Well-Being Garden Update

Spring is almost upon us and it is time to publish our first update on the progress of our new garden and request the help of our community.

At the end of a cold, wet January, the temporary classrooms were removed from the site and work could begin to remove the foundations and prepare the ground. Westridge have been extremely helpful and agreed to install a new path to our specification and turf the site to enable us to build the garden steadily over the coming months. We are so grateful to their team for carrying out this heavy work for us.

Over the half term holiday, we took delivery of ‘rabbit fencing’, posts and sleepers, all of which have been kindly donated by Beacon fencing in Ansty as a contribution to our community-inclusive project.

Following donations received at the Christmas market, we are now taking delivery of 120 Beech hedge-plants ready for the students to plant.

We have submitted a funding bid to Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ and will provide further details about voting for our project in store when we have them. We are also about to submit our bid to the National Lottery Fund, which we hope will be successful. Realistically, we are unlikely to receive any capital funding until summer at the earliest.

Our garden club students have started to plant annual seeds using equipment kindly donated by Rushfields Plant Centre. Rushfields are keen supporters of the RHS School Gardening scheme and are keen to collaborate with us in seeing our young people benefit from gardening.

We are hoping to host a Saturday working party prior to Easter. If you were able to assist us for a few hours to create planters and simple benches from wood, we would love to hear from you. Tea, coffee and doughnuts will be provided. Please make contact, come and join us and be part of this worthwhile project.

We also need to install an outside tap onto an existing water pipe. If you are a plumber, we would really appreciate your help please.

If these tasks are not for you, perhaps you would be able donate something from the list below?  

  • Garden Hand tools – especially hand forks
  • Propagator – or clear lids to go over seed trays.
  • Flower pots – pre-used plastic ones for potting-on seedlings,
  • Garden Canes – long or short, we need them all!
  • Buckets or Plastic Trugs
  • Hosepipe.
  • Snow drops – do you have some clumps you could divide? Now is the perfect time!
  • Bluebells – do you have a spare clump for us?
  • Hellebores – can be divided in early spring.
  • Garden table.

Please drop items off at school, or we can collect locally, please let us know.

We are looking to plant four ornamental trees in addition to some apple trees. These are Silver Birch (x3) with stunning white bark and Prunus Serulla (x1) with rich mahogany bark and spring blossom. Each tree will cost in the region of £50. They would make the ideal gift as a dedication to someone special. If you would like to fund one of these beautiful trees, please make contact.

It is so exciting to see this project progress and watch our students benefit from being involved in a garden. Enthusiasm is high and we hope you will join us in helping this project thrive. Later in the year, we are looking forward to inviting our parents and local community to see the garden for themselves.

If you are able to assist us in any way, please contact Karen van den Dolder kdolder@downlands.org, or phone 01273 845 892.