Each year when we hold our community feast in September you could easily think our garden is then put to bed, but this is certainly not the case.
With the arrival of autumn we begin turning our thoughts to next year’s growing season, planting onions, shallots, garlic and broad beans ready to harvest from around the end of May. And in addition to this, we had lots of other projects to complete this autumn.
On 9 October we held a workshop to kickstart the use of our new composting bays, which are now filling up nicely. It can take up to two years for green waste matter to become compost, but as we’ve used a layering method ours should be ready sooner. The pile is kept covered to stop cold winter rain cooling it down.
From mid-October our member volunteers were kept busy clearing an area beside the bays ready to plant ten fruit trees – plum, greengage and apple. With time to spare before these bare root plants arrived, we began working on the opposite side of the depot next to our garden.
Lead by Lambeth’s Dr Iain Boulton and Tom Smith, our volunteers planted a hundred hawthorn and blackthorn whips, along with some spring bulbs. In time, the hedge will provide food for pollinators and wildlife and great nesting habitat for birds.
In December, our fruit trees arrived, just in time for our final Saturday in the garden. With all them planted, along with blackcurrant plants grown from hard-wood cuttings taken from the bushes in our garden, it was time for the obligatory group photo.
This was followed by a well-earned festive bring-and-share lunch. A fitting way to finish yet another fantastic year in our community garden before finally putting it to bed, under the watchful eyes of our scarecrows.