Sandgate Community Garden: Update 4 July 2021

The ‘lambs ears’ silver furry planting around the pond is just full of life.  The dragonfly larvae are enjoying climbing it to begin their metamorphosis to their next phase, and bees in all sizes and forms seem to be intoxicated by the flowers and are mostly motionless there whereas they are still busy buzzing around all the other flowers – this plant is drawing them in and keeping them there, obviously the plant of choice, most interesting to see.

A busy week as always but a little different with many of our gardeners away on ‘staycations’ or making the time to visit family and friends; however we have had several new visitors to the garden.  Some come to compare the growth in our garden with their own or the allotment, others come to see what is in season and if we have any spare produce.  The first lettuce plantings have bolted now and the newly planted summer lettuces still lagging behind and probably not ready for another week or two before the first leaves can be taken.  Another bed of summer lettuces got planted as well as swede and beetroot, chicory and endive got sown and a last tray of beetroot.  The broad beans did get pulled up this week and the last pods collected to make room for Kale and Romanesco to be planted next week.  A young chap has been recently visiting the garden keen to try local produce but mentioned he thought the broad beans were somewhat stringy, until we realised he had eaten them pods and all – so it had to be explained that in this case you just eat the beans inside.  It should never be assumed that everyone knows how to prepare all the vegetables!

We were also really pleased to have Carol come and join us.  Carol has lived in Sandgate High Street for over 30 years and has recently volunteered to take on planting up the front and back areas of the flats where she lives, with some of the other residents.  We were delighted that Carol had got in touch to ask about plants, and we had a few extras we could pass on and hopefully more to come later.   We are pleased to help and hope that this new adventure will be bringing the residents together as a community which already seems to be happening. 

The Golden valley shopping planter area got a good weeding and a few more plants added.  Some of the flowers are starting to show at last, and quite a few people have enjoyed picking the pea pods.

What’s next?

  • Get the kale and Romanesco into the prepared beds
  • Water new plantings if needed
  • Take down the sugar snap peas now finished and prepare the bed
  • Prick out excess plants of chicory and endive
  • Check the gooseberries again!