Welcome to the Grapevine Wellbeing Centre
Spring at the Allotment
by Ellis Hayward on April 16th, 2015

​Spring was slow in coming but finally at Easter the sun shone and our spirits were boosted. A
visit to the Community Garden revealed all sorts of nature goodies. The first tortoiseshell butterflies of the season were great to see, perching on the raised beds to gather in the heat of the sun after a long hibernation. Two buzzards circled leisurely in an almost cloudless sky revelling in the thermals. I also noticed rooks in the back field poking their bony beaks into the soft soil for grubs and worms (I would be very interested to find their rookery and count the nests if anybody has any ideas where the rookery could be). Later in the week some peacock butterflies began to arrive, many looking in wonderful condition and of course very colourful with their peacock patterned wings.

The garden is proving a great place for butterflies and insects generally so records will be kept of sightings. There have also been plenty of buff-tailed queen bees exploring the sight and feeding up on the lesser celandine after a long winter’s sleep. An unusual sight was of a possible tawny mining bee checking out the earth sides of a path in the garden. Also the house sparrows have been seen inspecting a couple nest boxes. Last year they did use one. The raised beds have come into their own. As well as splitting the garden into manageable portions, raised beds dry out much faster than dug over and soil because of good drainage and gather in the heat very quickly so planting can happen much faster. Already we have two beds planted with early potatoes. This coming week we will be planting onions, beets and chard in the new ornamental vegetable garden. Bamboo poles will be put up in a wig-wham in the centre for sweet peas and runner beans. Already helpers are arriving to take advantage of the good weather and some beds have already been claimed to work on as projects which is great.

 The next big step is covering the poly tunnel frame with a skin and setting it up ready for action. The tunnel will have many uses as well as growing plants, such as woodwork and art. Anyone who wishes to help with the putting on of the polythene skin will be very welcome, will give out a date nearer the time, but sooner the better. Remember there are still plots up for grabs so you can do your own thing; why not get involved and grow your own vegetables or flowers; work at your own pace.

Come and have a look, all are welcome.

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