We’re passionate about our gardens. In the Flourish programme we use the context of gardening and landscaping to encourage friendship, teamwork and wellbeing. Last year we saw Flourish grow and develop and to carry on building on our successes, here are three things we’re doing this year.

We are redesigning and expanding the market garden area

Working to a traditional cottage kitchen garden design, the garden will have four quadrants for rotating crops and be filled with an abundance of vegetables with cut flowers and herbaceous borders nestled amongst them.

The growing area will almost double in size to enable us to be more adventurous with our varieties of fruits and vegetables grown, for example we will be growing for flavour, for colour, heritage varieties and those of a more exotic nature such as Serpente di sicilia squashes and sweet potatoes.

A bee and butterfly garden will be created

There will also be a greater focus on pollinators with a bee and butterfly garden being planted around the pergola with lots of examples of bug homes and habitats dotted around amidst a kaleidoscope of colour; we will be transforming this area into a experience for your senses.

A focus on perennial fruits and vegetables in the Mandada Garden

Last year we also finished construction of the Mandala Garden which paves the way for 2016 to focus on planting the area with a multitude of perennial fruits and vegetables including Good King Henry asparagus and cardoons.

Although perennial plants can take their time to establish, they are hardy and capable of living for many years with very little input. Perennial vegetables also produce a crop every year without having to sow or plant them out and are ready to harvest during the ‘hungry gap’ – the period in spring when there is little or no fresh produce.

We also picked perennial plants because they are tend to be more closely related to wild plants than their annual counterparts; this means they are less likely to be affected by pests and diseases.

We are looking forward to getting stuck into all these new projects and welcoming new people into our garden team.

You can find out more about our Flourish programme and how you can get involved here.

About the Author Andrew

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