Friday 15th January 2021
Not the most auspicious start to a project but a lovely one though. I had to delay for half an hour as my cat decide to come for a cuddle as I had my morning cup of tea (she may have guessed I was going outside and needed some extra warmth) and I lost track of time! Got to the site to find the lock a bit frozen but once I’d wrestled it into submission, I proceeded on to the most tranquil mist covered oasis and spent 5 minutes absorbing the atmosphere. cold crisp with a myriad of birds in full song perfect time for reflection. Within a few moments Anne arrived and we set to with our plan of start from the gate and work our way deeper into the plot so people can see we’ve started.
First job, winter prune the big buddleia (butterfly bush), basically cutting it in half so its less in the way trimming the honeysuckle and cutting down an everlasting sweet pea we also chopped to top off the dead weed (this job doesn’t really do much other than make the place look tidier) then on to the daunting task of pruning the apple tree! After a quick coffee break in the hut.
The three Ds is the golden rule of pruning any plant meaning cut out any dead, diseased and dying followed by any branches that are crossing or rubbing. After these are removed its on to shaping and pruning to encourage flowers. On closer inspection I found that the tree had some damage on a low branch near to the trunk if this was removed (think the 3 D’s) it would make the tree a funny unbalanced shape, so I decided to raise the crown of the tree to allow better access all round for ourselves and to the shop and tap area just over the fence. A job for another day as we had only brough secateurs and loppers that day and a pruning saw was needed to complete the job and maybe a little advice form my mum who has looked after the fruit trees in granddads (an avid allotmenteer in his day) garden for years
A natural end to the first session we left number 33 with a sense of achievement and productivity and slightly startled realisation that it was 1pm. The morning had flown
Greening Stoke is a project run in partnership between Festival Stoke and Letting in the Light. We are based in Stoke-on-Trent.
We are started this adventure in January 2021 in the middle of a national lockdown. Gradually, as things begin to open up, close down and then open up again, Rachel and Anne abided by all the Covid-19 Government guidance, worked in a socially distanced way, to prepare and maintain Plot 33 so that they were eventually able to invite the community to work with them.
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