Thursday, 10 March 2011

Winter 2011 in the Garden...

We had a much colder and snowier winter than we had expected, and we've done a little bit of hibernating over winter, (we even ended up having our mulled wine for winter solstice indoors!) However it was a very productive hibernation, with lots of plans made for other areas of the garden - more fruit trees (start of the forest garden), more vegetable beds and of course shrubberies!

I'd also like to take this opportunity to welcome the wonderful Min to the garden team, she bravely joined us just at the start of winter. Min had a taste of some garden work last summer being the first to take up the paid staff work hours in the garden. (She spent a lot of time working reception indoors) She took to the outdoors naturally, and after her return from her trip to New Zealand, she jumped at the opportunity to come and work in the garden two days a week helping develop and communicate the project as well as muck in and do lots of other practical jobs in the garden. She is currently working on the challenging steep terrain in front of the bees designing and developing the bee garden, and is also creating a mini terraced herb/edible flower garden behind the hives - all creatively using thrown away materials, unwanted wood and even empty wine bottles! She has been a great help over winter keeping all the garden team warm every volunteer day, by keeping a bonfire alight, thank you Min! Watch this space for more news from her.

Wassail ... and Cider drinking
We ended up have a great winter celebration despite the cold and snow and had a workday and wassail in February with the biggest and fiercest bonfire we've had so far. It was such a windy day, all the messy woodpile disappeared in one night, along with half of our home made cider made last year during the Castle Hackney scrumping weekend!) We had new Castle climber volunteers turn up during the day who helped dig big holes in the heavy clay soil for the fruit and nut trees which will go in on 12th March. Our regular volunteers Barry and Tom were there as usual helping us and keeping us entertained. Barry's famous BBQ and his culinary delights and Tom, leading us in a wassail poem and setting off a firework!We had a great reggae style Wassail song this year by Twelvie and Kerry of the The Fellows (cover of the Barrington Levey song "black roses" words changed to "apple tree in my garden.. you got to keep and care for it, you got to wassail it..

Signs of spring...... last October we sown lots of bulbs in the garden, here they are making appearances!

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