Activities in 2013

November 2013
And then it was all gone - and all we had to do was tape it off until we could come back to wheelbarrow wood chippings up against the path edge to remove the step down.

The parks maintenance staff then "tractored" a load of soil onto the area and with some of the compost from the Walled Garden bins the whole area was starting to be ready for the matting,planting and gravel.  
October 2013
Work starts on removing the fencing around the triangle.  Initially we manually pull out a couple of the panels that are rotten but then realise that the posts that aren't rotten are set into some pretty impressive concrete bases.

The pneumatic pick makes easier work of breaking up the concrete - well, a lot easier work for those of us who aren't actually using the pick.  We get most of it down but leave the parts that are next to the greenhouse so that there isn't a tripping hazard off the path.
September 2013
At the September meeting at the Gardeners Rest we consider a plan to turn the triangle at the side of the greenhouses - that has been used as plant sales area for many years - into a gravel garden that will contain grasses.

A large of of the work will involve taking down the old fencing around it then moving soil and compost to create a flat surface, laying weed-suppressing matting, planting then covering with gravel.  Finally, we may add a path of old slabs across where there were gaps in the fencing.
August 2013
There is more path edging to do and more benches to stain - this month in the area outside the walled part of the Walled Garden - called Squirrel Green.

Unfortunately path edging and bench staining are the sorts of jobs that go on for ever, so no doubt we will be back at it in 2014.
July 2013
We finally get out of the Walled Garden, have a work morning in the park and get some more use out of the tools supplied by the Chestnut Fund.

In one of the hottest days of the year so far we find a path that has some shade and edge the sides then clear the resulting grass and soil from the path.  Basically we are cutting the grass back to the path's edging stones - where we can still find them.

We complete an area near to the wildflowers.  The edging complements the work that the Park's Maintenance staff do in the park.  Unfortunately a couple of hours with 9 of us means that we edge about 1% or 2% of the paths in the park.

June 2013
June's activity morning is planned to be working out in the park - but we decide to use some of the compost from the last of the wooden bins in the beds behind the greenhouses.

We then use some of the plants that had been grown in the garden in these beds and then clear out the herb beds again (never, ever, plant mint directly into garden beds!).

The good news is that the wildflowers have taken - in all but one patch - in the area near to Middlewood Road.  The area that was seeded against the HASA fence seems to have not done as well.

May 2013
The improvements at the Middlewood Road side of the park to solve drainage problems has left a large area without grass where contractors had been putting in new drainage.

Part of it the area has been re-seeded with grass seed but the plan is to rake over and sow the remaining area with a wildflower mix.  Raking the area, taking out the lager stones and lumps of soil then sowing by hand takes 14 of us a couple of hours.  

Subsequently there are weeks without rain - will the seeds grow?

April 2013
In April the monthly Wednesday activity morning continues with varnishing the benches - and for a change the weather is ok - but we also give the wooden compost bins a bit of attention.  

The first two compost bins are turned into the third bin and previously unsorted green garden waste is sorted into the now-empty first bin.  

Eventually the finished compost will be used in potting-on plants from the greenhouses and for topping up the garden beds throughout the Walled Garden.

March 2013
In February and March we start to work on the benches in the Walled garden -  regardless of the weather. With monotonous regularity it seems that as soon as we start to rub down or varnish the benches it starts to snow.  In total there are 34 benches around the garden - some 8 of which will probably not be worth a coat of varnish. 

By April we have varnished 8 benches and used £25 of varnish.  There are a further 18 that could be done over the summer - plus the 8 that will need some repairs to the slats or backs. 
January 2013
Whilst the Chestnut Fund had supplied us with digging spades and forks, hand trowels and forks, compost riddles and working gloves we bought a selection of other tools in January - ready for more practical work days in the new year.

Hoes, bulb planters, secateurs and hedge clippers were all bought locally - whilst 2 new solid wheelbarrow wheels (thanks again to a Chestnut Fund grant - and the cannibalisation of several old frames) means that we have 5 working wheelbarrows again.  We will spend some more funds on inner tubes to get the last barrow repaired - then keep the fleet rolling.

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