For the past year, I have been chronicling the creation of a Community Garden in Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan. The garden was recently christened Nightingale Community Garden, because it lies between Nightingale Place and Sir Ivor Place. The first meeting was held in January 2012 and the main contractors - Gerald Davies Ltd - started working on the site a year later. They should be finished by the end of next week. Local residents will take charge of their plots in mid-March and start growing their own food.
The topsoil started
arriving on 18 February: 340 tons of it from a location in Llantwit Major. It
was spread about a foot thick across the site.
Once all the topsoil
was down, the compost started arriving. This was obtained from a farm on the
far side of Cowbridge. It was made from the Vale of Glamorgan’s kerbside
kitchen caddy and garden waste recycling collections. Local residents were very
understanding, as the process was a little smelly. The compost formed a layer
6-8 inches on top.
The pathways were marked out, and constructed using wooden edging and gravel.
The area left to
concrete in the corner behind the electricity sub-station will be used for a
communal shed, seating and BBQ, and deep-beds. In the longer term, a greenhouse
is also planned. A tap will soon be fitted in this area, from an extension of
the Welsh Water network.
The steering committee
drew up plans for the plots and assigned them to those who have expressed an
interest. At a meeting this morning (2 March 2013) people saw for the first time
the size and location of their plots. Gravel boards will be used to further
sub-divide the main plots.
Elizabeth Millard (Chairperson
of the Dinas Powys Residents Group) and Councillor Keith Hatton, who initiated
the project over a year ago, addressed those assembled. They thanked Rob McGhee
of Creative Rural Communities for project managing so effectively and stressed
the community aspect of the garden. They summarized what had been achieved and what is planned.
The next meeting at Nightingale
Community Garden will be on Saturday 16 March at 10am. Plot holders will be
given a Plot Holder Agreement to sign and asked for the first years hire money (to cover costs of water etc - the Community Garden needs to be self-financing). They can then take control of their plots.
I will report back, as the first plants are transplanted and the first seeds