SLOW DOWN THE SUMMER

We made the local Observer again this week when our MP Amber Rudd paid us a visit to admire the “work in progress” mural.  We’re expecting the Obama’s motorcade down Western Road any day now!

Our wonderful BEN EINE mural is complete and will brighten up even the darkest of days.

Days spent in the garden without clocks or hourly news bulletins seem longer but really, we could do with starting August again. Rewind. It is hard to believe we only opened the gates 6 weeks ago but we’re reminded when new people discover us and are staggered by what’s been achieved. But oh to start August again – that would be lovely. It’s not that anything’s gone wrong, just that we need more summer days so our corn grows taller and pumpkins get fatter. Thank goodness we planted courgettes in all shapes and sizes because they grow while your back’s turned!  Jan discovered this beauty on Saturday.

We’ve been mulling over what seeds we should be planting right now and the names on the packets are getting me down. They all have winter in the title but I guess that’s what seasonal vegetable gardening is all about. Looking forwards.
Right here in the present though we are loving our sun-trap garden and noticing some big advantages to growing in containers – there’s no digging, no weeds and not many slugs take the long slide across the shingle paths. Rick from Smith’s Real Food is keeping us supplied with fresh coffee grounds to sprinkle around vulnerable plants. Apparently slugs and snails don’t like a caffeine buzz.
But bees sure do love the Verbena.

Last week we had the first children’s playtime in the garden. Lesley Lambeth invited families from the Fellowship of St Nicholas along and it was magical to see the little ones making mud and getting grubby. They’re not invisible – this was taken before they arrived!
They’re back with us on Thursday so fingers are crossed for sunshine and lots more happy little people.

Cat is the member of our group who works culinary magic with garden produce. She grabs a handful of this and a pinch of that and suddenly we have a Frittata or a gorgeous salad bursting with funky flavour combinations that most of us would never have thought of. And so beautifully presented.

…and finally there’s great news of a different but equally satisfying kind.
Our ‘campaign’ to have to public loo’s around the corner from the garden re-furbished has been a success. The Council have received the message loud and clear and work will begin soon.   RESULT !

Ahem. Thanks to everyone who got behind this.

Community


A sweet lady from Bangladesh came to the garden with three small children today and asked for somewhere to sow seeds. She produced a plate of food she’s made for us. It was such a kind gesture and really delicious, particularly the squash curry which Peter and I devoured. We usually tell everyone that our policy is for all the growing containers to be shared communally and not for individual use in the way an allotment would be, but that seemed ridiculous somehow when faced with her generosity.
She’d brought coriander seed prepared for sowing by soaking, some black mustard seed and a few potatoes and Peter sorted her out with a growing container then labelled it with her name. The kids wanted to plant as well and we filled plant troughs with compost and their mum showed them how to sow and water. They’ll be back.
Rose, who lives nearby donated some cauliflower plants a few weeks back and although whole the idea here is to grow vegetables, we were all amazed and delighted to find an actual cauliflower nestling within the leaves. Every one who comes into the garden has been taken to see the miracle of the ‘actual cauliflower’ and today we picked it and Zelly took a picture of me holding it …and then took home for her dinner.
(Opinion is that it had arrived early was going to seed).
Tomorrow we have our first community group coming to use the garden and our MP paying us a visit in the afternoon.