Getting to grips with fruit tree planting- the group at Wensum View Park

Getting to grips with fruit tree planting- the group at Wensum View Park

You may remember that we opened Old School Garden to the public for the first time back in July. Apart from the fun (and worry!) of sharing the garden and getting people’s feedback, it was a chance to raise some money for some local ‘good causes’. The £300 raised was divided equally between gardening projects at Cawston V.C. Primary School (where I help out as a volunteer), towards the upkeep of the fabric of St. Peter’s Church, Haveringland- the ‘Church in the Fields’ you can see from our garden-  and to support small – scale projects in the Norfolk Master Gardener programme.

One of the latter involved funding some new fruit trees for a Community Garden in Norwich and the Master Gardener supporting that project, Jeremy Bartlett, has written a piece about the planting event yesterday. I’m so pleased that our little fundraising effort has achieved something worthwhile- I’ll report on other projects funded in due course, but for now here’s Jeremy’s article.

‘Volunteers spent the morning of Sunday 17th November 2013 planting fruit trees and an edible hedge at Wensum View Park in Norwich, thanks in part to a Norfolk Master Gardener Grant .

The park, at the back of Turner Road in Norwich, is owned by Norwich City Council and contains a small children’s playground and a large area of grass used for games and by dog walkers. Local residents wanted to do more with the park and set up Wensum View Park Community Garden Group in early 2012. Following a public consultation by Norwich City Council earlier this year (http://www.norwich.gov.uk/Environment/ParksAndOpenSpaces/Parks/ParksImprovements/Pages/WensumViewPlayArea.aspx) work to transform the space began this autumn.

So far there have been two gardening tasks, led by Master Gardener Jeremy Bartlett, who has had previous experience setting up and maintaining Norwich’s Grapes Hill Community Garden (http://www.grapeshillcommunitygarden.org/).

In early October we created a herb bed and planted crocus bulbs. This was followed by a task on the morning of Sunday 17th November 2013 when about twenty-five volunteers planted fruit trees and an edible hedge. A Norfolk Master Gardener Grant for £45 went towards the cost of the fruit trees and the 105 small saplings for the edible hedge were supplied by the Woodland Trust.

We planted nine fruit trees: single trees of Apples “Golden Noble” and “Discovery”, Figs “Brunswick” and “Brown Turkey”, Medlar “Nottingham” and Quince “Champion”, two Plums “River’s Early Prolific” and an unnamed variety of Plum, which was donated by a local resident. The hedge consists of Elder, Dog Rose, Blackthorn, Hazel and Crab Apple and will add to the edible harvest once it is established.

Our next task, planned for January or February 2014, will be to build a raised bed for planting herbs and vegetables.

Wensum View Park Community Garden Group have now signed up as a Master Gardener household and Jeremy will continue to provide free growing advice during the next twelve months.

Wensum View Park (also known as “Wensum View play area”) is located on Dereham Road in Norwich. Its entrance is between numbers 319 and 321 Dereham Road and it is open to all, free of charge, every day during daylight hours.’

Old School Gardener