Sunday, 29 September 2013

A welcomed visit from residents of Maryport


Residents of Maryport visiting the Green Heart Den. Members of Ewanrigg and Netherton Tenants and Residents Association (ENTRA) had arranged the visit to discuss our project in more detail as they are hoping to develop similar green areas in Maryports Ewanrigg estate - one of 50 areas to benefit from the Big Lottery Fund’s local trust programme to help enhance their neighbourhood and improve the lives of local people.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Progress of our FREE training workshops

Our short training workshops continue to be delivered on the garden site with a current total of 120 attendances from 67 people across 12 days throughout April to September. Attendances include staff and clients from New Roots, The Croftlands Trust, MIND, Sacred Heart and St Georges schools along with many residents of the area.

Comments from participants include:

“Well worth coming and what a lovely haven in the middle of town. I didn’t know it was here.”
“The whole day was great!”
“I liked helping others and meeting different people. It was a warm, inviting and friendly environment.”
“This place changed my life, my attitudes and outlooks are all changing for the better.”
“I would like to come on another course to learn how to cook healthy meals like we have done today.

Funding to enable the FREE training workshops has been provided from a grant awarded by People’s Health Trust, using money raised by Healthable Community Interest Company through The Health Lottery.

A photo from one of our workshops (school children and our trainer Jennifer)  has been used on the Healthable website – see here

The next two training sessions are arranged for:

Thursday 31st October (cook and eat session)
Friday 1st November. (craft session)

Details to follow shortly.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Quote for the week.....

"Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you" 
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Harvesting seeds from a variety of plants

A busy afternoon harvesting seeds from a variety of flowers. Among the seeds collected incuded; nasturtium, corn poppy, cornflower, calendula (pot marigold), corn marigold, mallow, corn chamomile and vipers bugloss.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Jobs you could begin in the garden over the next few weeks

Fruit and vegetables

  • Pick ripe apples and store the best in fruit crates
  • Dig up strawberry runners and pot them up
  • Net autumn raspberries and blackberries to protect them from birds
  • Lift and dry maincrop potatoes and store in paper sacks in a cool, dark place
  • Pot up a few herbs to bring into a porch or grow on the window sill
  • Sow broad beans and hardy peas for early crops next year
  • Vegetables to sow now include winter radishes, lettuce and salad leaves, spinach and spring onions

Flowers and bulbs

  • Buy tulips now while they're fresh in garden centres, but hold off planting till next month
  • Plant daffodils, hyacinths and crocus in pots
  • Lift and pot up tender perennials to protect over winter
  • Clear away faded summer bedding and annuals, composting the plants
  • Fork over bare patches ready for planting spring bulbs
  • Sow sweet peas in pots and protect the plants in a frame over winter
  • Sow hardy annuals in borders for earlier flowers next summer
  • Pinch out sweet pea seedling tips for bushier plants and more flowers next year
  • Collect and sow seeds from perennials and hardy annuals


  • Remove old crops that have finished and clear away weeds to leave your plot clean and tidy for the winter.
  • Improve soil by adding organic matter and/or horticultural grit
  • Clean out greenhouses and poly tunnels to reduce the risk of pests and diseases next year

Lawn care

  • Use a fork to aerator/spike your lawn and improve drainage
  • Raise the cutting height when mowing the lawn
  • Apply an autumn lawn food

Monday, 16 September 2013

Beetroot soup recipe from Love 2 Learn Allotmenting

Beetroot soup is very quick to make, albeit a bit messy given the strong colour of beetroot juice.

The first step of preparation is to peel the beetroot. Beetroot can be peeled like potatoes, just cut off the tops and tails and then peel the remaining skin away. If you have an electric chopper, then use this. Otherwise, the beetroot should be coarsely grated. Preparing the beetroot this way significantly speeds up cooking time.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients by finely chopping the onion and garlic, and preparing the stock ready for use.


600g of beetroot
(3-4 tennis ball sized beets)
600ml of stock
(water with one stock cube)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
(or 6 fresh, peeled and chopped)
4 cloves of garlic
1 onion
Olive oil for frying
Serves 4 – accompany with bread.

How to make beetroot soup

Once all the preparation is complete, start by gently frying the onion in some olive oil over a medium heat. This is best done in a medium sized saucepan with a lid, turning occasionally. After a few minutes, the onion should brown and become transparent, and also be sweet to the taste.

Next add all the stock, garlic and chopped beetroot. If the beetroot is not completely covered, top up with a little water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. At the end of the cooking time the beetroot should be soft but still have some crunch.

Lastly, add the chopped tomatoes. Bring the mixture back to the boil. As soon as the boiling point is reached the soup will be ready. The soup is best blended before serving.

So far, so good....surviving the recent stormy weather

Monday, 9 September 2013

How to make a hedgehog home from Breathing Places

"It’s really easy to make a house for hedgehogs. Take a sturdy crate and turn it upside down. Cover it with stones, earth and wood, and make sure there’s an entrance. If it’s dry and protected, hedgehogs can use it to stay over winter" -  Source Breathing Places

For more information on how you can help hedgehogs please visit:

Maintaining and preparing planters for replanting

Maintaining some of our raised planters, collecting seeds and preparing the soil for replanting.

Job done. Now........what to plant next?

Speckled wood butterfly basking in the sun

Friday, 6 September 2013

RHS - growing vegetable during winter

Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) advice for growing vegetables in winter.

"Most vegetable gardens can accommodate winter crops. Some vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, take up a lot of space for a long time but are still well-worth the investment. Choose an open site with free-draining soil, cultivated thoroughly prior to sowing or planting and enriched with organic material. Where ground is in short supply, containers will support a few plants. If a greenhouse or poly tunnel is available, it can be used to over-winter some crops and start others off early.

What to grow for winter:

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbages, kale, leeks and parsnips are hardy vegetables and will stand through the winter. Leafy crops such as chard, parsley and rocket should also over-winter with a little protection. Other crops such as carrots, onions, turnips and winter squash can also be grown to enjoy in winter if stored correctly"

For more information, please visit their website here.

Top 10 vegetables to grow over winter

Thompson and Morgan have produced information and advice on the top 10 vegetables you can grow over the winter months.

"Don’t let your vegetable plot stand empty and neglected over winter. There are plenty of winter vegetables to grow throughout the coldest months. Winter vegetable growing allows you to extend the season and many vegetables that can be grown in winter will produce earlier crops than spring plantings"

For more information please visit their website here.

Quote for the week.....

“The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.” - Aldous Huxley

Monday, 2 September 2013

Garden Organic - what to do in the garden now

Garden Organic has recently updated their "what to do now" gardening advice section.

Please visit their website here to find out what you should be doing in your own garden in September.

Growing well together

More than just green open space..........bringing people together

Funding to enable the diverse range of activities has been provided from a grant we were awarded by People’s Health Trust using money raised by Healthable Community Interest Company through The Health Lottery.