as part of European Week for Waste Reduction I ran a guided forage through the ancient Ervey Woodland (NIEA) and then chef Barry O'Brien from the BeechHill cooked up some seasonal delights and gave some creative uses for leftovers, and with the Love Food Hate Waste message gave out tips on what should be in the 'store cupboard top 10' -things which make it easy to be creative with left-overs... Here are some more pics from the days event....thanks to Derry City Council for organising the event a real eye-opener for many...
some of ians work
Ian Price is a man on a mission, thats plain as the eyes on his face when you meet him....on a mission to raise awareness of Mental Health. Ian is also a multi-award winning garden designer, running a busy practise in Belfast. I've known Ian for some time now, and recently i've been asked by Ian to come on-board with a show garden project he is developing to hopefully be included in the RHS Hampton Court Palace Fower Show....an incredible event....a super incredible event if your a plant geek like me!!
Ians plans is for a garden called one4thejourney - a garden to raised awarness of mental health...a fascinating concept.
kitchen garden beechhill
Firstly you don't get a hold of a man of Ians ability too often, and I had him for a whole day....so I was delighted when Ian asked me to 'show me what you do in Derry'....this was easy we bought cake and drank tae. Only messing (there was no tae all day...mans a slavedriver!)....so I started off out in the BeechHill Hotel, a fabulous place to show Ian some historical landscapes aswell as the new kitchengarden area in the hotel, kinda sums up the old with the new, and the fooodjourney which more and more restaurants find themselves on with more GYO and fresh produce being demanded by the best chefs...
ancient tree avenue in ashbrook
now Ian is coming to Derry on the 8th June to host a Landscape Design workshop, and this is being held in Ashbrook House _ see here for more . so of course we had to have a quick walk around the impressive grounds there....
proposed garden concept
Now Ians one4thejourney garden is something special, its all about raising awareness of mental health, the garden tells a personal story of Ians battle with depression, and he's hoping to use his amazing talent to bring more awareness to others, (one in 4 people have diagnosed depression - hense the one4thejourney name).....and Ian was mad keen to come to Derry to see how the award winning community gardens were benefiting communities and the role of Horticulture in promoting wellness amongst people...
talking through plans in Ballymac
I took Ian on a tour of the gardens, and the communitygardeners of Derry were in awe of Ians story and loved what he was trying to do, and everywhere we went there was compliments about the garden, the concept, the mission, the whole package...like here in Ballymagroarty....Ian was asked to produce plans and talk through them, which he did and folks shared stories about themselves,others and all offered to help Ian in the construction of the garden...it was useful to highlight the link between horticulture and personal wellbeing...
about the only place we stopped for a cuppa all day was in The Playtrail and AnneMarie and Mark treated Ian to a scone too!. Again Ian talked through the garden, the story and what he was trying to achieve, and thank you to Mark and AnneMarie for their enthusiasm for the project...the discussion moved onto how the young people from the HOPE project could get involved/help with the garden, and could it be permanently installed in the Playtrail after Hampton Court...now this would be amazing...a high profile project for City of Culture giving a lasting legacy on mental health awareness???...sounds like a good idea to me...
posing....i'm good at that!
Now I couldn't have Ian over this part of the world without having him on Mark Patterson show to raise awareness of his project and the whole Mental Health project....so in we went...and upto 4th dec go 1hr 32m in on this link and you can hear his story
you can also follow Ians Jouney on his Facebook page here
also check out Mental Health Foundation here
concept drawing in St Pauls
and while Ian was in town he came along to the after schools club in St Pauls Primary , held a landscape design seminer with p3-7 group and designed a new school garden....in under an hour...mans a genius!!
lifting new beds into position
As part of the European Week for Waste Reduction the kids of Groarty primary School decided we needed to install some more raised salad beds in the school grounds - as the older kids discussed this as unused salad leaves being one of the biggest areas of food waste and they decided that by growing their own they would reduce the waste....(good ideas these kids)....
This week we planted up pots full of large flowering Crocus and mixed large flowering pansys...the theme was 'kiddies picture'....I thought this was appropriate as when the plants come into flower it'll be a mad display of colour...just like a kiddies picture...
Another full house in Ballymagroarty Community Centre, thanks to Ballymagroarty & Hazelbank Community Area Partnership.
Another school had the pribvilidge of visiting Ashbrook House in Derry, this pre-plantation home is a treasure trove of history and stories, and the kids love coming here. Mrs Beresford-Ash is an amazing host and her generosity with tales and stories is wonderful...
the kids had never seen a table so grand and big...and they loved that the man of the house sat in one end...and the lady at the other...
teh Ancient woodland is a joy to take schools to, as its so easily accessible and there is such a wide range of mature trees and the forest layers are easy to see and identify....and the colours of the leaves are brilliant!!
Nice BBC piece here from Mr Beresford-Ash....worth a read
Larkspur is a beautiful for the summer garden, and now is a good time to be sowing some for some early summer colour next year, indeed about 9 weeks ago we sowed some in an unhated polytunnel and we've just been potting these up into larger pots, for then planting outside in early february. Larkspur, available here, is a Hardy Annual so the cold weather doesn't affect it so you can sow away now... 200 seeds for 99p....great value!
originally sown in a vermiculite/compost mix these seeds are now potted in a perlite/compost mix...you can see the nice wee root systems they've started to develop...roll on summer!!
Thsi week in Lenamore Primary we gathered seeds from the Sweet Pea wall in the playground, we gathered ripe seed pods, and then resowed seeds into small pots containing mulit-purpose compost....the pots have been placed in a sheltered site outside and will hopefully be ready for planting out around end of January....
This week we were potting up 10 week old Chrysanthemum seedlings. we sowed them in an unheated polytunnel in a compost/vermiculite mixture and they came on really well, and are an ideal size for potting up into individual pots, these will be ready for potting out in the spring, and will give us flowers all summer....well thats the plan!!
This week we planted some climbers around the new cabin in Springtown, we build 2ft high raised beds and then filled them with soil and have enriched that soil with compost and some chicken manure. On the East side of the cabin we planted some CLimbing Hydrangea and some Evergreen Clematis. When you plant climbers remember to plant them a good foot away from the fence/building etc, this encourages the roots to grow outwards
When we plant them we cut them down to half their size, this make them bush out better from the base....and gives us an opportunity to take cuttings from the new plants, thus (hopefully) giving us lots of new plnats for free for next year!!
Strawberries are a real pain in the backside...turn your back on them and they grow everywhere, the runners appear overnight and start new plants off...and soon where there were 8 plants before you have a seen like this....strawberry plants everywhere!. Best way to tackle this is to lift them all, sort them and then replant the bigger ones...it took us 3 hours but we got the 2 original beds cleared, enriched and then a total of 7 beds replanted with the strawberry plants, and still have 2 wheelbarrow fulls of small runners to deal with...
Gardening on Radio Foyle
A summary of each weeks gardening on Mark Patterson Show and beyond