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Blaise Castle Kitchen Garden Project

July 11, 2013

The Henbury Conservation Society in Bristol has put forward a proposal for a community food growing and restoration project at the Blaise Estate Kitchen Garden. This exciting project aims to restore the extensive walled garden once devoted to supplying produce and flowers all year round for the huge estate. The aim of the project is to eventually re-instate the ancient greenhouses and the huge beds that line the surrounding walls with the aim to grow vegetables, fruit, flowers  and unusual plants  using permaculture principles.

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Meanwhile at the beginning of May the first working party was held where children supervised by adults helped plant seedling vegetables in containers and beds in the ancient greenhouses.  Currently un-glazed and therefore safe to work in the raised beds in these  greenhouses were the perfect height for young and old to plant and water. There was an abundance of healthy plants raised by Bristol City Parks Department which got the project off to a good start.

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Re-cycled containers were used for courgette and squash plants  …

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The long-term plan is that income from the sale of plants and produce will eventually help to sustain the full restoration and maintenance of the walled garden. Already volunteers and volunteer leaders are being trained to form a gardening team and it’s hoped that the local community including local schools will take part in the project.  And a link has been made to the RHS Permaculture course- the plan being to train a project team that will then provide the skills for a full restoration plan.  The next working party will be on Saturday 13th July 1pm – 4pm and then Sunday 28th July 1pm-4pm. To get involved simply turn up and help or contact http://henburyconservation.co.uk/ for inspiring accounts of the activities thus far.

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The French apricots have arrived in the shops and after 48 hours in the sun here in the garden the flavour had intensified and I turned them into jam. The black currants on the allotment are also ready but I’m not sure I want more jam so I’ll  freeze several bags whilst I think what to do with them. Blackcurrant ice-cream probably since it’s a startling colour and a delicious flavour that cuts into the rich cream.

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A vase of Rosa Felicia with Sedum Autumn Glory. It’s a  a hybrid musk rose that  gets very little attention from me -it’s in the shadiest part of the garden but tall enough to catch the sun for several hours each day. Every summer for the last thirty years it has produced dozens of highly scented silver-pink flowers.

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