working notes - January 2023

22 January 2023: I hope you all had a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.Having taken an extra week off over the winter break, today was my first day back to the Serpentine in almost a month. It’s great to see so many volunteers who have braved the cold to attend sessions over the last fortnight.

Three weeks absent from the garden has meant much clearing of debris and decluttering from our greenhouses and polytunnels. There has also been many deliveries to oversee, including compost and soil improver from Alliance Environmental Services and sand and timber from Fairfield Builders to start work on our new raised beds. I’m glad to see Keith hasn’t made any New Year’s resolutions to slow down and has already started work on construction of the first raised bed.

The rest of our volunteers look as though they have been equally as busy. Despite all the time off I have never seen the garden looking quite so well-kept. I also noted 8 rose bushes which have recently been donated and I look forward to seeing them displayed throughout the garden. Our vegetable seed plan for 2023 is now complete, ready for spring planting, and we also have a fully logged seed inventory for the new year. A big thanks to everyone involved.

Over the Christmas period the seed exchange at the Pavillion Gardens was almost emptied but thanks to some volunteers and trustees it has since been fully restocked. And talking of seeds, we have a date for your diaries. This year’s Seedy Saturday event will take place on the 11th of February, from 10am till 12.30pm.

29 January 2023: As much as I enjoy the wintery views of Buxton it was nice to walk across town this morning without imitating Bambi on ice. Just a few degrees above zero is enough to encourage our regulars out of the house and into the garden. Today we had an almost full house of happy Sunday volunteers, and I look forward to the whole gang getting back together soon.

Throughout the week our volunteers have continued their hard graft on building the new raised beds, levelling out the area with MOT and laying an initial carpet of weed membrane. The base layer of timber is well underway too and I look forward to see how they progress further in the week ahead. All the original raised beds have been topped up well with leaf mould and soil improver to encourage a healthy soil, as well as sowing fava beans and green manures for added nitrogen.

Richard, one of our Tuesday volunteers, set up a workshop on how to prune fruit trees. Knowing Richard I’m sure the workshop was very informative and fun and I look forward to hearing of more workshops in the future. Our seed supplies were delivered this week, ready for sowing throughout the year. Also last year’s seeds have been dried, packed, labelled and organised into our new vegetable and flower boxes. Please feel free to come see what you can find.

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