Community garden springs to life

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On April 6, the  Community Garden on Love Lane in Rye was host to a Fruit Tree Grafting Workshop given by Steve Oram of PTES (Peoples Trust for Endangered Species) and the Orchard Network. In all, eleven people spent an absorbing three hours learning about the physiology of tree growth and grafting techniques and then, the trickier bit, putting all this newly-acquired knowledge into practice using M106 root stock and a variety of other fruit tree scions. Everyone came away with at least three grafts and, I’m happy to say, all mine have taken with new growth showing on the scion wood.
However, due to miserably cold and wet spring, the Fairlight Hall Perennials Planting Day has had to be postponed until June but, never daunted, Nigel Jennings has been patiently digging away on the proposed patch but could do with some help! Volunteers on the next Saturday session would be particularly welcome. These take place every second and fourth Saturdays of the month, from 11am.

Steve Oram explaining grafting techniques

The Community Outreach Programme goes from strength to strength with the Brownies now coming once a month. They paid their first visit on March 21, still a pretty cold and grey early evening, but we did manage to sow parsnips and leeks. The girls were quite surprised to see how tiny (leeks) and light (parsnips) the seeds were. They were back on April 18 when they made “bee hotels” using plastic bottles and bamboo cane – so a good example of recycling in the best Blue Peter style! Their latest visit, last Wednesday, saw them planting up the potato bags and also sowing donated Lupin seeds: when large enough, these plants will be added to the flower beds that are developing throughout the Garden.
The Age UK Heathy Living Group have also made their first visit on the morning of April 18: sitting out on what was a beautifully sunny morning, the group enjoyed their regular session activities whilst some helped with the much-needed weeding of the Hugel beds!
On the funding front, the Garden has received a very generous donation from Toyota SLM (Hastings) which is ear-marked for the laying of all-weather pathways to help with accessibility issues. We have also just applied to the Awards For All Programme for funding for a Kazuba KL2 WooWoo waterless toilet – following in the footsteps of both the Bohemia Walled Garden and Marina Allotment & Horticultural Association. We are hopeful that we will be successful and look forward to when we can install this much-needed facility.

Photo: John Archer

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