Chapter Community Garden Project

April 2021 Newsletter

We are moving forward with plans and still need you, the residents, to keep on talking with us to make sure we get this right. As lockdown eases over the coming months and the weather improves I hope to be able to talk more freely with you but we still have to remember: Hands, Face, Space.

The Votes are In!

A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to vote for a new name for the site.  It was a close-run thing but the winning suggestion is “The Haven”.  We already have funding to purchase a noticeboard, thanks to Cllr. Edwardson, and this name will be incorporated into the design.

Powering Community Space

Chapter recently commissioned a report exploring renewable energy options on the site so that there could be power available which would improve the range of facilities with an off-grid solution.   The report suggests a ‘Smartflower’ which would collect solar energy in an interesting way.

We’re now looking for funding to install the Smartflower, but we’d love to know what additional activities or resources you’d like to see on-site if we have power there.

More info on the Smartflower can be found at

ARTIST IMPRESSIONS – A first glimpse

Following our appeal for volunteer artists to draw up your ideas for the space we can now share the two layouts we have received.  Huge thanks to local people who have given their time and skills for this first draft and have offered to update the drawings with feedback from yourselves.

Design 1

This designer suggested which plants  could be used to add colour and scent and provided notes to describe the journey around the garden.

Design 2


Upon entering the garden the visitor has a view of fruit trees (11; mature spread shown) and flowers or ornamental planting straight ahead. The path curves to the left taking the visitor to the first growing area (1) consisting of raised beds at appropriate heights for users of mixed ability; some/all may be raised on legs to allow wheelchairs to be wheeled underneath.

Next on the left is an area planted with moisture loving plants (2).  Willows may be planted and used for willow crafting. A Rheum(s) plant could add drama.

The final area on the left is the second growing area (3) with beds built a bit closer together, these could be ground level. Fruit bushes/canes could be added along the perimeters here.

To the right there is a semi-circular seat (4) built on a hard surface such as bound gravel or hoggin, which is suitable for wheelchairs. This seated area is bordered to the South side by a raised flower bed (5) that would contain ornamental planting to look beautiful all year around.

To the West of the path (LHS) is a large polytunnel (7) to maximise the use of the whole garden in any weather. Produce could be grown and sold to raise funds for the garden upkeep. Waterbutts to be placed anywhere there are roof slopes to harvest rainwater. Three composting bays (8) are situated next to the polytunnel. The remainder of the area near the polytunnel could be wildflower meadow (10), Zen garden (9) or a combination?

The visitor is now brought to the covered circular area (6) that could be used for relaxing, craft sessions etc. This area benefits from added privacy and shelter from the trees situated to the East side and the native hedging (15) to the North. Native hedging will be planted along the perimeters.

The area to the right of the entrance gate (14) is left largely clear for deliveries of mulch, compost, manure etc. There are two buildings, the larger one (12) could be three sided and used for activities eg yoga. The second will be a shed (13) and will be lockable for storage of tools.

Community Love

Huge thanks to local resident Brian who helped to collect general rubbish off the site in February and to another resident who donated two cast iron chairs that he has renovated.   An old tree stump half buried in the ground has given us a table.  Perfect for a picnic for two!

Quiz Corner

Did you answer the questions correctly last time?

The love apple is the original name for what? Tomato,
How can you tell the age of a tree?  Number of rings
What is the art of cutting shrubs into ornamental shapes called? Topiary
Soil can be acidic, alkaline or what? Neutral
Which grain is used to make semolina? Wheat
Which television presenter & gardener owns a garden in Herefordshire called Longmeadow? Monty Don
Chelsea is Britain’s largest flower show. False. RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival is bigger.
For how long can seeds remain dormant? Months, a few days, years or one season? Years

Support Needed

Can you help us to remove the brambles and debris on Saturday 1 May 2021?

The Woodland Trust will be delivering 120 native hedgerow saplings at the end of April.  Before we can plant these, we need to clear the area to the left of the main gate as you enter the site.  I will set up a rota and am asking for just one hour of help per person. 

Please let me know asap. Thank you!

or telephone 01244 344 409

The phase after this will be planting the saplings and this is planned for Thursday 6 May 2021.  A local business has kindly agreed to release employees to help out, but we also want YOU to be involved if digging is your thing! Just get in touch to offer your time.

Tell me what you think of the Smart Flower and the two artists impressions

Posted in Chapter News.