Latest news from Wickham Community Garden

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Last month, we told you about a grant we received from Hampshire Forest Partnership and the hedging and fruit trees we planted. The trees and hedging are all growing well and we even have some buds in some of the trees.  We can’t wait to see if we can harvest some fruit this year. We are also delighted that following on from their involvement in the Orchard Project, garden club volunteers will be working with children from Wickham Primary Nature Club on a regular basis. 

In the meantime, we have been busy with a couple of events and preparing for the busy summer period.

During the Easter school holidays, we had a very successful family day. A group of young people from the Prince’s Trust, in addition to some family groups, attended this event.  They designed their dream gardens, painted stones and, with the help of the Wickham Men’s Shed, they built bird houses which were then sold at the Bishop’s Waltham Fair.  We also sowed sunflower seeds and potted on tomatoes and spider plants. It was great fun and we are hoping to have another similar event during the summer school holidays.

One of our volunteers jet washed our patio which, as you can see from the photo, was much needed and our patio is looking a lot better now. We have benefitted from our collaboration with the Wickham Men’s Shed who kindly restored our main potting table under the pergola. The polytunnel is ready to be planted with summer crops such as tomatoes and cucumber.  

A couple of weeks ago, we held a hanging basket focus morning, preparing baskets to hang around the community centre.  Attendees were also able to take a hanging basket home.  We hope that we will have lots of lovely flowers to enhance the community garden and that pollinators will be able to enjoy the range of flowers planted.

We were lucky to have been offered a pitch at the Bishops Waltham Charity Garden Fair at the beginning of May.  Unfortunately the weather was cool and rainy but despite that, we had lots of people visit us, especially children who, with Alison’s help, enjoyed painting pots which they could take home.  We raised a fantastic £225.80 which will go towards much needed equipment and plants.

We are especially thankful to Mount Folly Nurseries for donating plants that we could use in the hanging basket event and that we could sell on at the Fair.

The Garden Club was recently successful in getting some funding from the National Garden Scheme (NGS), to develop an area of the community garden that is outside the Citizens Advice Office. The grant is to create a peaceful and attractive space with seating. We have started to work on this area and hope to be able to share our progress in next month’s Parish Magazine.

We are not resting on our laurels and we have lots of events coming up. Other future events include 

12th June – Learn about Succession Sowing and  Plant Out Day – today we will learn about the usefulness of sowing seeds a few weeks apart so that you can get the most out of your garden, be it edible crops such as lettuce or having flowers for a longer period of time.  We will also be planting out some of the small plants we have been growing from seed since early spring.

14 August – Family activity morning – holiday activities for parents, carers and children together in the garden.  Take part in a nature trail, help create a community mosaic for the children’s garden and help make our pond a wildlife haven with new plants.

18 September – Later summer crop and autumn bulb planting – join us today to crop some of our winter vegetables and to help planting winter bulbs. Take some of the crops home (subject to a small donation).

You are very welcome to come and join us at Wednesday Garden Club at Wickham Community Garden. Whether to come and enjoy being in the space, or to maybe volunteer some time pot up some seeds or help with preparing the beds for vegetables and plants, please join us any Wednesday between 10am and 1pm.

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