Spring Watch in Kingsbridge Community Garden A message from

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote Geoffrey Chaucer


e have yet to experience the sweet smelling showers of

April and March has hardly been a dry month, but the spring weather has persuaded the plants in the Community Garden to burst forth in bloom and fresh greenery.

Self-seeded forget-me-nots,

primroses and hellebores carpet the floor of the lower garden, and the fine specimen of camellia williamsii ‘ Saint Ewe’ has been overloaded with its deep pink flowers for several weeks. It can be clearly seen from the Cookworthy Road, alongside the peeling silver white trunks of the trio of Himalayan birches. A recently planted clematis armandii is still in full flower along the north facing wall.

During the past few weeks

New stakes for the dry garden

there has also been a lot of human activity too, as volunteers did some much needed repairs to the timber boundaries of the sloping dry garden. Many of the stakes holding the wooden sleeper wall had rotted away, and the whole structure was in danger of collapsing. At the same time a new pathway has been created through the willow bed, to ease the access (particularly with wheelbarrows) to the rest of the wild garden.

Young people have been

KCC students cutting brash wood for burning

This lower part of the garden has been vigorously de- brambled by the volunteers, earlier in the spring, an activity which involved ‘putting the bees to bed’ for a day, to allow the work to take place without annoying the colony.The worker bees are already foraging for early pollen from daffodils, pulmonarias and other spring flowers, in nearby fields and gardens. During this clearing activity we disturbed several of last year’s juvenile froglets, hiding amongst the hardy geraniums and rotting leaves. These discoveries reiterated the importance of the pond in the upper garden as a wildlife preserver. At present it is seething with thousands of young tadpoles, enjoying the freedom which the newly cleared and restocked pond provides.

Putting the bees to bed

busy too, with a D of E student working alongside experienced gardeners on several Saturdays, and the continued weekly visits by a new team of Year 9 boys from KCC. Their most recent jobs have been sowing seeds for our stall at the Cookworthy Plant Sale on April 22nd, and helping to harvest more willow to create 3 obelisks for their sweet peas to climb up, in the newly cleared KCC Garden plot. They have also helped with weeding and preparing brashwood for burning. Using gardening tools safely, particularly secateurs, can be a painful job!

As always there are seasonal

crops to be harvested, and it has been a pleasure to welcome old and new pick-and-payers, who have taken the advantage to pick a wide range of oriental salads, leeks, curly kale, spinach and rhubarb. Watch out for the

broad beans. They are looking healthy and with our organic slug traps ready for use, there should be a good crop early in the summer. Come along and see for yourself.

Kingsbridge Community Garden

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