Friday, March 30, 2007

Vole makes the front page

Our new vole sculpture made the front page of The Chiswick, along with artist John Maskell. He has taken up residence in the big greenhouse, where his mission is to frighten off the rats that are eating our beans and peas.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rodent moves into greenhouse

We welcomed a new resident in the big greenhouse this week. An enormous rat-like water vole, created by John Maskell of the Cathja Barge art project in Isleworth (here seen with Carl Kirby-Turner, manager of the floating project). We are hoping the new rodent will scare off smaller rats who nibbled on our pumpkins and our chitting potatoes...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Last plant goes in the maze

The last plant - a French lavender - is planted by Helen who was determined to get them all in this week. A few more strips of membrane, a few more wheelbarrow-loads of gravel from Alan and it will all be done. Now it needs time to mature and grow into proper little hedges and then we can let the children loose in it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

New pathway to onion heaven

Over the course of the last couple of weeks, this path has slowly appeared, between the onion bed and what will soon be the potato bed, using paving slabs kindly supplied by Hounslow's Department of Transport and Conways Contractors.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Herb maze

Having demolished a decrepit old shade tunnel, with the help of a grant from BBC Breathing Spaces/Big Lottery Fund and Datum Design, a local building company, we are now laying out a herbal maze. Our maze is based on a design by Batty Langley, who wrote New Principles of Gardening in 1728. He in turn copied the Hampton Court maze, but changed the overall outline shape of that maze to create a rectangle, which we in turn have copied.

Key to the herbs used in the maze (starting from the centre):

pink: dianthus (clove pinks)
yellow: pink hyssop
purple: lavender
orange: thyme
brown: lavender stoechas (French lavender)
green: lavender Hidcote
blue: blue hyssop
outer ring: lavender Munstead
to punctuate the entrance and the four corners of the central ring: Miss Jessops rosemary

Very wet work session kicks off March

We thought nobody would come but... a truly hardy - and soon very wet - bunch turned up to Sunday's session. It was not the record turnout of over 40 that came when the sun shone, but about twenty people aged from three years upwards concentrated on the main tasks of emptying the remaining shade tunnel of plants stored there by the council's contractors, and continuing to lay out the herb maze.