Bringing Hartshill's 'secret garden' back to life
It was during a trip to the Northfield Eco-centre in early April that Hartshill Friends became more inspired than ever to develop our own eco-garden project in our small back garden at the Meeting House.
Uncovering the secret garden
Until very recently this part of the garden had been severely neglected and overgrown with a tumble down greenhouse full of ivy and brambles and an old herbaceous border that had been invaded by every weed species you can possibly imagine. So much so it was named 'the secret garden' by some of our members.
It was our good Friend from New Zealand Judith Wishart who initially helped a small working party to clear the area, pull down the old greenhouse and plant a herb and small vegetable plot. As we cleared more weeds it became apparent that there was quite a sizeable plot hidden under all the undergrowth waiting to be rejuvenated into a new garden - all that was needed was some inspiration and a brain storming session to decide the way forward to develop the new plot.
Faith into action
What better way to show our concerns around sustainability, climate change and care of this fragile planet than to make a statement with a biodiverse natural eco-garden- Rebecca Dyde, Claire King and Clare Barnett
What better way to show our concerns around sustainability, climate change and care of this fragile planet than to make a statement with a biodiverse natural eco-garden something that could be adopted in any average size sub-urban garden. This garden was about putting our ideas into practice, showing that we can work with nature without exploiting natural resources, and also highlighting the need to recycle as much as we can.
A rejuvenated garden
There are several projects currently being undertaken including:
- the building of a plastic bottle greenhouse
- a natural composting area
- a 'food for thought' plant support, which is being coated with hundreds of food labels highlighting the concern about food packaging and paper waste and its effects on the environment
- a permaculture bed
- a natural herb plot with educational tools on medicinal usage as well as culinary
- recycling of plastic and glass containers for planting vegetables
- and a small wildflower meadow
The garden will also contain several 'Thought Boards' in various positions, to encourage visitors to stop and engage with the messages the garden is trying to convey.
Hartshill Friends have also recently begun a regular monthly community coffee morning which has included jumble sale tables, plant sales and a magazine swap as well as a variety of lovingly created eco-displays. These have been excellent outreach into the community, being well attended, and have raised funds towards our eco projects.