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Rebecca ScottWe are now into our 9th post (including this one) of our series on the Heart Garden. Rebecca Scott our resident gardener and guest blogger provides us with very helpful and insightful gardening tidbits after each session.

About Rebecca

Rebecca Scott and Art in the Park artists Andrea Sinclair and Jill Newman run the Lottery funded scheme ‘Heart Garden.’ Together they plan and organise a variety of activities to help improve the health of those referred to the scheme. These sessions run every Friday.

Gardening is both a hobby and part of work for her as she not only provides much needed expertise in the field of horticulture for the Heart Garden but also works as an environmental educator at the Walworth Garden Farm, helping to train people in horticulture so that they can find employment.

Every Friday we have our regular Heart Garden sessions. Originally set up by Art in the Park artists in partnership with Southwark General Practices and health professionals,patients with CHD and long term illnesses can be referred to the project which has an emphasis on friendly, social activities and holistic health. Artist Jane Higginbottom and artist/ gardener Rebecca Scott co-ordinate a range of activities for the Heart Gardeners, the main involving gardening.

We will be documenting the Heart Garden’s weekly sessions which will include expert gardening tips.

Friday 5th Nov

Two weeks ago, they planted crocus and tete a tete into indoor pots so that they could flower for the upcoming christmas. Volunteer Brian and Rebecca underplanted mixed tulips in the bike racks (in front of studio) and overplanted them with winter pansies and polyanthus.

Flower bedFlower bed

They also planted three fruit trees; two plums (‘opal’ and ‘president’) which are self fertile and an apple (‘cox orange pippin’) into large pots. It was not neccesary to have pollinating partners for them as next door’s nursery 1st Place already has some fruit trees. The fruit trees we have bought are all already grafted onto dwarf rootstock, so they will grow well in the pots.

How to plant a fruit tree

1. Plant with the scion (top bit/ fruit variety) 3 inches above soil level so the rootstock (graft – determines size of tree) doesn’t shoot.

2. Soak roots first in a bucket of water (bare rooted plant).

3. Spread roots out by mixing loamy soil with multi purpose compost (can add fish/ blood/ bone or some other organic fertiliser), water well in.

4. Stake with a stout piece of wood (this can be used as a label). The stake prevent root rock when it is windy.