Throughout the Summer months our Paradise Garden continued to bloom with many more of the bulbs and seeds we planted earlier in the Winter and Spring months bringing forth beautiful flowers including poppies, tulips, wall flowers, bluebells. The cherry tree and apple trees that are situated on the South side of the church also bloomed much more profusely than in previous years.
Our volunteers found that it is hard to keep a balance between doing the rewarding and creative jobs such as planting and landscaping that bring the garden forward and continue developing the vision of a ‘Paradise Garden’ and the more mundane jobs which must be done in order to maintain the appearance of the garden and keep it free from weeds. However, the volunteers managed to carry out some heavy landscaping tasks alongside the everyday jobs such as weeding, mowing and pruning etc! Volunteers particularly enjoyed getting involved in the weaving of our living willow arch way that covers the disabled access ramp.
Watch This! Volunteer Interviews
Some thoughts and feedback on their volunteering experience from volunteers Scott and Subhan and some exciting news on their upcoming plans for future work and employment.
Creating a tiny part of English Countryside
Our aim is to create a multi-faith, contemporary Paradise Garden which draws on the rich heritage and symbolism of traditional Paradise Gardens and yet also endeavours to reassemble the natural mosaic of indigenous landscape features, plants and habitats that still exist in the pockets of wild nature in our English countryside. In addition to the many fruit trees, herbs and wild flowers that have been planted over the past five years, the volunteers planted many new additions to the South Side of the church this year including many different species that would be found in native meadows and encourage bees and other insects that contribute to the health and vitality of the garden.
Varieties of hardy, perennials that are indigenous to the UK planted include the attractive thistle ‘Cirsium Rivulare’, the wood sage ‘Trevor’s Blue Wonder’, the ornamental clover ‘Triffolium Rubers’, the beautiful ‘Helenium’ which is part of the sunflower family, ‘Monarda’ or Elsie’s Lavender’ and the columbine flower ‘Aquilegia Vulgaris’.
We also planted some other varieties that are natural wildflower species but are actually indigenous to Canada and the U.S.A. such as Phlox Paniculata and Achillea Flipendulina or ‘Gold Plate’ or the ‘Thalictrum Flavum’ or Tukker Princess’ which is indigenous to Russia.
The organic vegetable garden also needed plenty of work to keep it weeded with plenty of watering needed during the sunny spells. Lewis’s bean patch needed various larger stakes putting in for the beans to climb up as they grew taller and taller!
The laurel trees and other large shrubs that were planted in February to cover the view from the walkway to our apiary also thrived over the summer months and volunteers could see the hard work they had done some six months ago was now paying off!