Happy Birthday

Today is the 10th Anniversary of the formation date of the Loxwood Community Gardens Initiative.  Exactly 10 years ago today, nine local people met to discuss forming a Garden Club known at that time as the Loxwood Community Garden Club with an aim to provide an organisation that would bring the community together to develop some areas in the village for the benefit of all.

Since that time we have achieved an amazing amount, we now have our Diamond Jubilee Garden, with its raised beds, borders and oak sculptures, that is very well used by the village and is the venue for our annual bbq.

The area around the telephone box has been improved and is maintained by ourselves as well as repainting the telephone box.

At North Hall we have planted our own community orchard which consists of 38 different varieties of fruit trees under planted with a magnificent wild flower meadow.  The woodland itself has been cleared from an overgrown jungle to a managed area where we not only provide beanpoles and pea sticks for the village but we also have an area that is used by local children as well as a forest school used by the Preschool.

To commemorate our ten year birthday, we have planted four quite large Crab Apple Trees in the far corner of North Hall, these were kindly donated by Paul Swan Landscaping.  In the wild flower area, we have added to the diversity by planting some wild daffodils as well as some wild gladioli.

Our next work party will take place on Saturday 15th December at North Hall, starting at 9.30am.  This will attract all the pyromaniacs from the village (and there are many) as we will be having a couple of bonfires.  Look forward to seeing many of you then with your holey jackets and jumpers.

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Keith Nichols

It is with regret that we have to announce the passing of Keith Nichols, who as many of you will know, has been a great supporter of the Loxwood Community Gardens Initiative since its inception.

Keith was a great character in the village and will be greatly missed.  As you will all be aware, he was one of only a few people who carried on the traditional art of hedge laying.  Not only has he laid hedges for us in the Diamond Jubilee Garden and in the woodland at North Hall but he has laid numerous hedges for the Wey and Arun Canal.

As an organisation we will miss Keith, not only for his hedge laying, but his countryside knowledge that was second to none.  He also has been responsible for distributing many wild flower seeds around Loxwood and surrounding areas, especially Cowslips, Orchids and Ragged Robin.

Our thoughts are with Penny and their families at this difficult time.

 

 

Talk/ Social Evening

On Friday 23rd November we will be hosting a very interesting and amusing talk by a renowned local horticulturist Alan Sargent, Alan has spent the majority of his career in horticulture as a Garden Designer, a Consultant and has been involved in over 60 RHS Show Gardens.  He will be sharing with us many amusing anecdotes and stories that have happened during his interesting and varied career in horticulture.

This will take place at North Hall, Loxwood, doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start.  Nibbles will be included in the very reasonable price of £3 per person.  We will also have a licensed bar. All proceeds will go towards our Community Gardens.

If you would like to come along, please do bring your friends and neighbours with you.  Tickets from Graham Moore on 01403 751722 or ginamoore@btopenworld.com.  We will collect monies on the evening.

Working On our Raised Beds

This Saturday 29th September our work party will be in the Diamond Jubilee Garden where we will be refreshing all three of our raised beds. The herb bed and the alpine beds need a build up of soil as they have now become very compacted and the soil level has dropped. We will take this opportunity to replace some of the plants that have grown leggy and are past their best. Once this is completed we will mulch the surface with a gravel to retain the moisture and to suppress any weeds.

We will be starting work at 9.30 am, as well as working on the raised beds there will be many other jobs such as cutting back and weeding.

In the next couple of weeks I will be picking our Quinces, as this year has been a bumper year. There will be plenty of the fruit for anybody who would like some. Once picked I will send an e-mail out to all members.

A Bountiful Harvest Awaits

For those of you who have visited the Orchard at North Hall in the last few days, cannot have failed to notice what an abundant crop of apples, pears, damsons etc. that are hanging from the trees.  Some of the apples are just about to become perfect for picking, others will need more time.  Please do take advantage of our Community Orchard as this harvest is by far the best we have had since the Orchard was planted in 2008 onwards.

You will also have noticed that the wild flower meadow has now been cut down as the wild flowers have now dropped their seed.  For those of you who are not aware, this is how wild flower meadows are managed, the flowers are cut down once they have set seed, they are then left to dry to allow the seeds to drop into the ground to produce the wild flowers for next year.  The remaining stalks are then raked up and removed from the area as we do not want the fertility in the soil to build up as this encourages more vigorous grasses.

Some dates for your diary.

Sunday 23rd September   Work Party at the Diamond Jubilee Garden starting at 10am

Friday 23rd November   Talk at North Hall by Alan Sargent “Confessions of a Gardener”

 

 

Newly Laid Traditional Hedge

If you have visited North Hall in the last couple of weeks you will have noticed that the wild flowers are as spectacular as ever.  The wild flower meadow has been in place now for five seasons and contains an excellent mix of species of wild flowers which have encouraged the bees to visit to enable better pollination of our fruit trees.

Beyond the wildflower meadow and over Pawlies Brook you will have noticed that we have a new traditionally laid hedge, creating a barrier between the woodland and the fields at Pawlies Farm.  Our thanks go to Keith Nichols for his unstinting work, his hedges are renowned for their quality which is very obvious if you know anything about hedge laying.  Do go and take a look.  There are also a couple of pictures on the website.

A couple of dates for your diary, our bbq will take place on Friday 13th July at the Diamond Jubilee Garden, format is as normal, you bring your booze and we will supply you with hot dogs for a very small donation.  This event will start at 6.30pm.  Please bring your own glasses and chairs and please contact Graham or Gina to let us know if you are coming.  This will assist greatly with the catering.

Whilst in the Jubilee Garden, you might notice that the sheep have gone a very slightly darker colour.  This is due to the preservative that they have been treated with.  Its a bit like a sheep dip, keeps out the rot.

Our next work party will take place on Sunday 15th July when we will attempt to cut our very overgrown hedge, tidy the Jubilee Garden and Telephone Box.  We will start as usual at 10am

The Pigs are in the Orchard

The pigs have now been moved from their indoor quarters out into the orchard at North Hall.  Do pop down and take a look at them, they are magnificent and have arrived just in time for the Fete goers to admire them on Saturday.  There are a few pictures on the website of the pigs and their handlers.

A date for your diary, we will be holding our annual bbq in the Diamond Jubilee Garden on Friday 13th July starting at 6.30pm.  I will be sending an email out nearer the time to collect names so that we can cater effectively.

Many thanks to all of you who have renewed your annual membership.  We have just under 100 families who are supporting us on an annual basis.  Again this year we have a number of new members, we would like to welcome them to our Initiative and thank them for their support.  If you have not paid as yet, it is never too late!

Our next work party is Saturday 16th June at the Diamond Jubilee Garden starting at 10am.  We will be doing the normal jobs for this time of the year, weeding, tidying and cutting back.  In the very near future we will be spreading lots of new bark in this area as the torrential rain last week washed a lot of it away and it needs topping us.