It is now high summer – and the East Lodge Permaculture Garden is looking great!
We did not attempt to finish it all this year (as if a garden is ever finished…). The herb garden in front of the Lodge was planted up last year, and is now stuffed full of herbs: please pick a sprig whenever you are passing.
And this summer we have focused first on the biggest bed inside, to turn this into a mini ‘forest garden’ with perennial food plants. The Sunday working group dug this over and constructed swales and berms (to slow down and hold water run-off), before planting fruit trees and bushes and self-renewing vegetables such as Jerusalem artichokes. There are also some extremely happy looking annual veg – potatoes, brassicas, cucumbers and more.
There are more annual vegetables in one raised and one lower bed. The path is fully wheelchair accessible – and we’re making sitting spaces for the suntrap along the Lodge. Next to go in are bullrushes (really!), now we have learned that these natives were a major source of calories before wheat-based agriculture reached Britain. The point of this garden is to demonstrate new ideas – techniques for low maintenance food production, unusual plants, things that help us understand food history and food cycles.
In the autumn we’ll be planting more fruit trees and a hip-bearing rose hedge, concentrating on local, pest resistant and wild-life friendly varieties. We’re also working on our wildlife corridor on the banks of the river, with assistance from Warwickshire Wildlife Trust.
For now the hard digging is over (though weeding remains a pleasant Sunday activity). Why not come along – if only to sit in the sun and admire the work so far!
Working group every Sunday 11am – 4pm. PS East Lodge itself will be also open every Sunday afternoon 2-5pm from now on until mid-Autumn, so there is no excuse not to drop by!