Here we list things we are ready to do, things we'd like to do soon and things we are a bit unsure about and would like your ideas and comments. Please don't help yourself to any of the things on the list - we like to have a garden co-ordinator present to ensure we do things safely.

Plants: we are often planting up new beds. If you are splitting garden plants and are likely to have spares do contact us.  

Things we are ready to do

  • Back border - could do with some trimming back.
  • Benches - re-varnish, probably when the garden isn't very busy so people don't sit on wet varnish. 
  • Bird box boulevard - we have put two of the boxes too close together - we need to move one of them.
  • Bulbs in the pavilion - need sorting (and the daffodil leaves removing).
  • Compost - needs turning.
  • Fruit tree row - need to remove turf and make planting holes - we need a plan first. 
  • Hedge - needs a bit of gentle trimming back - makes it easier to mow.
  • Leafmould - the two-year stuff needs spreading and space making for the new season's.
  • Grass edging - lots around the green - needs finishing.
  • Minibeast Mansion - need re-stuffing and protecting from the beasts that keep messing with it.
  • Seeds - need collecting from best flowers in the meadow.
  • Sow some more veg seeds - have just ordered some more.
  • Stinky plant food - needs using and replenishing.
  • Pallet bashing - we could do with some more sticks for projects.
  • Perennial bed - needs cutting (how sad!).
  • Peripheral hedge - trim long shoots back with secateurs.
  • Pond - we think we will clear some blanket weed now.
  • Pond edges - clear or tidy dried annuals.
  • Watering - just the plants that need it most.
  • Water supply structure:  we have almost finished making a structure around the tank. 
  • Weeding - usually lots.
  • Worm dig bed - needs an attractive edge to it.
  • Woven hazel fence - clip back cable ties and maybe add fresh willow ties.
  • Woven hazel arches - dig suitable holes and make them. We have the start of a plan for living willow between them - to make a hideaway - but need to wait for the start of the season - December onwards.

Planning for next season.

We could do with taking stock of what we have grown from seed and small plants this year - it is the time of year to buy seed. Some plants did really well and others struggled with soil, drought and/or hot weather. Some plants were really popular and others less so. Some plants too a lot of watering or slug pelleting - and we don't want to use nets. The following annual produce plants could be grown (again):

  1. Basil - did well in the raised beds - just grow regular sweet basil.
  2. Beetroot - did well in the raised beds (probably choose the packs of mixed colours).
  3. Carrots - children really liked pulling them.
  4. Chard - did well in the raised beds (white ones are better); can do coloured mixes in the ground too.
  5. Chop Suey Greens Shungiku - fast Autumn crop as baby leaves - seeds on order.
  6. Climbing French beans - especially the purple ones - in the A frames. Seeds on order.
  7. Coriander - did well in the raised beds - need to sow in succession. Seeds on order.
  8. Dwarf French beans - did well in the raised beds but we planted them too densely. Have ordered some purple snap beans that hold the beans above the leaves - easier to pick.
  9. Garlic - bulbs on order September 2017.
  10. Garlic (Chinese) chives - try again in the raised beds (didn't germinate in 2017) - or find a plant.
  11. Leeks - worth trying tin the ground again (probably not in the raised beds).
  12. Lemon verbena - popular with tea drinkers.
  13. Lettuce - did well in the raised beds - probably choose the packs of mixed cut an come again - try to have a later crop too.
  14. Physalis - would be good to try in 2018. Seeds on order.
  15. Potatoes - especially first earlies (in two planters).
  16. Radishes - did well in the raised beds - packs on order. 
  17. Rocket - did well in the raised beds - grow one type in succession. Dragons' blood pack on order.
  18. Runner beans - did well. Seeds on order.
  19. Scented geraniums - popular with tea drinkers.
  20. Spring onions - did well in the raised beds - try red and white ones. Seeds on order.
  21. Sweetcorn - even if we don't get much crop, they look good.
  22. Turnips - some pretty purple and white seeds on order.
  23. Winter salad mix - try in raised beds.

Less keen on: aubergines (unless we get grafted ones); broad beans (masses of black fly this year); mint in the raised beds (it dries out - better in the ground); onions (take up too much space in the raised beds - fine in the narrow beds).

Fewer plants: courgettes - the one in the raised bed was a bit of a thug (they take a lot of watering); parsley (did well but we had a lot of it and it dominated the beds); spinach - takes up a lot of space and not very pretty or popular; tomatoes (they got early blight).

Won't try to grow: brassicas such as chinese cabbage/mustard greenscabbagekale, pak choi (caterpillars eat them too readily); celeriacchillies (do better indoors and slightly worried about kids handling them and then their eyes); cucumber (too much watering and space); dill (don't think anyone picked it); fennel bulbs (don't think the soil will be good for them and a bit tall for the raised beds).

