Working Notes - May 2022

29 May 2022

Today was our first official day reopening to the public. I’d like to thank Steve for giving a very informative guided tour and to the rest of today’s volunteers who were chatty and engaging with our guests. It was great to have visitors back in the garden and long may it continue.
Throughout the week our volunteers have been busy with the usual tasks of weeding and watering, potting up and pricking out. All while preparing for yesterday’s Rotary Fair and for our long awaited reopening. The Rotary Fair was a great success, taking in £150 in donations and sharing the details of the garden with friends old and new.
The security fence has been erected just in time for a safe reopening and our eagle owl pot sculptures are complete and proudly perched at the entrance of the garden. We also have a new beautifully crafted shed, donated by Buxton and Leek college, which is well worth a look.

22 May 2022

The year feels as if it is flying by. Being my first summer at the Serpentine, I’m amazed with each passing week just how much the garden changes.  Growing Well is already into week 5 of their programme, filling the first layers of their insect hotel with logs and terracotta while also doing some heavy lifting, tidying up pallets from the wildlife area. The large greenhouse has been netted for extra shade and cleared of all non growing seedlings.

Dahlias, coneflowers, honesty and lupins have all been potted up prepared for next Saturday at the Rotary Fair. We have a varied stock of flowers, plants, seeds, teas and other goodies on offer so don’t forget to stop by and say hello. Chilli peppers, cucumbers, squash. basil, melon, runner beans and leaks have all been planted out and doing well in their beds.

Give Peas a Chance gave Bees a Chance this week as the children were visited by Billie the Bilberry Bumblebee who taught them all about bees while planting seeds of hope and creating flowerpot people. Our newest group, Carers Connecting, also known as Willows and Wellies, have also been doing some great work in the garden, running projects involving art, nature and gardening.

15 May 2022

I arrived at the garden this morning and marvelled at just how everything has grown thoughout the week. Achocha, cauliflower, kale, squash and french beans have all been potted up and planted out.  The Growing Well group had planted out nasturtiums, borage, radishes, carrots, peppers, sunflowers, onions and beetroots. They had also continued work on their incredible bug hotel and enjoyed a sensory walk amongst the flowers as well as taking their hand to a bit or artwork, painting and drawing scenes around the garden. Our flower greenhouse and cold frames are filling nicely with plenty of flowers ready for the Rotary Fair.
Of course there has been plenty of watering and weeding and many other jobs our trusty volunteers dig into week in week out. The tomato beds have been turned and set out and filled with a vast variety of tomatoes. Wildflowers have been sown near the small apple tree (so please mind your step). Storage units have been salvaged to store extra chairs we hope to purchase this coming week.
Give Peas a Chance was back with us this week – they spent their day watering and weeding and they were pleased with how quickly everything has grown. They focused on nature by studying the variety of habitats in the gardens and completing surveys. Thank you to Anne for bringing a lovely lunch on a beautiful sunny day.
We now officially have a post box and an address – Serpentine Community Garden, Burlington Road, Buxton, Sk17 9AR.
Starting the Sunday after the Rotary Fair we will be opening up once again to the public on Sundays and Wednesdays. The website will be updated to provide all information on our new schedule and as it evolves in the future.

8 May 2022

The week started on the bank holiday but there was no time to relax. The Growing Well group started the week getting stuck into the new insect hotel, sowing flowers and making compost.  As the warm weather continues there has been much work with watering and weeding.

Temporary homes have been found for the water butts while work continues on our water supply. We are a step closer to recieving a new postcode and now have a post box fitted to the gate. We have had some new chairs delivered on site. Electrical installation work has started in poly 3, which we hope to have up and running ASAP.
Poly 2 has had all its beds dug over ready for our tomato plants to be transplanted soon.

I May 2022

We reported slipping slates and a broken gutter to our landlords after the storms at the end of last February. Officers across High Peak Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council liaised on proposals to make all safe. Protective measures are needed as the roof is unsafe but we need a solution which allows sustained access to water. HPBC officers are visiting in ten days’ time for a site visit to find the best way forward. It’s frustrating to see the stone stores continue to decline. For seven years we’ve looked forward to bringing the building back to life. Negotiations continue on the detailed provisions of an Agreement to Lease the buildings protecting all parties and providing sufficient security for funding bodies to invest in our future.
Our trustees are doing plenty of work behind the scenes and on site our volunteers have gone the extra mile in clearing the site in preparation for work to begin soon.
We’ve planted out cauliflower and sweet peas, while honesty and nasturtium seedlings have been potted up for the Rotary Fair. Our fruit trees have benefited this week from a good drink from our water collection bins and are really starting to blossom nicely. Some of our home grown tomatoes have returned to the garden including our Tigerella tomatoes, which have been potted up in the greenhouse.
We have had a delivery of grass clippings for our compost and some new large flower pots ready for potting up. Of course there has been plenty or watering and weeding and general maintenance too.
Programme 1 of Growing Well (GW) have just completed its 3rd session. This cohort of participants live in varying nearby Moore Care homes. Participants live with neurodiversity as well as experience mental distress including anxiety and/or depression. They are a fun and gentle group that likes to get stuck into gardening tasks straight away. If you have specific jobs you’d like done (heavy weeding, digging, etc) please let Melissa or Ruby know.  Also let us know if you’re keen to volunteer.  We’d love to have you.  It’s on Mondays from 10:00-12:30. P.S. We eat biscuits and cake and enjoy hot drinks too!

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