On Wednesday I was back volunteering at Norfolk Park Community Gardens along with nearly a dozen other garden-minded folks. Nick had asked us to tackle the forest border:
At the front were the overwintered dead stems of St John’s Wort, Lunaria and others; towards the back there was a large pile of unleveled earth, which brambles and chickweed have colonized with glee despite a Mypex covering:
To the left and behind the dead stems were, allegedly, some hidden rhubarb:
It was my task to clear the stems and overgrowth, to get some light and air into the rhubarb crowns; at the same time, we all needed to level the earth, and cultivate it into a long hump with trenches either side, for planting squashes into.
Here’s the finished result with the trench:
An amazing effort from everyone involved, and I was glad to get dragged away from the rhubarb to do it! The ground sloped down from the earth hump so that, as we levelled it off, I propped up the earth half way down with a couple of bits of wood. We then only levelled as far as that, to make a bit of rudimentary terracing and stop all the earth escaping down the slope and away from the camera.
Elsewhere, here was my progress with the rhubarb:
All of last year’s annuals were cleared away, and if you look closely, you might see the stems dotted either side of what’s now a relatively clear path. Next week I’ll hopefully expand the cleared area to the left, and reveal yet more historically planted crops. But look again at that trench!