Things we are almost ready for:

  • Bulb planting - we have some rescued bulbs to plant.
  • Croquet set: we have been donated a very old croquet set - or at least the hoops and a couple of mallets and a few balls. We will need to find some coloured pegs and have a finishing pegging-out post that needs painting. They might be fun to play with in the green area. 
  • Interior of club hut: clean and paint/varnish the floor. We need a long dry day, without lots of people around.
  • Living willow - dig places for living willow - in the Autumn.

Things we'd like to do but are missing some resources or information:

  • New storage areas - we have a draft plan for indoor storage of garden and woodworking tools and a safe tool-free area for children (and schools). We'd like a covered area for secure storage of wood too. 
  • Club hut: we'd like to re-clad the front (with insulation), replace the window with a serving window/hatch, put some ply on the door and repaint the outside.
  • Veranda - it would be great to have a paved/decked area with shade from the sun and rain. We have the start of a plan.
  • Covered outdoor cooking area including a cob/earth oven. We have the start of a plan.
  • Lean-to mini greenhouse - we have been donated an unused one (with polycarbonate) - thanks Jennifer! If we can build a new storage area we can attach the greenhouse to it. 
  • Outdoor furniture: it would be good to have a couple of benches of different heights fixed to the front of the club hut (after it is re-clad). 
  • Wheelbarrow planter - another one of our 'tip' barrows finally died on us but we think we could make a planter out of it. Not sure where though.

Things we have recently completed:

  • Asparagus bed - the plants, grown from seed are small but look good - September 2017.
  • Bay tree: planted a donated tree - October 2016.
  • Benches - nine have been restored and arm rests installed - April 2016. They could do with another coat of stain.
  • Bird box Boulevard - August 2016.
  • Bird Cafe - January 2016.
  • Blue chairs - repainted August 2016.
  • Box plants in new perennial bed - February 2017
  • Bugopolis - re-made August 2016
  • Broad bean bed - December 2016.
  • Bumblebee nest pots - February 2016 -  installed to the left of the entrance gate.
  • Cold frame - two down, one to go - April 2016.
  • Comfrey (and teasel) bed - July 2016.
  • Compost bins - January 2016.
  • Corner shrub bed - May 2017. 
  • Club hut interior - new shelves, hooks, blackboard, noticeboard and removing the old carpets - December 2016.
  • Club hut roof and guttering: repaired in December 2015/January 2016.
  • Crocus borders - planted up November 2016.
  • Daffodil and narcussis planting - November 2016.
  • Dogwood hoops on gate - July 2017.
  • Fig tree - January 2017.
  • Geckos and butterfly - repainted and installed August 2016.
  • Grass paths to club hut - January 2017.
  • Hardwood raised beds - December 2016.
  • Hatracks - re-stored - April 2016.
  • Hazel fence around the pond - March 2017.
  • Hedgehog feeder - November 2016 (now turned into a hibernating zone because we were just feeding mice!).
  • Herb raised bed - December 2016.
  • Hollyhock bed: new bed by the entrance ramp - planted with daffodils and two small hollyocks being grown on first - November 2016. 
  • Jerusalem artichoke bed - May 2017.
  • Leaf bin - January 2016 - and second one in February and then two more over the summer.
  • Log circle - April 2016.
  • Low bench - repainted August 2016.
  • Minibeast mansion - May 2016.
  • Mini pond - May 2017.
  • Mint bed - February 2017.
  • Mown paths - June 2016.
  • Narrow beds - all hand-prepared by March 2016 - and four extra ones where the raised beds will be - April 2016. Edged April 2017.
  • Native hedge - January 2017. 
  • Passionflower wigwam - July 2017
  • Path edging - we found every edge to the tarmac twice. The high turf was graded down in height. 
  • Paving by club hut - May 2017.
  • Perennial beds - from September 2016.
  • Perennial sown meadow - February 2017.
  • Plant Plaza - stand for plants (or marrows!) - March 2016.
  • Pond and decked area - designed and created by Guy Belcher, The Gaskin Brothers and garden volunteers. November 2016. 
  • Pond-dipping benches - two made by April 2017.
  • Raised beds - made in October 2016 by Guy and Julian- just need filling and planting.
  • Redcurrant and crabapple bed - June 2016.
  • Rhubarb row - February 2016.
  • Runner bean A frame and climbing French bean wigwams - May 2017.
  • Scented bed around Lorna's bench. June 2017.
  • Spud planters - April 2017.
  • Stepping stones - cast in concrete, with seashells and ammonites - November 2016.
  • Stinky plant food urn (for plants): May 2017.
  • Sunflower bed - May 2016.
  • Sweetcorn bed - February 2017.
  • Sweet pea wigwam - April 2016, re-located in 2017.
  • Sweet pea supports: four woven red dogwood balls - May 2017. 
  • Table tops - two made - April 2016.
  • Trestles - four made - for use for a workbench or table (April 2016).
  • Veg ditch 2 - July 2016.
  • Waterbutt stand: January 2016 and six waterbutts - March 2016. 
  • Woodpile - April 2017.
  • Wormery - April 2016.

Last updated: 10 September 2017