As garden volunteers, we have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm for this community garden.

Here we can list of some of the ideas we have received and our progress with them - or why we aren't taking them forward (yet). There is also a to do list on this website with things we have achieved - and a wishlist of talents, time and materials we are actively seeking. And a page on habitats.

  • Bay tree - we have a donated one, which we hope will survive the dry soil.
  • Benches - we have several traditional park ones, some with added armrests.
  • Bird Box Boulevard - we made (painted) and have installed four bird boxes on stakes four - one in the wrong place... we will move it soon.
  • Bird Cafe - we have a seasonal set of bird feeders and some volunteers who keep them topped up until the January Big Birdwatch. We could keep it going for more of the year if we had some more volunteers who would take responsibility for it and also some better bird feeders. See birds in the garden.
  • BBQ area. Some park users have asked for a place to have a BBQ that is safe and won't scorch the grass. We are concerned about safety and where the best place would be. There is a strict ban on BBQs and bonfires in open spaces, unless in designated areas (Council webpage). We have been given (via Freecycle) a large kettle BBQ, which we can bring out for occasional events. 
  • Bog garden - we have a space for one behind the pond but it isn't wet enough yet and we are enjoying the annuals that have self-sown there. We might plant a gunnera in 2018.
  • Bowls area. We like the idea of having somewhere where something like bowls can be played. We are just not sure how and where... (page about bowls playing). We have had a couple of croquet mallets, a few balls and some old hoops donated. These can be cleaned up for some summer 'bashing'.
  • Bugopolis - our first bug hotel.
  • Bumblebee nest pots - three upturned part-buried flowerpots, near to the gate.
  • Butterfly Corner - We have a buddleia bush growing well in one corner of the garden, next to some well-established ivy and blackberries. We have some more plants near it that butterflies and moths especially like.
  • Club hut - with electricity supply.
  • Cob oven for pizza and bread making. Many people really like this idea and would like to think about making one near the club hut for community events.  We have some expertise and people who'd like to learn how to make one. We will need to source suitable bricks, wood, firebricks, glass bottles, clay, subsoil and sand. We are collecting lots of clinker as we dig deep, which we could use for insulation. We would use it infrequently for events only, to which park users are invited. We'd like to make an outdoor cooking area and, in December 2016, applied for S106 developer's funding for it but were not successful.
  • Cold frames - one large and one small, made from recycled materials.
  • Comfrey bed - with Bocking 14 Russian sterile comfrey. For making plant food.
  • Compost bins. We have five large wooden ones plus slow rot bins.
  • Crocus borders - 4,000 Purple for Polio crocuses, around most of the former green area.
  • 'Dig for worms bed' - for children (or adults who like worms).
  • Fruit bushes, canes, trees - we have blackberries in the hedge, blackcurrant bushes, a crabapple tree, gooseberry bushes, loganberry canes, raspberry canes, redcurrant bushes, rhubarb (see below) and strawberry plants of all kinds and colours. Some are in a soft-fruit aisle. In 2016, we were donated a container-grown fig tree - but we are not sure it has survived the hard frosts in April 2017. We won't have enough for a glut but enough to nibble on - and pollinators like the blossom. In 2017, we will think more seriously about other fruit trees.
  • Gate to garden - this is new. Opened and closed by a rota of volunteers. We might decorate it soon - and it needs a sign...
  • Geckos and butterflies - found at the tip, re-painted and on the back fence.
  • Grass of all lengths - for different habitats. This is part of primary science curricula too. Our short-grass attracts green woodpeckers looking for ants and also solitary bees.
  • Green/living roof. These would provide shade from the sun and shelter from the rain but are great for biodiversity and also collect some rainwater. We have some ideas for places to use them and are looking forward to learning from local experts about the rainwater mitigation aspects of them. 
  • Hanging basket habitats - we have made one with pine cones, leaves, straw, terracotta pots and wire. It is hanging in front of the club hut. We might make a second one now.
  • Hatracks - good for bird feeders and also sunflower tethering.
  • Hazel fence - woven hazel around the nature pond.
