Celebrations all round – we have been given planning permission for the garden and the digger is booked to remove the rubble and level the site next week.Our public meeting will be on Thursday where we hope to sign up lots of volunteers.
There ain’t no stoppin’ us now!
We’ve been plotting, planning and potting-on like fury and are still surprised by how long everything is taking. Our planning consent should be through within a week and today we had an informal meeting with local police on the site. They were very helpful and are enthusiastic about the garden and the positive affect it will have on the neighbourhood. Plus they’ve promised we will top of their list to receive compost and flowerpots the next time they successfully raid a cannabis factory locally. It makes perfect sense.
Our final hurdle before we begin laying out the garden is to hold an open meeting for local residents to address any fears they have and see about setting up a rota of volunteers. We realise that we should have done this a while back, but you have to start somewhere and its been a steep learning curve for us too.
The good thing is that the Moveable Feast Garden is definitely going to open in June! All the seedlings we’ve been nurturing will be planted out in the large containers and we will get our own little gardens back. In mine, as you can see, there’s not even space to sit down with seedlings on every raised surface as I battle to keep them off the ground and out of reach of the armies of slugs and snails that want to come dine with me every night.
Wednesday was one of those invisible rain days when its not lashing down but you’re getting soaked to the skin anyway. The contractors decided there was too much rubble for people to deal with so they have rescheduled and up-scaled so we shall now be getting a man with a digger to level our planting area! The thing was though, we simply could not wait another day and needed to get in there and DO something.
Nicole and I took loppers and secateurs down and cut most of the buddleia down and were joined by Kevin, who lives locally. He brought a saw and dealt with the more established buddleias with thicker stems up by the wall and that has made a huge difference to the look of the site.
Later in the day I met Robin Jones, who is the Business Development Officer for Groundwork UK on site http://www.groundwork.org.uk and really felt that our morning’s work had been well worth it, if only for the sense of ‘ownership’ it had given me in being able to talk about the site and our grand plans for it. I wasn’t standing in the middle of a daunting rubbish tip anymore!
We have days when we don’t feel things are moving fast enough and we have a lot to learn, but we keep meeting new helpful and friendly people who are keen to lend a hand and be a part of helping this community garden come alive and thrive.
Watch this space!
P.S. The seedlings are being decimated by fat snails and slugs who are revelling in this weather!
High-viz men came with a big yellow truck last week and filled it with the rubbish from the site. Grateful as we were, the transformation wasn’t everything we’d dreamed of as rubble was not within their remit. Rubble is what builders surreptitiously heave over the hoarding rather than pay fees at the Council Dump. And we have more than our fair share of it. So we now have a different team coming on Wednesday to shovel and pile up the rubble and with luck when they leave we will have a level area for our planters.
We are eager to get onto the site and physically do something so we plan cut down some of the buddleia and prune the rest. Anyone keen on manual labour is welcome to join us on Wednesday after 10am. The garden site faces due south and when the sun comes out its a glorious suntrap – if it doesn’t we may find we need a little bonfire.