Spring is well and truly upon us and the signs are literally popping up from the ground, out of the trees and in the air. The ground is alive with an up surging mass of an ever deepening green as the docks, comfrey, nettles and all manner of other ground cover species race for the light of the new found Sun. The branches of the trees bare only a few weeks ago are now shooting out bundles of their leaves in miniature as the Sparrows begin to become visible in the blue skies over head once more.
So these are the unmistakable signs that it is time to begin gardening in earnest. For starters there is the constant battle with the Docks and Comfrey that require almost constant weeding just to keep the beds clear for planting. As the rabbit fencing was completed around the top garden it is here that the majority of the planting has taken place. Along with the apple, pear, plum and damson trees that were planted back in early March (see http://royaledinburghcommunitygardens.wordpress.com/2011/03/ for more info and pics at the bottom of the page) and the garlic that has been over wintering, there have been sowings of broad beans, peas, onions (red and white), several varieties of potato, Elephant garlic, parsnip, beetroot and radish. We also received delivery of 1000 Root Stock that have been planted and that will be grown on and then eventually be grafted with apple tree cuttings to create our fruit tree nursery. None of this could have happened without the sterling work of our many volunteers, including those from the Grassmarket Community Centre, Carr-Gomm Scotland, the New Cledonia Woodlands project, the children and teachers from the Steiner School and Bruntsfield Primary and all the many individuals that come to the gardens.
In the bottom garden the rabbit fencing is yet to be finished but we have managed to get some more beds in and these are beginning to be filled with a mix of fruit canes and bushes and a variety of Rhubarbs. The rest of the beds in this garden will be filled with the herbs, salads and squashes that have been planted up in the glasshouse. The glasshouse, a new and very valuable addition to the gardens this year, is beginning to fill up with a vast array of brassicas, herbs, salads, beans, tomatoes, squashes and as of yesterday 150 Strawberry plants.
We also have had a Wildfood Walk at the gardens (more info and pics at http://royaledinburghcommunitygardens.wordpress.com/2011/03/ and a Apple tree pruning workshop given by John Hancock (for more info and pics please see http://royaledinburghcommunitygardens.wordpress.com/2011/04/) in March; with more workshops to follow.