allotments community gardening conservation gardening grow your own meadows wildlife

Now that’s what I call a working party!

Today we held our first allotment working party of 2012. Once or twice a month throughout the year I organise working parties to develop and maintain the communal areas at our site, Bowbrook Allotment Community. These communal areas are for the enjoyment of our allotment holders, the local residents, school groups, nature and gardening clubs etc. We have a small sub-committee of the main allotments management committee which is responsible for these areas, The Green Spaces Committee. We invite volunteers to join us at our regular working parties.

At 9:00 am we opened up the site gates and collected up the tools and machinery we might need. The day started foggy and chilly, just 6 degrees bu the forecast was optimistic. fifteen volunteers turned up with trowels, forks, spades and flasks of coffee. The mowers and strimmers were fueled and readied for some hard work.

Plots and sheds engulfed in mist.
Geoff on hands and knees planting in the mist.
Ian popping plug plants out of their trays.
Jude, Anthony and Dave preparing planting holes for the plug plants.

By coffee time the light had improved as the mist cleared. The sky turned blue and temperatures rose so jackets were removed as we retired to the picnic benches. The temperature rose to a hefty 20 degrees.

A well-earned rest and coffee for Ian and John.

After our coffee break we moved on to planting more plugs in other meadow areas, under the bushes in the Hazel Grove and on the Wildlife Banks.

Dee and John planting under the Sycamore tree.
Jill and Dave plugging away.
Dee, John and Tracy planting in the wetter meadow area.

After a mid-day break for lunch we moved over to the one of the orchards to plant more wildflowers amongst the trees.

Jude, still on hands and knees, in the orchard.

Finishing our day’s work planting in the orchard was extra rewarding as here we could appreciate the fruits of our labours. During working parties in the autumn we planted bulbs such as Fritilleries, Muscari, Narcissi and Alliums, and today many were in flower attracting bees and butterflies.

Native Daffodils flowering away under the apple trees.
The star flower of the orchard, the Snakeshead Fritillery.
Turn over, peer inside and find more magic.

So what could fifteen volunteers achieve on a sunny March day? We planted over 2500 wildflower plants to enhance our communal meadows! An amazing day!

Now that’s what I call a working party!

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

6 replies on “Now that’s what I call a working party!”

Wow – what a lot of work you accomplished and what beauty you will behold when it all takes hold. Thank you for sharing the picture of the Snakeshead Fritillery. I had never heard of it – what a beautiful flower to behold.

Lots of work for you and your volunteers but what beauty you will enjoy when it all takes hold. And, thank you for sharing the picture of the Snakeshead Fritillery. I have never seen one, and the world is a more beautiful place with it in it.

Like to see kind of “the making” photos… it just tell a better story than pure text.
Anyway, the person who hold the camera, is kind of lazy bluff who walk around without put their hand dirty and sweat… lol .. good excuse to be photographer.

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