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

  • Apple tree hole - tidy up, dig a bit deeper and fill with donated soil.
  • Back of shed - needs a good tidy up.
  • Bee borders - need a trim.
  • 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 - we have some daffodils, tulips and alliums to plant. 
  • Compost - usually needs turning.
  • Crabapple - needs wires adding and bamboo to train it.
  • Fruit tree row - add stakes and wires, plant three trees. 
  • Gate for pond - needs a design and then making.
  • Hedge - usually needs a bit of gentle trimming back - makes it easier to mow.
  • Hoeing - beds that have been cleared recently.
  • Iris beds - need a thin.
  • Grass edging - usually some required.
  • Minibeast Mansion - need re-stuffing and protecting from the beasts that keep messing with it.
  • Mowing.
  • Raised beds - need sorting through and more compost or soil conditioner.
  • Scything - of meadow beds, which then need digging over.
  • Stinky plant food - needs using.
  • Straw bale bed(s) - think about making some in the wilderness area.
  • Water tower structure:  needs a roof and a label. 
  • Weeding - usually lots.
  • Willow circle - in season (December plus) plant with living willow, which is growing well on a local allotment. Needs bark chips too.
  • Woodstore - needs designing and then making.
  • Worm dig bed - needs an attractive edge to it.
  • Woven hazel fence - clip back cable ties and maybe add fresh willow ties.

Planning for next season.

We have been taking stock of what we have grown from seed and small plants this year. 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 took 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 chard tastes better); can do coloured mixes in the ground too.
  5. Chop Suey Greens Shungiku - fast Autumn crop as baby leaves.
  6. Climbing French beans - especially the purple ones - in the A frames. 
  7. Coriander - did well in the raised beds - need to sow in succession. 
  8. Dwarf French beans - did well in the raised beds but we planted them too densely. Have some purple snap beans that hold the beans above the leaves - easier to pick.
  9. Garlic - bulbs planted September 2017.
  10. Garlic (Chinese) chives - try again in the raised beds (they didn't germinate in 2017) - or find a plant.
  11. Leeks - a few planted - some are doing very well and some look awful.
  12. Lemon verbena - popular with tea drinkers.
  13. Lettuce - did well in the raised beds - probably choose the packs of mixed cut and come again.
  14. Physalis - would be good to try in 2018. Need to find a space.
  15. Potatoes - especially first earlies (in two planters). Ordered.
  16. Radishes - did well in the raised beds - packs on order. 
  17. Rocket - did well in the raised beds - grow one type in succession. Need to order dragons' blood.
  18. Runner beans - did well. 
  19. Scented geraniums - popular with tea drinkers.
  20. Spring onions - did well in the raised beds - try red and white ones. 
  21. Sweetcorn - even if we don't get much of a crop, they look good.
  22. Turnips - have some pretty purple and white seeds.
  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 - planted radar in October 2017).

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:

  • 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.

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

  • New storage areas - have applied to The Aviva Community Fund for indoor storage of garden and woodworking tools and a safe tool-free area for children (and schools). Instructions. 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. We will try crowdfunding in 2018 - but need a plan first.
  • 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.
  • Outdoor furniture: we have been given a bench to fix 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 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.
  • Crabapple bed - June 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.
  • Perennial sweetpea wigwam - November 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 bed - October 2017.
  • Rhubarb row - February 2016.
  • Runner bean A frame and climbing French bean wigwams - May 2017.
  • Scented bed around Lorna's bench. June 2017.
  • Shady bed (by the water tower) - October 2017.
  • Sleeper bench - November 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: 19 November 2017