Thursday, 19 July 2018

Busy June

With us all enjoying such a beautiful summer, jobs in the WESC garden haven't been a hardship at all as eveyone's been enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

Steve, Maggie's partner kindly gave up his free time to take down the silver birch whose position was stopping light getting into the greenhouse.  He also spent time making sure the logs were put to really good use - thank you Steve, you did a brilliant job

Our fantastic Therapy team enjoyed their team meeting outside for a change

As June moved on a group of young people on the Positive Pathways course at Exeter College spent time at WESC and really helped make strides in the Wildlife Garden

Erecting a pergola to make the entrance into the Wildlife Garden

The group also helped to paint the sheds and prepare the new pathway into the Wildlife Garden using weed suppressant material and bark chippings - thank you all, you really made a difference.

The work didn't stop there - a large group of employees from Exe Insurance volunteered their time and really got stuck into some serious groundwork

They carried on the good work the Positive Pathways group had started by clearing out the borders in the Wildlife Garden getting rid of roots and stones and double digging the ground over ready for planting and edging

They really worked hard digging 2 holes large enough to sink a large plastic container into so they could plant both the bamboo and gunnera. The team rose to the challenge knowing it would be well worthwhile to keep the bamboo from invading the garden and to keep the gunnera roots damp.

The group also placed rainbow boulders, which came all the way from Derbyshire, around the borders inside the centre circle of the Wildlife Garden giving light to the area and showing off the planting.

Another team from the Exe Insurance group really got stuck in clearing the area for access to the cold frame

and the finished article - great job!

More exciting changes have happened in July so keep watching this space!


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Hurrah for new floors!

A couple of major projects were ticked off the 'to do' list during April and May

With the help of Will the builder, Dylan cleared the polytunnel of potting benches and equipment, removed the slabs and pea shingle and set about making and laying a concrete base. This will make it much easier for students in wheelchairs to access this area 

The next big project was preparing a floor for the kindly donated greenhouse 

Dylan and Will dug out the base and then started to lay the concrete floor, they even incorporated a design in the mix

and the finished article

 - Another amazing job completed - thank you Will for your continued help and support with both of these projects

The afore mentioned greenhouse is in the process of being erected - check out the blog again to see the end result !

Putting up the willow arch

It's been a busy time in the WESC garden with projects galore being ticked off the list.

In April Dylan and his mom Meg started putting the willow arch together.  

Three weeks before starting Dylan lifted the turf, single dug the top soil and added organic matter and left it for two weeks to improve the condition of the soil to give the willow rods the best start.  

The soil was covered with landscape fabric to supress the weeds and the willow was then planted through the fabric.

It took a good while to weave the willow into an arch, we chose an arch to reflect the shape of the polytunnels

The arch is halfway down the path and as the willow leafs up it will give different sensory experiences to our students of light, sound and touch and also a sensory cue to help orientate themselves when entering the gardening area. 

Dylan and Meg chose to keep the top third of the structure open so when the willow leafs up it's lighter at the top and denser at the bottom.

What a fantastic addition to the WESC garden and a big thank you to Meg for all her help!

This is part of the wildlife science project, the students have been involved with making and monitoring it's growth - more to follow.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Congratulations Louis!!!

We would just like to say  congratulations to Louis who has won the BASH Award for Making healthy choices!!

The BASH Awards are run by Devon and Cornwall Police, in partnership with South Devon and Torbay NHS, Roc-Active and Devon Link-Up 

The BASH Awards recognise the positive achievements of people living with disabilities in Devon. 

What a great way to recognise all the hard work Louis has put into the gardening project at WESC. 

Louis has been integral to the development of the gardening project from the beginning. 

A BIG BIG thank you!!

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Winter at WESC

This winter in the polytunnels we have been planting shallots, onions and garlic.

They are a really good size for our students to handle, very robust and frost hardy so pretty reliable for the cold weather we are having.

We have planted them in our polytunnels in well prepared free draining compost.

In rows spacing correctly for each cultivar, using bamboo canes as spacers.

 We have chosen to do the garlic in modules and plant on later.

Also, we have been hard at work in preparation for sowing in the spring. 

This has involved clearing the raised vegetable beds, mulching and fleecing.

Finally, Matthew has been potting on the Geranium Palmatums in preparation for planting out in the spring.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Prince's Trust

Last year WESC was lucky enough to enlist the help of the prince’s trust who dedicated a couple of weeks of their time to help develop the gardening area at WESC.

We designed and created a raspberry growing area. WESC had been donated some old decking boards which were perfect for building raised beds and pathways.

To start with we had to plan the dimensions of pathways, accessibility, aspect and spacing for soft fruit growing. 

Using the boundary as our base line we triangulated the measurements from that. Cleared and mowed the area. 

Marked with paint, and then set to work lifting the turf and levelling.

We put in posts at all corners and marked using string lines.

Fixed the edging lengths to the posts, adding additional post to strengthen.

Then we laid the landscape fabric. 

Next, we built the raised boxes that we would grow the raspberries in and fixed them into the ground.

Then we covered the landscape fabric with bark chipping and levelled with rakes.

We added the organic material and compost to the raised beds.Dug in some base fertiliser.

The path took a bit longer because we had a lot of brambles to pull out, but once cleared we laid fabric and bark chipped.

Lifted and pruned the autumn fruiting raspberry canes and planted, making sure to maintain the original planting height.
 Watered and mulched.

Hey presto ready for some sunshine!

A big thank you to the prince’s trust for all their efforts with this project it has been a real success!