  • Hedgehog house - we made one as a feeder but just fed mice so we have retired it behind a tree full of leaves. There are lots of competing spaces in the garden for hedgehogs too.
  • Herbs - they do well in our thin, dry soil. We have a raised bed just for them and other dotted around in other beds.
  • Hibernaculum - at the back of the nature pond, for over-wintering amphibia (frogs, toads and newts), lizards, grass snakes, hedgehogs.
  • Hollyhocks - we like them. Have one planted by the gate.
  • Hugelkultur bed - this is a type of raised bed
  • Leaf mould bins.
  • Log circle - chunks of log, partburied for sitting or hoping.
  • Mains water - new for late 2016 - we love it (but feel a bit guilty using it).
  • Minibeast mansion. This provides shelter for minibeasts of all kinds - and also an attractive 'alpine' roof garden. 
  • Mini greenhouse - we have two and need to decide where to put them.
  • Meadow.
  • Narrow beds - we have cut several of these out of the bowling green grass and in Spring 2017 edged them with tanalised wood. This will help us deepen the soil and also mow between them. They are mainly for annual or biennial plants but we also have some irises, alliums and willow in them.
  • Native hedges - around the garden. It usually has some nests and lots of food for wildlife.
  • Nature pond.
  • Outdoor, covered social and learning area. We'd really like to have somewhere sun- and rain-sheltered where park users and/or invited groups can meet from time to time. The obvious places are near to the club hut, but avoiding the trees. In 2015, we applied for funds via 'S106 public art' but weren't shortlisted. In the meantime, we use two simple 4.5 m event tents and hope it isn't too windy to put them up and down. In December 2016, we applied for funding for a green-roofed veranda area to the front of the club hut but weren't successful.
  • Perennial meadow bed - an experiment for 2016/2017. 
  • Perennial beds in the green - we started these in Autumn 2016, planted mainly with donated plants that can cope with full sun and dry conditions.
  • Plant Plaza. We made a simple plant stand from an upright pallet on which glass is delivered. The loose boxes, to stop plants flying around in the wind, are made from old decking and pallet wood. They are just the right size for mushroom containers to catch water under the plants.
  • Potatoes - in 2017, we made tow wooden planted out of pallet wood. 
  • Raised beds - medium-height oak ones for wheelchair access and low edged ones.
  • Rhubarb row(s) - in 2016, we were offered some garden rhubarb, before the area was turfed over. It is growing really well now. In 2017, we rescued some more rhubarb from a garden due to be bulldozed - we hope it will survive but it has been a very dry Spring.
  • Scented bench - in Spring 2017, we are preparing a small scented garden around a bench, in memory of Lorna a much-missed visitor to the garden.
  • Seating - see benches above. We also have two Adirondack chairs (from Freecycle) that we put away in the club hut. When we have spare turf, we could make some turf-mound seats, including with local wildflowers, maybe in 2017 or 2018.
  • Stagbeetle skyline - for stag beetles, which are quite rare, or other beetles that aren't.
  • Stepping stones - we wanted a way to divide up the new perennial beds and also provide a way to hop across them. We made them out of quick set concrete into wooden moulds.
  • Stinky plant food urn (for plants) - we made this from a donated wormery. For making plant food from borage, comfrey, nettles and alkanet.
  • Sunflower beds - we have two for tall and dwarf ones.
  • Sweetcorn bed - we will try growing some in 2017.
  • Sweetpea wigwams - we like sweetpeas but they need a lot of watering.
  • Tables. We have three folding tables we can bring out of the clubhut; a wooden picnic table donated via Freecycle, which now needs mending; a new wheelchair-friendly picnic table, from Streets and Open Spaces; two wide oak pond-dipping benches across the path from the nature pond, which also act as tables; we also have some trestles with tops that can be made into tables and some wooden cable rolls - plus various pallets.
  • Veg - we are growing some in the raised beds and also in the soil. Not enough to get a glut but they are attractive to people and wildlife. Good for children to see where food comes from too. We tend to harvest them when groups of people are in the garden.
  • Waterbutts. We have made six out of retired wheelie bins to collect rainwater from the club hut.  They have been painted black and we are currently thinking about whether to decorate them or leave them be.
  • Woodpile. we have some permanent ones, but also a new one that can be dismantled by school groups.

Useful links

See new CambridgeWild webpage for useful links.

Last updated: 17 June 2017