Things are changing at Abbey Gardens with our project What Will The Harvest Be?
Last week, once the contractors had seeded the whole site with a mixture of wild flowers and 'regular' grass seed, Tim & I went down in the evening to reveal the soil for the 'seed shape' we've made. The idea is to see what grows from the 'original' soil on the site, rather than in the new topsoil now covering the whole area.
In the weeks since we covered the shape over, the plastic (protecting this soil from the 'new seeding') has obviously acted a bit like a cloche and there is already abundant seed growth in some areas! Later in the summer we hope to use the shape as a starting point for some community events.
This is just 'phase one' of a long-term project - our proposals for the garden cover 3 years of development and relate back to its Cistercian origins when the monks used the land as a site of great productivity. This year we have made this 'seed shape', which will be surrounded by wild flower mix already planned by the council - we plan to 'harvest' the wild flower seeds with an urban hay-making day in August. Next year, the whole site will be transformed into a flower and vegetable cutting garden (inspired by the Plaistow Landgrabbers) hopefully generating both community support & plants for the final design to be implemented in 2010.
Right now the site is surrounded by elderflowers - recipes this way please ...