John Scott Health Centre

AKA The Doctor's Plot

Mahmud and JohnMahmud and JohnNOVEMBER 2010
We got some free edible hedging plants from the Woodland Trust and planted two hedges: one around John's patch of grass (that was also ready dug) the other around one of the patches of grass at the doctors. We left an opening in the hedge so that the health centre staff will be able to mow the grass and we planted the hedges quite densely - at 40cm centres in a zig zag pattern. We put woodchips from St Johns around the bases of the hedge, making sure the chips weren't touching the tender plant stems. Finally, we put up Rahul's home made site sign.

Luthfa and StefLuthfa and StefConsidering the very cold weather and failing light, we had a good turn out, certainly enough to finish the work in half an hour. John came out to help, bringing some extra tools, and he worked hard with Mahmud (another neighbour and Parkwood parent). Luthfa (another Parkwood parent) and AAG student, Steph spread out the woodchips and my children helped with the general mud fest side of things!

Unfortunately there's only one cherry tree left from the original planting and it looks like it has small cherry virus! We sincerely hope our hedge doesn't attract the attention of thieves.

Mahmud and John have been caring for the plants and although many are stolen as soon as they reach harvestable size, I managed to get one prickly cucumber. I take the thefts as a sign that people are interested in eating locally grown food!

All 6 trees were stolen from the site, along with the two grape vines. The two cherry trees outside John's house on the other side of the street have been left. We replanted with annuals: pumpkins, cucumbers and sweetcorn. I like to imagine the stolen fruit trees being lovingly looked after in a sunny position in someone's back garden.

APRIL 2010
Springpark Drive neighbours along with children from Woodberry Down Children's Centre turned out to work in beautiful sunny weather and we shared a real sense of achievement. We planted four apple trees, four cherry trees, two grape vines (thanks Capital Growth), some herbs (thanks Sue) and a load of soft fruits taken from cuttings last Autumn (thanks Poppy). We did this over two afternoons and it was absolutely brilliant project to take part in.
John rakingJohn rakingJohn, who lives opposite, has offered to water and keep an eye on the plants as have the children who balance their way along the little wall next to the plot every day.

On Saturday 10th, I ate a hurried lunch wondering if anyone was going to turn up but I needn't have worried. Philippe arrived, closely followed by Michelle. Moments later Gloria cycled past and went off to get her son, Adam. (He got very carried away with levering up areas of turf and had to be dissuaded from de-turfing the entire site!) They all worked like Trojans and hopefully learned a little about tree planting. Mahmud and Samira's children supplied us with numerous containers of water for the newly planted apple trees as well as doing lots of digging. Finally Jen and Anya and the rest of my family turned up to plant out some nasturtium seedlings.

The following Tuesday, I was originally expecting to plant out the last two cherry trees and the grape vines but after talking to the local resident, John, I decided to bring along a couple of extra cherry trees and some soft fruit cuttings, just in case we could some planting on the other side of the road. A good job I did, because we had more than enough pairs of hands to get all the work done. Mary and Lizzy brought a group of nursery children out and they were with us all afternoon. Patrick, John, David, Chris, Poppy, Sue and her two boys all worked really hard digging holes for the trees to go in by the bench. We were able to use John's hose to water all the plants in and I think it's fair to say everyone feels pretty proud. We look forward to watching the Springpark Orchard thriving.

Patrick, Sue and ChrisPatrick, Sue and Chris
Chris and JohnChris and JohnLizzy and MaryLizzy and Mary