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Some Pruning tools that can be used to maintai...

Some pruning tools that can be used to maintain a garden

Friday 21st January

It was a sunny day so we spent the day in the allotment and put the art project  to one side (see previous post). We concentrated on pruning the grapevine, rose and apple tree to promote flowers and fruits. It’s causable to do this when dormant, before the buds begin to break as the grapevine will weep if pruned after mid February.

We also cut back the honeysuckle which shoes this bed along the north face wall – all pruning should be handled before nesting time so as not to disturb the birds.

You may have seen from our previous posts that Art in the Park’s artist Bill Hudson and his trusty assistant Brian (one of our regular volunteers) have been working on a Christmas Tree planter for Chumleigh Cafe’s Christmas Tree. Today, it was finally put up! Bill Hudson, local sculptor Will and Quadrant Park Manager Graham had to lift  the 5 metre tree with a hoist before slotting it carefully into the metal tube affixed inside the planter. It was then filled up with soil and moved to the corner outside Chumleigh Cafe.

More pictures to come when it’s decorated with lights, trinkets and bobbles.

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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.