More goings on at Philips Park
George says: There’s plenty going on the Philips Park fruit garden site – but plenty still to do. Everything is coming together for a very productive February and March – if we can continue to get the eight or nine volunteers who have turned up on our best days so far this year (or if more come as the weather improves).
After weeks of preparation, we have begun rebuilding the back part of the wall separating top and bottom halves of the site. We are using modern concrete blocks. These will be fronted by reclaimed hand made bricks in keeping with the site’s inheritance and appearance. Jamie continues to be the brains (and much of the labour) behind the operation – a good craftsman bricklayer, supervisor and tutor. Mark Lockwood already has many tips for his own small building tasks in his garden and Phil became an able mixer of mortar last Saturday. We only got to this point through the energy of Mark Littler in helping us do nearly all the work of demolishing a section of the previous wall in one session a couple of weeks ago.
We have all we need to put in new plants as soon as the weather and the state of the rebuilt wall allows. This winter’s plant order has arrived and raspberry and stepover apple plants are ‘heeled in’ off site ready to be planted – along with vines and other plants for the back wall. Over the past couple of weeks we have taken delivery of a generous donation of topsoil from United Utilities, waiting just off site to be barrowed in – and farmer Alan Massey who uses the fields around the park has come up trumps again with a pile of cow muck for our use.
Our site has expanded a little. Dave Dutton has cut down the trees in the area to the right of the site (as you face the wall) to eliminate the shade on our gooseberry and currant bushes and last Saturday we used a small bit of that land to relocate our compost bin and its contents off our main site, releasing more land for raspberries. Thanks to both the Marks for making light work of that job.
Existing plants have not been neglected. We have done some tidying of the strawberry bed and IEPAD’S new drill has been put to good use erecting wiring to support the trees we put in against the wall last year.
As Spring brings leaves and buds to both our one year old and our new plants, more than two thirds of the site should be attractive and productive, leaving only a stubborn little corner not fully cleared.
Please go and have a look or, best of all, come next Saturday and give us a hand!