The spring months have seen us enjoying an added shift in energy and activity down in the garden, with exciting progress on our heritage veggie beds and wellbeing space.
Our locally hand crafted hazel hurdles were finally installed in April, bringing a beautiful and traditional finish to our newly created beds. Our group members also set to work installing some lovely bean and pea pole structures for our taller growing veggies, adding some additional character, and height, to the space. There has also been a hive of activity potting on our many seedlings, and transplanting our hardier plants, herbs and veg into some of the prepared beds.
By mid May the garden was finally flourishing in a variety of fresh green hues. Our wellbeing space saw a boost of growth from our cottage perennials, and we're pleased to see our two heritage apple trees settling in happily to their new homes. We were also excited to finally install our garden benches, created from a tree very kindly donated by Llangattock Woodlands Group last winter. The tree length enabled us to provide two seating areas, one in our wellbeing garden and one by our heritage food beds, perfect spots to rest, relax, reflect and enjoy the benefits of our pollinator friendly perennials, fragrant herbs and luscious veggies and salads.
Finally planting out the fruits of our labours from the busy seed sowing months prior, its been a joy to see the beds transform from empty soil to an abundance of leaf shapes, sizes and colours over the last few weeks. It was also a pleasure to finally share the hard work with visitors to the garden during a fundraising plant sale we held on the 29th May. We had a great turn out and as well as receiving some lovely feedback from the public, made over £400 on the day!
Thank you again to all our group members, supporters and donators who have worked tirelessly in helping us prepare the garden for this years growing season. We look forward to sharing the space more over the coming summer months, as we all tentatively step back out into the world and enjoy again our natural public spaces and gardens.
The Green Minds gardening team have been making the most of the lovely sunshine over the past few weeks and our edible growing space at Brecon Cathedral is now really starting to take shape. This area will form our Heritage Garden space as part of the '1000 Years of Calm' Heritage Landscape Trail being created within the Cathedral grounds this year. You can find out more about our partnership with Brecon Cathedral here.
So far we have built three new raised beds along the back of the Diocesan office wall, leading down towards our main Wellbeing garden. These beds have some wonderful south facing views of Brecon and over towards Pen y fan and we can't wait to fill them with lots of wonderful vegetables herbs and flowers for all to enjoy. Soon these beds will be enclosed with some hand-crafted hazel hurdles created by a local craftsperson with hazel coppiced from the Penpont Estate.
With the help from PAVO's Community Connector Fund we have also been able to purchase and assemble two high level planters for any members with reduced mobility or who struggle to garden at ground level. We look forward to planting these up with our members in the coming month.
We are in the process of sowing various rare and interesting seed purchased from Pembrokeshire based seed company Real Seeds, and we look forward to saving our own seed this year from the plants that have been most successful grown here.
Huge thanks to our gardener members Andrea, Mags and Callum over the past few weeks and months who have helped us to build this new growing hub, and for all of the enthusiasm and energy you bring, you are all amazing!. If anyone is interested in joining us for our Social & Therapeutic Gardening activities at Brecon Cathedral this year we would love to hear from you and we can be contacted via the website contact page or by dropping Jess an email at email@example.com.
It's been a busy Autumn so far at the Cathedral for the Green Minds team, and after the recent lockdown we will back to continue our work in the garden this week. Over the past few months we have continued to clear pebbles and stones, working to improve the soil in the plant borders with lots of organic compost as well as some amazing locally produced horse manure!. Nurturing and preparing the soil has been a lovely job to do together as a group and has been the starting point for many meaningful conversations on the nature of life & death. We are very much looking forward to having local artist & smallholder Ella Gibbs with us this later this month to help us build some new compost bays within the grounds which will really help us to feel more established as a gardening group at the Cathedral. It's all about the compost!.
We have also managed to do some planting! which has felt like a real milestone, especially after all of the pebble sifting and weeding earlier on this summer. Our focus so far has been on perennial, pollinator friendly plants mingled in with a variety of herbs and edibles which together will provide the garden and those that stop to spend time in it with lots of scent, colour and texture to enjoy. Big thanks to Rich & Matt for your amazing work creating the mini sunken herb path that will enable access into the middle of the garden.....
As we head deeper into autumn our energies will be going into creating our social & therapeutic gardening hub infrastructure, which will include as mentioned before two beautiful Larch compost bays, a leaf cage for creating our own seed compost, a greenhouse (yay!) and propagating area. So there's still much to do and we will continue to work through and embrace the seasons ahead!.
For more information on our project work at Brecon Cathedral please get in touch via the contact page.....
The easing of lockdown this month has meant that we have been able to resume our project work at Brecon Cathedral, albeit with some changes in place to ensure social distancing can be maintained and our group numbers are kept to a minimum. We have however been able to welcome new members to the project this month which has been fantastic and we are currently offering up to 1 1/2 hour gardening slots for our member gardeners to join us, which so far seems to be working well. We have also resumed our Mindfulness walking sessions by offering 1 hour 1-1 walks in Priory Groves for those that would like to walk & talk or learn new techniques to help with managing stress or anxiety, particularly during this transition time as we re-emerge from lockdown.
Our plans for the garden are gently evolving and we want to say a big thank you to our members for all of your input so far, it is great having you!. There's been some hard graft as we've tackled bindweed and brambles, unearthing interesting archeological artifacts (we seem to think!) as we go. There is a way to go yet, but as we work to reshape the area of garden behind the Diocesan offices it feels great to be out exercising and working up a bit of a sweat again!. Currently we are working to create a few seating areas within the space to provide opportunities for locals and passers by to stop and pause within the peaceful and tucked away setting of the garden.
We are currently fundraising for new shrubs, plants and bulbs with particular benefit for our local bee, butterfly and insect population, and our focus is on encouraging more biodiversity into the garden as we begin to plan and implement the planting phase. We are working on a plant 'wish' list and there will be opportunities for anyone who would like to donate plants to the project. Please get in touch through the website to find out more.
We also want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Brecon Cathedral for supporting our ecotherapy project and for welcoming our small green fingered team back into the grounds, it's great to be collaborating together :-)
Take a look at our progress so far in the slideshow below, and do watch this space as we develop this garden area :-)