April 12, 2018 by Clare Hawkins
The Children’s Garden has been getting a spring clean and refurbishment, and is now almost ready for planting.
We have removed the car tyres and old pallet planters, which were difficult to water in the summer and were proving to be a perfect snail habitat – not ideal for organic gardeners! We also created a new compost bin and flower bed along the left-hand side, putting our chickens to work eating the weed seeds, laying down their nitrogen-rich manure and tilling the earth with their scratching.
By shifting the bath-tubs around and re-siting the ornamental metal arches, the whole space has been opened up to allow easier access for school groups – we’ve even put woodchip down (kindly donated by Hickson Wardle Treecare), to avoid muddy shoes when working around the vegetable planters.
When the weather warms up we will complete the far end of the garden by sowing a herb lawn to surround our story circle and contemplation bench, which are already in place.
Children from Cayley and Stepney Green schools have been busy in their gardening clubs over the last few months, weeding, pruning and mulching the perennial fruit bushes, preparing beds for planting and sowing seeds. So far we have sown tomatoes, potatoes, peas, broad beans, beetroot, calendula and sweet peas, with carrots, sweetcorn, courgette, cucumbers, parsley, kale and lettuce to follow.
Everything we are planting in the garden is edible and by the summer the garden will be overflowing with crops of tasty organic fruit and vegetables, herbs, edible flowers – and even grains such as amaranth and quinoa.
Thanks are due to our Education Officer, Tiffany Landamore, for the garden design and planting plan, and to Frank and Ryan for their dedicated volunteering to help turn the vision into a reality.
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