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The Abbey Gardeners receive a little help from Master Gardeners Maria Elena and Enza

The Abbey Gardeners receive a little help from Master Gardeners Maria Elena and Enza

Laura Wigzell, Over 50s Coordinator at the Abbey Community Centre shares the latest progress with the enthusiastic Abbey Gardeners. These activities form part of the Growing for Health programme.

”With the help of the Master Gardener programme, the Abbey Community Garden in Kilburn is now blooming marvellous!

In January 2014 we started using the Garden Room at our community centre for more activities for the over 50s. Despite having a big green space attached to it, this part of the centre was underused and very overgrown.

So in Spring 2014 a group of enthusiastic green-fingered older volunteers came together and cleared the community garden with a vision that it could be a beautiful retreat. But we needed a bit of extra help to learn how to make it a real community growing space and how to keep things growing every month. This is where the Master Gardeners came in. We had heard that they might be able to help us with local advice and support on growing vegetables and we jumped at the chance.

Abbey Community Centre

Master Gardeners Maria Elena and Enza have been fabulous. They have worked with our members every Friday morning, showing us how to do everything from planting edibles to teaching us about garden maintenance and how to water properly.

As most of our members are older, the support and enthusiasm they have shared has been invaluable, especially giving us ideas for and structure to our weekly gardening sessions.

The garden is now a place of real spirit. Every week all through summer people poured out into the garden to get involved. Men from the centre got involved to build vegetable planters and steps up to our raised beds from upcycled pallets and scrap wood. We’ve had plants, seeds, cuttings, tools, pots and soil all donated. The herbs and vegetables grown there regularly get used in our cooking and lunch clubs.

Every week is different and the community has really come together to make the garden into a place we are now all really proud of. Even as we come up to winter it is still being used for activities as varied as pumpkin carving and wreath making. And beetroot, kale and cabbage are still growing strong.

We are already excited about planning for spring and daffodil bulbs are already lying in wait to burst forth! In December we held a coffee morning in the garden with a slide show to celebrate just how much the garden has changed with the help of many hands including our wonderful Master Gardeners. Next year we plan do get a greenhouse so we can plant seedlings.

Exciting times.”

Read more about the Growing for Health programme Here

Abbey Community Centre

Abbey Community Centre

Abbey Community Centre

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