Cherrie's Nov 2 Notes
There is something magical about the making of a new garden.
Especially when the space it is to occupy sits within city streets and is framed all round by houses and buildings.
That is exactly the situation for the Tate Community garden, companion piece to the recently opened Tate Women’s Centre, a small but perfectly formed building just off Tate’s Avenue which is at the hub of the local community.
We were invited along to the official opening of the recently completed building and it’s fledgling garden and the enthusiasm for both the building and the garden were tangible.
The Tate was full to bursting as friends and supporters gathered to wish the project well.
While the throng were gathering inside for the launch, outside the team from The Conservation Volunteers were getting to grips with laying the hard landscaping, putting in place the raised beds and planning what plants were to go where ... lovely job.
In the best tradition of urban gardens, it may be bijou but it has big, big plans to serve the community it belongs to, including crucially, providing home grown vegetables, fruit and herbs for the kitchen and the table.
Central to the space will be a Rowan Tree with it’s symbolic place in Celtic folklore.
A circular seating area will be created too, providing an outdoor space for get-togethers and meetings...
You can hear the full story on this week’s programme and we look forward to making a return visit to see the garden as it grows and develops.
There is something very rewarding about the sight of a well grown and carefully tended hedge (and this is the very best time of the year to plant one).
This week Helen Mark talks to Brendan Little about these crucial living boundaries, which are so much more than demarcation lines between fields and houses or along roadsides.
Hedges are invaluable for diversity, providing habitats for numerous birds and insects.
They are also great allies when it comes to garden design, creating boundaries and compartments and bringing structure and style to a space.
That being said I have to confess that the hedge in my own garden is very much a country hedge made up of hawthorn, privet and a welcome little flash of beech. While I really love the elegance of a hedge made completely of beech of hornbeam or yew, there is always something happening with a mixed hedge and somehow it suits a terraced garden in County Down, down to the ground ... literally!
You can hear more ideas about hedging and design with Brendan and Helen.
You can also take a proxy walk around the lake at Mount Stewart.
That’s where I was earlier in the week on a wonderful autumn morning when the colour of the trees stopped me in my tracks more than once.
There is a wonderful Festival of Light taking place at Mount Stewart next weekend when light and sound will imaginatively transform parts of the garden. So we are spoiled for choice this autumn.
Visit during the day and see Liquid Amber, Cotinus and Maples all on fire with colour or go under cover of darkness and experience the gardens transformed by light and sound.
And talking of sound, my lovely autumn dander with my guide Neil Porteous is all yours to hear on this week’s programme when for good measure Neil will also tell us all how to make leaf–mould.
Till next week, goodbye.