As you can see, the Devonport Community Garden Blog has laid fallow for quite some time.
But, what better time to reinvigorate the Blog, than the start of a New Year - so let's welcome 2017 and the DCG Blog as they both begin anew with fresh energy and optimism for the coming 12 months.
The aim of the blog will be to document what's growing (and what's not ... hopefully not too much will fall into that category) - covering both the essential elements of a Community Garden ... the Community and the Garden.
The current Garden Community consists of a hard core element of doggedly determined people who are prepared to sit and drink tea in all weathers ... pausing only to run for cover when faced with rain and to run for shade when faced with sunshine. We are a hardy bunch - hailing from all corners of the globe, united in a shared ambition to coax something... anything... edible from the ground - doing weekly battle with Mother Nature in the hope of wrestling some sort of plant life from her earthy grasp! We range in age from 6 years to .. well, many more than that .. nobody is too young, or too old, to get involved - our range of expertise is wide (and not necessarily Garden-related) - but we all share a common interest and enthusiasm for gardening (and drinking tea!).
Onto the growing ... we have many shared growing beds at the Garden - all of which has fallen into happy chaos over the Holiday season .. it doesn't take long, at this time of year, for well behaved growing beds, with neat rows of plants to find their 'crazy' while your back is turned. In only the short time it takes to open the sherry and eat a bowl of Christmas Pud it seems most green things in the Garden have gone to seed and sprouted in many unplanned directions. As a result, we currently have an excess of mature cabbages (to be picked and taken to the Food Bank in the next couple of days) and an even bigger excess of weeds and exhausted other 'stuff'.
But, do not despair, I have a plan ... a carefully worked out plan, based on solid crop rotation principles and formulated with much reference to the New Zealand Gardener magazine garden diary (my new bible). But the veg beds are on hold for a few days .. this week's project has been in our Shade House - where we have created a 'caged' area for our most dangerous Garden plants .. native NZ and European nettles - in readiness for our Red Admiral project to get off the ground in the next month or so. In preparation for the arrival of a batch of Red Admiral eggs which will be placed on the nettles where they will hatch into caterpillars. We have also planted a large quantity of flowering plants ready for the adult Red Admirals to live on once we get that far. So this week's efforts have been focussed on clearing the weeds and planting to try and create a carpet of flowers. The hard work is largely done, now it's a waiting game to see if the hoped for flowers materialise .. watch this space!