After a pause on volunteer activity in the spring, we managed to restart activities with Covid measures in place in the summer. There was a greater focus on the garden this year and we produced crops for volunteers and local people, sending some of our harvest to The Community Store – providing food for people in need, in Godalming.
Workshop participants made the most of the chance to gather between lockdowns for activities such as willow weaving, garden chair rebuilding and an innovative cable tidying system made out of wood . Activities have been paused for the second lockdown (Nov. 2020) and will resume as soon as appropriate.
Having had a slow start to orchard establishment with dense soil needing to be loosened, our sandy soil needing enhancing – done with rotted stable bedding and manure, and an irrigation system being installed, all back in the winter of 2018/19, this year saw an improved performance in fruit production and tree growth. We had some fine looking apples and resultant happy volunteers, families, friends, visitors and locals!
The Woodland pond has been looking great in the autumn sun. We have been working on extending the ditch leading in to the pond (ongoing work) but the pond itself is maturing nicely. The ditch is now dug out and ready for lining, with undulations to retain water, but we are trying to put work schemes together to complement each other, so we are lifting mulch mats from around trees which are now being outgrown and using them as underlay for the ditch liner. Thank you to The Growth Team at Surrey Choices, Halow, and Thursday Pop-in volunteers for your help in creating the new water feature – it’s going to be great!
In a patch of our new woodland, we have just planted 1000 bluebells hyacinthoides non-scripta and are hoping for successful establishment. This should add a new visual feast to Aprils for years to come!
Earlier in the year, St. Joseph’s Specialist Trust started work on creating a stumpery adjacent to the new woodland bluebell area. This is to add interest, encouraging invertebrates and to add to habitat diversity. The stumpery has since been finished and the ferns planted look well.
So often, I walk around The Garden House estate and think how lovely it is looking these days. This afternoon, in the autumn sunshine I took some photographs. Wouldn’t it be good, I thought, to have a photography group here – sharing the hobby, skills, near misses and successes! If this would be of interest, please contact us to register your interest and we’ll see what can be done!
Andy Holdaway, November, 2020