This week all volunteers are welcome at our Renovate! the lower Greenhouse session on Sunday 27th Jan 10 am to 3 pm. Between now and April we are going to be conserving the inside of the Greenhouse ready for the removal of the glass. This month we are going to be removing the tops of the cold frames, cleaning out the floor cracks and brushing down the walls. The session is from 10 until 3 but you can arrive when you want and do as much as you’d like. Even just 30 minutes will be a great help and we’re encouraging everyone to join in if they can on Sunday.

Last Sunday we did the majority of our winter pruning of apple and pear trees and of our fruit bushes. There are still a few to go so if you missed the opportunity last week and would like to hone your pruning skills, do join us this week.  And do come and see the gorgeous snowdrops flowering in the orchard – a sign that spring is not far away.

However, there are some winter days left. These are days when the plants are still dormant. With deciduous trees, fruit bushes, and raspberries, the plants have no leaves on them, and next year’s buds have not yet started to open. This is the ideal time of year to move them. Why? Because plants with leaves lose a lot of water through their leaves, but when they have no leaves they don’t and so they are far less stressed by being moved in winter.

So, we are sorting out our long raspberry bed. For some mysterious reason the raspberries roots keep on moving towards the edges of the bed and this makes it more difficult for us when we try to put a net over them in summer to protect the fruit from birds. We are digging up the raspberry canes, thinning them out, to ease congestion and allow for better plant growth, and then we replanting them nearer the centre of the bed. At the end of this process we will have a surplus of raspberry canes, so if you need some, do come and ask for them!

We have a large pile of manure to move into our compost bays, so if you would like an outdoor alternative to visiting the gym, do come and help us move the manure!

More physical work: – the tree identification signs we have been making are now ready to have posts attached and then to be placed around the garden next to the trees they are identifying.

This Sunday 27th January we will be having the first of 2019’s volunteer meetings at 2.30pm. Do join us as we look ahead to the coming year.

The dates and times for subsequent volunteer meetings are below if you’d like to note them in your diary.

Jan 27th   Sunday  2.30pm

Feb 21st Thursday   2.30pm

March 24th Sunday 3pm

April 25th Thursday  3pm

May 26th Sunday 3pm

June 20th  Thursday 3pm

July 28th Sunday 3pm