Keeping The Lights On - Week 7

10 May 2020

Hello everyone,

It's been another busy week - please scroll down to find out what's being going on at the garden, but first we'd like to share this special offer for our members:

Special Offer - Kent Mindfulness Centre

Simone of the Kent Mindfulness Centre has a special offer for members of the Abbey Physic Community Garden - free admission to all on their 'Mindfulness-Based Living' course.

The 8 week, 2 hour course is an immersion into the practice, theory and gentle cultivation of mindfulness & self-compassion as a way of life. Developed by The Mindfulness Association, one of the UK’s foremost ethical and well-respected training organisations.

The aim of the course to give you an in-depth personal experience of mindfulness and to build the foundations of a sustained personal practice, with a view to applying this into your life.

For more information, click here to visit the Kent Mindfulness Centre website.

To sign up for the course, which is due to start on Wednesday, 20th May, contact Simone on 07784 304843, or through this online contact form, alternatively get in touch with the Physic Garden and we can arrange for you to take part in the course.

With Mental Health Awareness week coming up on Monday, 18th May, we're making plans for a few special events to mark the occassion - keep an eye on the website and the Facebook page for more details soon.

Of course no one can say for certain when things might begin to get back to normal, but I'd like to let you know that we are following developments and making plans for how we might be able to get the garden going again when the time comes - if anyone has any questions or concerns about this please don't hesitate to get in touch on 01795 539915 or at

The third weekly online members catch up coffee morning will be taking place through the Zoom app on Monday. They're every week at 11:30 and absolutely everyone is welcome to join in - please get in touch for an invite (we can also offer limited tech support for anyone a little unsure how to access Zoom!)

Besides the watering and weeding, which continue apace, this week saw another another round of planting take place. Most of the flowering annuals have now been planted, along with vegetables including purple broccoli, sweetcorn and pumpkins. The roses are budding, and the big grape vine is starting to put out new shoots - I'll be interested to see if it can cover the whole pergola again this year, after last year's pruning. The grass at the garden had its first cut of the year this week and the clippings are already steaming away on the compost heap.

Quite a few of our members have taken up Paul's Lockdown Leftover Seed Challenge - I look forward to seeing the results, and eating them, for those of you having a go with apple seeds.

Take care everyone - see you soon I'm sure,

- Tom.

Seed Kit Soirée

Last Friday you may have seen the seed kit delivery man out on his rounds, bringing more than 20 individually prepared seed kit activity bags, containing selections of seeds, pots and compost to homes around Faversham, and beyond to Ashford, Canterbury and Herne Bay.

The Chelsea Chop

The Abbey Physic Community Garden YouTube channel continues to update regularly - our highlight this week is Paul's guide to a simple but essential gardening trick - the 'Chelsea Chop'. Please click the image to watch and subscribe to the channel.

A Soulful Song

The singing group song this week is a hauntingly beautiful South African lament, with harmonies to suit every vocal range - please click the image to add your voice to the throng.

Tumbling Toms

We always try to reuse and recycle at the Physic Garden - so this week we converted some old weed liner and two pallets into a vertical planter for tumbling tomato plants.

Beautiful Beehives

Our two WBC beehives (named for their inventor, William Broughton Carr) have now undergone a complete restoration - with plans afoot to somewhat radically rethink beekeeping at the Abbey Physic Community Garden, we may have exciting news to announce before too long.

Precision Planting

In rather more sober news, the planting vandal has struck again. This time the villainous reprobate has meticulously despoiled a raised bed with a shocking display of precision placement of dozens of signet marigolds, scarlet sages, and red strawflowers. We are now dusting the soil for fingerprints.

I would like to finish this week with an ode to gardening, sent in to me by a fellow member. Though written over 100 years ago, it seems to sum up some of what makes being part of the Abbey Physic Community Garden so rewarding.

The Glory of the Garden – Rudyard Kipling

Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By Singing:- “Oh how beautiful!” and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives.

There’s not a pair of legs so thin, there’s not a head so thick,
There’s not a hand so weak and white, nor yet a heart so sick,
But it can find some needful job that’s crying to be done.
For the Glory of the Garden glorifieth everyone.

Then seek your job with thankfulness and work till further orders,
If it’s only netting strawberries or killing slugs on borders;
And when your back stops aching and your hands begin to harden,
You will find yourself a partner in the Glory of the Garden.

Oh, Adam was a gardener, and God who made him sees
That half a proper gardener’s work is done upon his knees.
So when your work is finished, you can wash your hands and pray
For the Glory of the Garden, that it may not pass away!
And the Glory of the garden it shall not pass away!


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