Keeping The Lights On - Week 4

19 April 2020

We would like to let people know that Porchlight's Aspirations service is continuing to offer support to anyone over the age of 25 who is out of work and facing mental health and wellbeing challenges in moving forward in these difficult times - they can be contacted on 0333 880 2730, or at, or through their online contact form - follow this link for more information.

Hello again,

The growing season is upon us, and that includes the weeds! After a mini Easter heat wave it's been a classic week of English weather: warm, cool, bright, cloudy, dry, and rainy, and that was just Monday morning! All of which has sent out signals to thousands of seeds that now might be a good time to try growing up a bit. In the veg beds root crops are putting out shoots and leaves, though a few don't seem to be in the nice straight lines in which they were sown, I really must have a word with them. The greenhouse plants are, if anything, overenthusiastic, and more than a few can shortly look forward to being kicked out of the nest into the real world (that's 'hardening off' for you gardeners out there) - don't worry, it'll be good for them.

Last week we launched the Abbey Physic Community Garden's YouTube channel, and it's been good to see people subscribing already. This week Paul has uploaded more 90 Seconds' Gardening videos, including a guide to growing potatoes in pots. We've also added the first few of what will hopefully be a long running series of clips of 'Garden Moments' - come the end of a year it's amazing to look back on all the many different things that have happened at the garden, and we hope to capture more than a few of those on film.

Do you have a clip of a Garden Moment on your phone? Send me an email at

It was great to hear from people last week, I've enjoyed chatting with members on the phone too about how they're spending their time at the moment. As ever, we would love to help put people in touch with each other over the phone or in our members' WhatsApp group, if you would like to join the group or just have a chat then drop us a line on 01795 539915, or at

Please scroll down to catch up with a few more things that have been happening this week.

Very best wishes,


Benefiting Bugs

Resident horticulturalist Paul has been looking into the latest research from the RHS, discovering how we can all encourage ecologically vital minibeasts into our our gardens just by choosing the right plants. Click the image to read the article.

Singing Sunshine

Sunshine, smiles and laughter are never hard to find at the garden (well, we can't guarantee the sunshine, but two out of three isn't bad). This week's song from Lissie is the Morecambe and Wise classic 'Bring Me Sunshine' - click the image to view the video.

Seeking Swarms

The picture shows a 'bait hive' - newly cleaned and with fresh frames installed. This has been placed on top of the kitchen, in the hopes that we might just catch a swarm and replenish the garden's hives with some free bees (freebies? Get it?!)

Meanwhile, the beehive refurbishment project continued, with the hive roofs getting new coats of weatherproof paint.

Awaiting Annuals

It may not be much to look at at the moment, but this week one third of the first of the raised beds was sown with California Poppy seeds. A huge thank you to Dave and Paul for the job of cultivation they did on this bed earlier in the year - the soil was like soft sugar!

The simple geometric design for this display of flowering annuals will see plants of different heights and habits providing an outrageous splash of warm summer colour in the heart of the garden.

Be safe, we will see you soon - from all at the Abbey Physic Community Garden