We are now into February and the garden is beginning to come back to life. We experienced some quite cold temperatures this winter, with the lowers recorded being minus five degrees in the poly-tunnel, the coldest place in the garden under cover. I suspect that this is probably due to the tree cover at the south aspect.
Our new growing beds are all in good heart and showing signs of massive improvement in soil structure and soil life with abundant earth worms. We appear to have inherited a mole which will make life interesting for those gardeners who prefer tidy beds! I think he hitched a ride in with the topsoil we had to buy. I also came across a wren trapped in the greenhouse the other day and he seemed quite happy to be released, as he sat in my hand to say “Thank you”!
Congratulations go to Sam and Will, two of our volunteers, who have now gained employment so will not now be volunteering regularly. This is always heart-warming for me to see volunteers who have become friends move on and their lives improve. Thanks for all their efforts and work around the garden. You will be missed. I would like to welcome two new volunteers, being Paul Day and Gudron Clark who started with us recently. It’s great to get experienced gardeners joining the team ready for the new season, as we will need a lot of help and having gardeners takes a lot of strain away from me! I must also make special mention of our volunteer Steve Cuthbert. Steve served his apprenticeship with Havering Council in the garden many years ago when they ran the garden as a nursery. He is here two days a week without fail and brings with him a wealth of experience. It’s great to have him as part of the team.
We have been compiling a “Wants List” of items for the garden and this is in the black folder next to the Volunteers’ Sign-in page. Our first item was a replacement petrol lawnmower as ours finally died on us at the end of last season. I am delighted to say that the Friends of Bedford Park have managed to get one for us. I got it working this week and have been looking for a grass box (as it was missing) but Bill Amos managed to secure one for us. Many thanks to him, as this is an essential piece of kit.
Kirsty will be looking after the volunteers from mid-February until early March and there will be a list of work which needs to be tackled in the black folder and on the notice board. I have spoken to most of the volunteers regarding specific jobs allocated to them as well as alternatives if the weather takes a turn for the worst as well as some generic jobs which can be taken up if people have time.
Once again, many thanks to all the volunteers who are helping to transform the garden.