My goodness this is difficult and I’ve rather been putting off writing this post knowing
how sad it will make everybody who’s followed the blog and had such high hopes for our lovely garden. We are closing down at the end of the month – there I’ve said it.
If you’ve followed us from the start you’ll know that we had the land on a Meanwhile Lease which enabled the owner to lend it to us until they were ready to start building. Our initial agreement expired in June and our attempts to get a new lease came to nothing. We were eventually contacted by a legal firm who had been appointed to sell the land for redevelopment. Many people advised us to stand our ground but the site was sold and the new owners asked us to be prepared to leave the site within 7 days. This was extended to 21 days to give us time to move or find storage. We asked if we might stay on for a longer period and they agreed with the proviso that we must move within 21 days of notice being served, at any time in the future.
We’d set up the garden as a Moveable Feast so we started looking around for a new local site and this is where the wheels came off our big idea. We couldn’t find anywhere suitable in this part of town where there is a need for a growing project like ours. We also realised that we simply can’t plan and grow seasonally with a 21 day notice to quit hanging over us.
We held a committee meeting and decided to shut down at the end of the month and redistribute everything from the garden to other growing projects and charities that help people in our area. It’s the end of the growing season, the weather is mild and if we have to close this is a good time to do it.
The great news is that the local primary school are starting a gardening club and will be taking compost, tools, our shed and – if they can raise the moving money – our polytunnel. This means that the very children we hoped would benefit from the community garden will soon be sowing, planting and harvesting in their own school garden.
People were invited to take plants in exchange for a donation and it suddenly occurred to us that all these plants were going off to grow and thrive in other local gardens and allotments around the town, so it really was a moveable feast.
We also had compost, pots and bulbs for everyone to plant up and take home as a springtime reminder of the garden.
Its been great in so very many ways. Especially as an example of what can be done if you put your mind to it. It wasn’t easy and there were times when we were completely shattered but we will miss those sunny afternoons in the garden beneath the big GROW wall.
And the end we may not have MOVED but we definitely GREW.