Wednesday, 8 July 2009

whitemoor allotments, nottingham

The allotment (or community garden) movement is enjoying a renaissance in England. When we began allotmenting ten years ago, there was no waiting list and a choice of plots. Using organic methods was unusual at that time.

Now almost every allotment society has a waiting list and innovations abound. And the organic movement is making huge strides.

Last week I had the great pleasure of visiting Ros at Whitemoor Allotments in Nottingham to see the community allotment being established by Nottingham Organic Gardeners. Whitemoor Allotments are situated close to the Notingham Ring Road. And like many gardeners in our county, the allotment holders have the pleasure of gardening on sandy soil!

This community garden serves a social function but will also serve as a training and education area for new and experienced allotment holders. A lottery grant was being used imaginatively to improve facilities.

There were many interesting features on the site.
I was intrigued to see quinoa planted. It mimics the fat hen weed and it will be interesting to see if it produces seed. It should reach an impressive six feet in height!
Trials to see the effects of no dig methods had been set up. A large polytunnel was being erected when I visited.

Wildlife features included a multi-storey insect hotel. There are plans for a new pond. I liked the perennial beds being established that will provide cover, nectar sources and seed for wildlife throughout the year if not tidied too early. The site is blessed with thick privet hedges that provide ideal cover for house sparrows.

I can't wait to see the garden develop and hope I'm invited back after I have spoken to the group next week about 'Wildlife on Allotments'!

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