Some of the volunteers who helped to t idy up the Church Yard on Saturday

Some of the volunteers who helped to tidy up the Church Yard on Saturday

I’ve written before about our local church, St. Peter’s, Haveringland, or ‘The Church in the Fields’. On Saturday I helped tidy up the church yard, which doesn’t have any regular care or attention, particularly since services here now occur only once a month. 

About twenty willing volunteers strimmed (or ‘Whipper – snipped‘ as I believe it’s called in Australia!), raked, weeded and (my own contribution) removed ivy from the church yard walls. In about two hours I managed to clear one wall (see picture below); fortunately there’s only one more that needs the same attention – I will return to finish it soon.

The wall cleaned of its Ivy- and, inadvertently a mouse nest too...

The wall cleaned of its Ivy- and, inadvertently a mouse nest too…

Some years ago an enthusiastic parishioner planted a number of Yews and other conifers around the church yard, and I remember at the time this caused a bit of controversy, as some people (my wife and I included) thought a ‘softer’, more naturalistic  approach to the planting (with wild flowers etc.) might be more appropriate. Well, I must say, 10 plus years on and these trees do add some interest to the church yard and were probably a realistic planting option, giving some shelter to the space and taking into account the limited community/church interest in looking after the area since.

On Saturday I was approached by the (relatively new) local priest who asked if I’d be interested in producing a Management Plan for the church yard. He suggested mown paths through wild flower areas and access to some of the more recent graves, based on a mix of twice yearly maintenance input from contractors, along with periodic voluntary effort like the session on Saturday. I was pleased to hear of his ideas and obvious commitment to keeping the place in good shape and so I agreed to help.

So, watch this space as this new project unfolds and I get to research and develop planting ideas around wild flower meadows (and maybe a couple of areas of self -reliant shrubs and perennials?).

I’d be pleased to hear from anyone with experience or knowledge on this subject – especially with regards to church yards!

Old School Gardener