Wed May 6, 2011 – The Blue Boxes

I love how my community makes use of the council’s old and disused “Blue Recycling Boxes”.

And so much care goes into making sure all the plants get along with each other.

Each week I grow bigger and bigger.

Silver Herb Day

Our community gardener held an event yesterday in which local older people were invited to Pembroke House to learn more about the benefits of using herbs in our daily lives.

The day included a lunch containing produce from our own garden and a tour of it.

The day was a great success and the garden project continues to generate interest in the possibilities of growing food in urban spaces.

New adventures at Pembroke Community Garden

On the last Wednesday of February, the community group met again to start to giving me some real shape.



First of all, the group got together for coffee, tea, biscuits and fruit, before embarking on a greenhouse building extravaganza. 



There is a smaller and a bigger green house and both will help to maintain a more stable climate for all the seeds that have been bought and are waiting to be planted. This activity took place inside the community centre, because here, outside with me, it was pretty freezing!




















Everyone participated: David, Alice, Michael, Kathleen and Elizabeth and the frames and plastic sheeting were very soon mounted and looked brilliant. The small green house was moved outside when it was complete, but the big one was more difficult to move…

… and needed to be finished outdoors (I enjoyed the company). 


Thanks to David, who thought about the heavy wind we sometimes get in Walworth, he decide to reinforce the structure of the largest green house so I could feel more secure with my plants under control. Now I have two spaces to help the smaller plants to grow.


Also, Michael brought more than forty recycling containers – thanks to him and to the council, I will be germinating in no time!


Another activity that was performed was to clean half of the containers to have them ready so they can finally grow some plants.


So then, they divide the work and while David and Alice were working on the structure of the large green house…



… Kathleen, Elizabeth, Michael and Paco (who was in charge of these wonderful pictures) scrubbed the containers and later on, Michael rinsed them and let them dry.

 

It was fun to see so much activity around me and feeling again that the people from this community are involved in making me healthy and strong.

There was someone else who also come to visit me, his name is Frank, and he checked all the seeds, making sure they are ready to be planted.


I know they had a little chat inside, so Im sure they will come back to visit me again and begin a new adventure.


A visit to our neighbours – Walworth Garden Farm

On a warm, sping like wednesday in early February the steering group had their first trip together to Walworth Garden Farm.

The motivation behind the trip was to see how other gardens work, and to see what lessons could be leanerd and practiced on Pembroke Community Garden.

The group were warmly greeted by Kevin, the director of Walworth Garden Farm. Kevin kindly gave us a tour of the farm and described how it was created. The garden farm was founded in 1987 in a heavily built up inner-city area of Southwark. Local residents created the farm on derelict land. It is now a local charity and social enterprise and provides environmental education, training in horticulture, beekeeping courses and garden maintenance services.

There was lots to take in. From living roofs…

   To the camberwell butterfly…
   The tour provided much food for thought and fuelled discussion in the steering meeting afterwards, which was held on the benches outside in the farm. The meeting was very fruitful as consensus was reached about what seeds to order for the year.
All in all, it was a great inspirational day out and smiles were abound all around.

Compost, Manure and Palletes Galore!

Agent M, one of the folk on the steering group that is guiding my creation went on a hunt recently for palletes to give me.

When i say pallete, I don’t mean one of these…


 Rather, I mean one of these bits of wood that you’ve probably seen lying around the place, but never known their name-
                                                                        

Now, I hear you ask, why I might these old bits of wood?


Well, every good garden needs a compost heap, and palletes make excellent building materials for these.

The air spaces between the planks give the aerobic organisms which break down the organic matter into compost air to breathe and speed up the process of composting.

  Agent M recognised the importance  of me having a copmpost heap, and so after some perseverence, managed to secure some free palettes from Dulwich Garden Centre.

 As I also need some compost, manure and soil improver to get me going, the steering group decided to water two plants with one watering can, and collect some compost and manure from the centre at the same time.

So on 2nd february, I was given a mound of compost, manure (don’t worry, its in bags and so I don’t smell!) and enough palettes to a make a generous sized compost heap.

So far 2011 has treated me well :0)

 


Soil for Christmas!

This is my second blog post – I’m quite IT savy for a garden don’t you think?

Much has happened since October 2010, when the first ideas to transform me were sown.

I now have a team of enthusiastic folk working together to bring  my transformation to fruition. It is a diverse team, with members ranging from exotic spanish students to English accountants, and bred and born londoners to Canadaian gentlemen. I feel so lucky to have such a diverse and friendly team working on me.

Before Christmas, I was generously given some new and very good quality topsoil, courtesy of Freecycle.

This would not have been possible had it not been for the soil’s chauffeur, Ron, so three cheers for him!


12 bags of top quality soil – what a good Christmas present eh?

 

The beginnings of something…

Dear reader,
 
  This is my first blog entry. In it I am going to share an idea with you that is very close to my heart…

This what I looked like in October 2010.

   I know I may look a little nelgected, but I have potential do I not?

   You see, I am in the process of being transformed, from something quite plain, into a thriving food growing community space.

With a few containers…

 
Some crumbs of compost and soil…

A sprinkling of seeds…

 an ounce of imagination,

  

 and most importantly, some sparks of community energy,

maybe one day I will look something like this?

    Now wouldn’t that be great!

   My transformation is being steered by an open community group which meets fortnightly on wednesday mornings  at Pembroke House Community Centre https://pembrokehouse.org.uk/index.php. If you would like to be involved please, get in touch with Kathleen on Tel: 020  7703 3803, Mob: 07871 955 394 or Email: kathleen.murray@pembrokehouse.org.uk

Please note, no knowledge or gardening experience necessary! There are many ways to get involved, from dropping in and getting your hands dirty at the weekly garden sessions, to making teas and coffees, to helping with funding applications, or writing this blog!  And maybe you have other ideas of what you might like to do? Whatever they are, I am interested to hear from you.

I hope you visit me soon.

Until then. Adieu

The garden with no name…yet! (I will be christened by the community in Spring/Summer 2011)