Thriving apples

It has been ages since this blog was updated - not that we haven't been busy - more that we haven't had enough 'finished projects' to photograph - and, also, it gets quite dark in winter.

This certificate appeared one evening after a long cold session in the garden - it was a nice surprise!

This certificate appeared one evening after a long cold session in the garden - it was a nice surprise!

In late November, the Queen Edith in Bloom project, which includes the Nightingale Garden, was presented with a 'thriving' award - and a promise of a visit in 2017 from 'the judges'!

On Saturday 19 November, some of the garden volunteers got involved in the planting of apple trees in the park from the Cambridge Community Collection.

Those who were feeling guilty about not digging on a wet day just made some labels, which were attached by a garden volunteer on Sunday, and a map, which will go into the new noticeboard, when it is installed. A park user commented that 'all the varieties begin with K' (apart from the one called 'Jonathan'). We will be planting a James Grieve apple tree in the community garden soon - to keep Jonathan company.

The 'S106 work' is progressing - the pond is dug, lined and it has some good stones, logs and some plants. It is starting to attract birds, will be beautiful (thanks to Guy's great design and hard work) but still has an unattractive temporary fence around it - so no photos online yet.

The raised beds have been constructed (thanks to Guy, Julian and Streets and Open Spaces staff doing lots of heavy lifting) but we haven't finished filling them, so no photos or planting yet. We are using a permaculture technique of layers - starting with waste cardboard (from Clifton Rd industrial estate) and then: branches (from our slow rot bin), hay (meadow arisings), leaves (from the Whitebeam trees), soil (from the earthworks) etc. We are waiting for delivery of the final soil conditioner layer. The idea is that the different layers rot at different speeds - and it is also a way of making use of materials that might otherwise be wasted.

The specialist plumber called last week and the water supply works can now be finished off - but we have to turn it off until Spring to prevent burst pipes. At least the big holes can be filled in and we can plan to disguise the tank etc.

We will have the contractors back soon to finish off more path works, new gates, fixing of the picnic table, cycle racks, noticeboard etc - and then we can proudly take some photos - and open the gates again each day.

Despite originally thinking we would stop the garden groups at the end of October, people still turn up each Sunday and Monday afternoon eager to work - even in wet and/or freezing conditions. Hats off to you all!