Garden Diary 23rd April 2020

What a week in the garden, sun just kept shining and lots got done. Our main jobs were preparing the vegetable beds, sowing seeds and keeping everything watered.

Overview of the garden and the new potato field

Most days involve going from one of these jobs to the other until it’s time to go home. Having good weather and nothing else to do but garden, the days are going so quickly. It’s amazing when you are absorbed in something like preparing vegetable beds you stop worrying about things and just get lost in what you are doing. I have found this particularly helpful right now.

There is definitely a contrast with the slower pace the lock down has brought to many of our lives compared to the business a garden demands. Things growing don’t listen to the restriction of the lockdown. Once the seeds have been planted they still need lots of attention before they are ready to be harvested but when you start growing vegetables it’s addictive and hard to stop.

Hungry Month

They call April the ‘hungry month’ as produce we have planted this year is not ready to be eaten and our stored vegetables from last year are running out. We have dug out all our winter salads and our spring lettuce is not quite ready but there have been some highlights to this week’s harvest. We had a great harvest of rhubarb and the plan for this weekend is to make rhubarb and custard, a tradition this time of year. In our 10 week gardening programme last year it was all hands on deck with veterans sharing the jobs of chopping rhubarb, stirring homemade custard and finishing the syrup to serve up after a good day gardening. I’m always so impressed how willing our members are to get stuck in to all the different things we do here and are open to learning something new.

Rhubarb Rhubarb Crop

Most of our vegetable beds are now ready to be planted and the garden is in really good shape. I’d like to say a big THANKYOU to everyone who has helped keep this garden going in a challenging time. I was worried the weeds could take over this year but as a community who work so well together, we are on top of it. Our gardener, Colin, has done amazing work keeping on top of all the jobs, and helping prepare some of the members plots for when they can return. This garden is such a big team effort and I cannot wait to welcome people back in soon.

Dougal Dorman, Head Gardener, Colebrooke Walled Garden

P.S. The beginning of our market garden

For a while a few of our volunteers have been keen to plough the lower section of the walled garden and plant a larger crop of potatoes. So this year, we decided to give it a go. The field has been cleared, plough and rotavated, and the fence that seperated off the bottom part of the garden, relocated entirely!

Tractor rotavating the field