Working Notes - May 2023

28 May: There seems to be only one question on everyone’s lips. When is it going to rain? Unfortunately for our volunteers not soon enough to save them from copious amounts of hand watering for another week to come. Still there has been time for plenty of other activities.

Growing Well held a lesson on companion planting, planting out their tomatoes alongside marigolds and nasturtiums, before potting up and sketching containers of their favourite flowers throughout the woodland area. Our Nature Tots group enjoyed a day trip out at the gardens of The Palace Hotel, doing their bit for the local insects by seeding a new wildlife garden.
Our newest raised beds have been planted full of brassicas and have been fully netted against the inevitable onslaught of white butterfly. Elsewhere we have planted out our celeriac, cauliflower, spinach, gourds, courgettes and leeks. Richard, from The Town Team, came to the garden today armed with a car full of flowers for the planters on Fairfield Road. For anyone looking for a sneak peak of the new arrangements the planters can be found around the edges of poly 1.
We had a great turnout today for our Family Fun day, making sunflower hedgehogs and sowing sunflower seeds in degradable pots. It was great to see the kids really enjoying the garden as well as volunteering to help out with watering duties. Next Sunday we have another Family Fun day planned, exploring garden habitats and the creatures that reside in them. This Tuesday from 11am – we have a live workshop on Successional sowing, tackling pests organically including, using sacrificials, hardening off and potting on and planting out – led by Gil.
Other upcoming events to keep in your diary include the Rotary Club Bazaar on Saturday the 3rd of June, from 10.30am to 4.30pm @ The Octagon and the SCG Volunteer Social picnic on Saturday the 10th of June, from 1pm till 3pm at the SCG.

21 May: Having moved to Buxton from down south a few years back I quickly learned a few things. The locals seem much friendlier, the town is much hillier and spring just struggles to spring as I was used to. In last week’s update I was moaning about the cold. This week it’s been nothing but blue skies and sunshine. Fantastic for that vitamin D boost, though it does mean plenty of planting out and heavy watering for our volunteers.

Growing Well began the week by sowing sunflowers and  planting wallflowers upon their bug hotel, before moving onto some more artistic projects; painting watercolours of the garden and reciting poetry. The Nature Tots kids enjoyed a day exploring the garden and learning about our worms. And this Tuesday they will earn their ‘Wildlife Warrior’ certificates; planting a wildlife corridor on the grounds of The Palace Hotel.
Yesterday, Simon and I attended the Volunteer Fair at the Pump room. It gave us a chance to talk shop (and a little cricket) with potential volunteers as well as other charities and volunteer groups in the area. Being a bit out of touch myself I didn’t realise just how much there is going on in this little town of ours. I think we were one of the few groups who have seen an uptick in volunteers over the past year, which is a credit to all the warm and welcoming people we have at SCG. With that said we are always open to new volunteers, especially those looking to take on any behind the scenes roles including, but not limited to, Treasurer, health and safety support, accountant and social media support. The job roles and descriptions are posted in the social tunnel for anyone interested.
Lastly, this Tuesday, Pete Brown will be hosting a consultation at the garden for our Art Projects. Anyone who wishes to get involved or share their ideas are welcome to join him from 4.30pm till 6. And next Sunday we will be open for another Family Fun Day, from 11am till 2.30, showing families how to make their own sustainable flowerpots from newspaper and cardboard tubes and sowing sunflowers for the little ones to take home.

14 May: Sometimes I find it hard to believe it is the middle of May. Despite the last few days of warm weather it seems the mercury won’t be reaching any breath taking heights anytime soon. Even so our volunteers have the garden well prepared for finer days to come, potting up and hardening off candulas, hellebores, cornflowers, zinna, morning glory and much more. They have also sown Coreopsis Tintona, shisho, broom and chicory witloof, to give our visitors a wide variety of plants to explore and take home.

On the veg front our raised beds are well prepared with canes and nets to protect our French beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweetpeas, broad beans, bloody warrior lettuce, squashes, sugar snap peas and broccoli. Poly 1 is currently housing a bounty of wild flowers to be donated across local schools by Transition Buxton. This coming Saturday, Simon Fussell and myself will be at the Pump Room for the Volunteer Fair, spreading the word of our little garden by the water.
Today we were joined by Amy from The Mini First Aid Company, who was running a first aid and safeguarding course for our Nature Tots, SCG and Transition Buxton volunteers: a  well presented course on first aid for minors, with plenty of information I’m glad to now know but hope to never have to use.

7 May:I hope you all have found time to enjoy the beautiful weather today. Over the last month there has been so much progress made around the garden. Our Nature Tots and Growing Well programmes are back under way and really making some noise around the community. The young families from our Nature Tots programme have been invited to The Palace Hotel to plant wildflowers, while Melissa, Lindsay and the guys from Transition Buxton have collected a large donation of flowers for Buxton Wild Weeks, giving local children the chance to create new wildlife areas at their schools. We are also working with The Town Team, taking responsibility for their autumn/winter planters which decorate Fairfield Road. We hope to provide the right environment to make this year’s display excel.

Our new raised beds and hotbed are now compete – topped up with turfs and topsoil, as well as having a new paved area for easy wheelchair access. Our growing plan is well on course, with Cavalo Nero, rainbow beetroot, cauliflower and broad beans our latest sowings, as well as potting on our red cabbages, nasturtiums, borage, chilli peppers, tomatoes and marigolds.

Week after week we seem to be picking up new volunteers, with Tuesdays being a particularly busy time. Even so we will be at the Pump Room on the 20th May, from 10am till midday, to represent the SCG for the volunteer fair. If you, or someone you know may be interested in volunteering, please don’t hesitate to send them our way. We also have a stall at the Rotary Fair on the 3rd of June. If anyone has a few hours to spare to help with manning the stall please don’t hesitate to get in touch through email or with the sign up sheet on site at SCG. Though we are hard at work on site, pricking and potting up stock for the fair, we are happy to take any donations of plants from home for those who’d like to donate.

Finally, a quick mention about our new gates. I’m sure most of those who have visited over the last few weeks have noticed our rickety old gates have been replaced with something shiny and new.

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