Welcome to the Grapevine Wellbeing Centre
January Allotment Talk
by Ellis Hayward on January 19th, 2015

Well, it’s a New Year on the allotment and even though the weather has been very harsh, nothing stands still for long. There are chickens to feed – yes we seem to have adopted three stray chickens, two little hens and a little cockerel – so every time I go up they get fed with bread and bird seed bought from Lomas’. In fact I dare not go to the garden empty handed because they meet me at the gates and follow me up the shed.

This weather is a good time for pruning hedges and trees and this is what I have been busy with. There is also two new solid railway sleeper benches either side of the ‘Ornamental Peace Garden’. Sawing them up kept me warm!! The polytunnel frame is up and ready with just some joinery needed on the main door which will have to wait for better weather. The tunnel will be 25 ft long by 10ft wide, plenty of room for growing and starting off vegetables and flowers, as well as having a work area at the front for all sorts of activities such as woodwork, art and furniture
restoration.
 
We also have a new compost unit for waste. With the left over poly tunnel hoops I have erected a small tunnel at the bottom of the site which I thought could be used as another growing area or as a permanent shelter if activities were taking place on site. Another job to be considered is a low level dividing fence to split the plot into more interesting compartments, perhaps with an arch style gate? At the moment these are just ideas. A small wildlife pond is also on the cards. One idea is to draft in students from the University of Derby, Buxton, to plan and under-take the work as a project. This certainty needs to be under-taken in very early spring.
 
Sadly I have been rather ill of late with a bad chest and cough, so found it necessary to split my hours up into smaller chunks on the really bitter days, but it seems to have worked out ok and the garden is progressing well even in the heart of winter. Now is the time to plan ahead, decide what you wish to grow, start buying packets of seed which are already on sale locally. Remember all ideas are welcome, all input is valuable – spring is not that far away!
 
Wildlife on the allotment is always of interest to us – this is a Home for Wildlife after all. Our bird list is still growing with some new and exciting additions such as great spotted woodpecker and goldcrest. Pink- footed geese have been seen flying over and regular flocks of fieldfare and starling; buzzard, raven and kestrel have also put in fleeting appearances. On arrival at the 
allotment a robin is always to be found waiting near the bird table and often joins the chickens when they are feeding. Now we sit and wait to hear the unmistakable call of the chiff-chaff, an early migrant, and a sure sign that spring is only around the corner.
 

Well, it’s a New Year on the allotment and even though the weather has been very harsh, nothing stands still for long. There are chickens to feed – yes we seem to have adopted three stray chickens, two little hens and a little cockerel – so every time I go up they get fed with bread and bird seed bought from Lomas’. In fact I dare not go to the garden empty handed because they meet me at the gates and follow me up the shed.

This weather is a good time for pruning hedges and trees and this is what I have been busy with. There is also two new solid railway sleeper benches either side of the ‘Ornamental Peace Garden’. Sawing them up kept me warm!! The polytunnel frame is up and ready with just some joinery needed on the main door which will have to wait for better weather. The tunnel will be 25
ft long by 10ft wide, plenty of room for growing and starting off vegetables and flowers, as well as having a work area at the front for all sorts of activities such as woodwork, art and furniture
restoration.
 
We also have a new compost unit for waste. With the left over poly tunnel hoops I have erected a small tunnel at the bottom of the site which I thought could be used as another growing area or as a permanent shelter if activities were taking place on site. Another job to be considered is a low level dividing fence to split the plot into more interesting compartments, perhaps with an arch style gate? At the moment these are just ideas. A small wildlife pond is also on the cards. One idea is to draft in students from the University of Derby, Buxton, to plan and under-take the work as a project. This certainty needs to be under-taken in very early spring.
 
Sadly I have been rather ill of late with a bad chest and cough, so found it necessary to split my hours up into smaller chunks on the really bitter days, but it seems to have worked out ok and the garden is progressing well even in the heart of winter. Now is the time to plan ahead, decide what you wish to grow, start buying packets of seed which are already on sale locally. Remember all ideas are welcome, all input is valuable – spring is not that far away!
 
Wildlife on the allotment is always of interest to us – this is a Home for Wildlife after all. Our bird list is still growing with some new and exciting additions such as great spotted woodpecker and goldcrest. Pink- footed geese have been seen flying over and regular flocks of fieldfare and starling; buzzard, raven and kestrel have also put in fleeting appearances. On arrival at the
allotment a robin is always to be found waiting near the bird table and often joins the chickens when they are feeding. Now we sit and wait to hear the unmistakable call of the chiff-chaff, an early migrant, and a sure sign that spring is only around the corner.
 
 


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