Foreign bodies at Love Lane


Always on the look-out for new and/or interesting techniques to introduce into the Rye Community Garden, a happy band of volunteers responded to the call last Saturday to help create a horticultural innovation – a HugelKulture bed, from from the German for a raised area of land, a hummock, knoll or mound.

Armed with spades, they dug a shallow trench, about three by one metre, and then layered into this old, rotting branches from a fallen tree, woodchip, smaller branches, retrieved soil and, finally, a good sprinkling of twiggy sticks which will act as an anchor for a top dressing of good top soil when the ground has dried out.

All the materials used came from the Garden so not only innovative but environmentally friendly and ecologically sound! However, not content with one such creation, the group decided to create another alongside …….. so Herr & Frau Hugel now in residence.

These beds are the ultimate in raised garden fashion, creating an organic, nutrient-rich growing environment which, in theory, should require no further irrigation or fertilisation for plants to thrive.

Nigel Jennings, pictured above second from right with his colleagues, had the idea of building these raised beds as yet another interesting addition to the ‘catalogue’ of other raised beds in the Garden including traditional beds made from wooden planks.

Others include four triangular shaped beds created in plastic containers (salvaged from the nearby allotments) which have been planted with over-wintering onions, garlic & shallots; and a row of simple straw bales which have been allowed to ‘weather’ over the winter ready for planting with anything that sprawls ie. squash, courgettes, or even cucumbers – as seen at Great Dixter last summer!

Waiting under the oak tree are a pile of roofing slates (more salvage from a building project in Love Lane) which will be used to create yet another raised bed. All that is now needed are people who want to grow their own vegetables ….

As you can see, Rye Community Gardeners are not short of ideas and have ambitious plans for raising the Garden’s profile and encouraging the wider community to use the Garden.

Discussions with community organisations including the Rye Allotments Association and the Rye Academy Trust have centred on provision of a composting toilet facility – for which funding is being actively sought!

In addition, a Gazebo will be erected to provide sheltered social space (chairs and tables are waiting in the shed!) and, as part of the extension to the Primary School, a gateway into the Garden will be created so that some element of horticulture/environmental studies can be included in the school’s activities.

The next ‘event’ is planned for March 12 between 11am – 3pm (weather permitting) as there are about 70 tree saplings to be planted in various locations around the Garden so new volunteers will be most welcome!

For further information: Either, e-mail to ;
Or, write to Rye Community Garden c/o 14 Love Lane Rye TN31 7NE ;
Or, you can go to: to ‘like’ us and click on Activities

Photo : Kenneth Bird

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