|a new canopy over the boardwalk|
The same forces that have been acting on the beech leaves have also been at work in the walled garden and the vegetable plots have seen a flurry of activity over the last week. Air and soil temperatures are rising steadily, light levels are increasing, and suddenly humans and plants alike are ready to make up for time lost to this year's prolonged winter. We've been busy preparing the beds for this year's crops, weeding and forking through some of our fantastic homemade compost and leaf mould. Every year we collect fallen leaves in bays behind the walled garden to rot down, we also compost as much of our plant material as we can (pernicious weeds excepted); these twin processes ensure we have a constant supply of organic matter to work into our soil, improving its structure and releasing nutrients.
|baby rocket seedlings|
If you venture through the walled garden you'll see a variety of different productive plots, many used by schools, Landshare growers, and volunteers from the local community. Their plots are home to a wide variety of newly planted vegetables including potatoes, onions, peas, beans, cabbages, broccoli, and a myriad salad crops. There's also lots of soft fruit being grown with almost every plot graced with a little strawberry patch; you can find currants, gooseberries and raspberries coming into leaf and flower too. On top of all this we have many perennial herbs scattered about the beds: chives, mint, marjoram, fennel, thyme and sage are all waking up from their winter slumbers and putting out new growth.
|Rhubarb 'Timperley Early'|