Monday 25th January 2021
When we re-open we are looking forward to showing you our new raised beds. The garden was lucky to be awarded a grant supported by the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) with funding from Grundon Waste Management Ltd to carry out our Wild Edges project. This project saw us replace the raised bed support posts that form a central feature in the garden, with new posts made from recycled plastic, and create a new planting scheme.
The planting of our raised beds has been designed with wildlife in mind, especially pollinators, who are suffering from habitat loss. Good strategies to encourage pollinators are:
- Avoid plants with double flowers; they produce less nectar
- Use native and near-native (i.e. northern hemisphere) plants
- Use a variety of plants which bloom over a long season, so that pollinators have food at all times of year
With other wildlife in mind, we have included plants whose stems and leaves persist through winter, providing shelter for invertebrates, and some whose seed heads are eaten by birds.
Gardening can often have other, less obvious environmental impacts, e.g. in the production and transport of the plants. Our plants were sourced from a local nursery with a robust sustainability policy including using only peat free compost, and the pots were returned for recycling. We also sowed some hardy annual seed direct into the beds – a great way to fill gaps in newly planted areas while the perennials are getting established, with no compost or plastic pots involved.