redecoration TLC to our wonderful little Pavilion, we were able to really capitalise on its community value last year with a full calendar of workshops planned by Tuuli Parker Jewellery and dye-plant experts Nature’s Rainbow, not to mention the children’s parties that usually book out weekend afternoons. So much promise and so great to see the Pavilion finally being used by the community to its full potential!
If you've been wondering what's been happening at our Growing Ability projects since we closed the service in March, we have now reopened (in July) and here's an update from Project Manager Liz McElroy:
Never before has our project been of such benefit and importance to so many people in our community. With the life changing effects we have all been immersed in throughout the pandemic, individuals have come together to form stronger bonds of solidarity and register their appreciation towards the continued support and development of our projects.