8 May 2013

Station Garden Update

A beautiful sunny bank holiday Monday brought hundreds of people to Wivenhoe Station to celebrate 150 years of the railway in Wivenhoe at an event organised by Off the Rails.  Jean, Nadia and Ruth had been working hard over the weekend to make the garden look lovely, and had constructed a wonderful Victorian scarecrow (albeit with a slightly wonky head!) to tie in with the theme of the day.

I had the relatively easy task of turning up on the day although I had rather huffily refused to come dressed in Victorian garb.  I wish I had done; the people dressed up looked great. Lots of people came over to chat to me about the garden; there’s certainly a great deal of interest in what we’re doing there, and several people commented on how pretty the garden – especially the forget-me-nots which are now in full bloom – looks.

In between talking to people I found the time to plant out some French beans, do a spot of weeding and see how the plants are doing. The alpine strawberries are beginning to flower and I am already having thoughts of jam making. All the herbs are doing well, with the mint and lemon balm having come on spectacularly in the last couple of weeks – perfect for making tea.

I have some pink fir apple seed potatoes – donated by former custodian of the garden Chris – to plant, and tomatoes, courgette and summer squash are nearly ready to plant out. The garden is a lovely sunny spot and these should all do well, although I’ll have to keep on top of the watering. The donated water butt does not seem to contain much water. The down-pipe wasn't properly connected to the gutter so I climbed up and fixed it, which should resolve the problem. There’s plenty of rain due in the next few days so we shall see.

I also constructed a new sign for the garden. I’d been up the estuary a few days before and gathered some likely-looking bits of driftwood for this purpose. A spot of sanding, assisted by Martha (5) and Freya (7), and a bit of elementary woodwork and the structure of the sign is complete, including a box for leaflets and area for pinning notices. I’m happy with the structure of the sign but it needs the name of the garden carved or painted on it and a bit of decoration, preferably before Wivenhoe Open Gardens on May 18-19; are there any arty types out there who would be able to take this on?

The sign certainly seemed to attract quite a bit of attention. From my vantage point at the Station pub, to where I retired to recuperate after my labours in the garden, I saw several people stop to take a look and read the leaflet.

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