ELL: April to June 2011

JUNE 2011

With the arrival of June, ELL welcomed some great opportunities to sell our plants and further introduce our project to the community. The nursery is flourishing with growth, activities and plans for our future.

Plants for salePlants for sale

We had the opportunity to be involved with the Green Festival in Regent's Park this year, with Capitol Growth offering to sell plants for us. Thanks to the CG folks and to Tom for organizing the transport of our plants. We were also a part of Open Garden Squares Weekend, where we invited the community to visit the nursery, explained the project and different species of plants to them, and sold some plants. Thanks to Jane and Mahmud for hosting, and to Kiraz, Jane and Deanna for finishing the grower's guide leaflets to accompany our sale plants. Both events were great successes in giving exposure to the nursery and encouraging community involvement.

Jo and GemmaJo and GemmaWith great weather comes the challenge of keeping our plants happy and healthy. We have focused much attention on caring for our vulnerable plants by intensive watering procedures, mulching, and weeding. To ensure our watering effectively reaches past the mulch and down to the roots, we have placed soda bottles cut in half into the earth near the base of the plant and intensively watered. This also eliminates having to move the mulch every time the plant is watered. As we can never have enough mulch in dry seasons such as this, we are brainstorming ways of receiving dried grass clippings from the park itself or surrounding neighbors.

We have started a tree bed, where we will sink planted tree pots and also start tree seedlings in the earth to compare the success of different growing methods. Our successfully grafted trees and rootstocks have also been moved to this bed. Successful GraftSuccessful Graft

Sonia working in seed bedSonia working in seed bedOur seed bed is prospering and we are continually potting ready plants to sell and replanting seeds to replenish. New signs in Showcase BedNew signs in Showcase Bed

Other upkeep such as creating signs to describe each type of plant, re-labeling faded signs, eradicating leaves affected with rust and leaf miners, and watching for bindweed are priorities that have kept us very busy.

Jo's Birthday celebrationJo's Birthday celebrationWe celebrated Jo's birthday this month during a day of welcomed rain with a beautiful vegan chocolate cake made by Kiraz and lavender cordial made by Gemma, over discussions of bud grafting for August and opportunities to instruct demonstrations of different types of grafting at upcoming community events.

Our official ELL sign is now posted at the entrance to the garden, and looks fantastic. Thanks to Jane and Simon for their hard work and many hours of drafting and painting!

Other signs are popping up around the garden which explain general growing tips and techniques to the public when they visit our site.

Plans for our water harvesting apparatus are developing with the much-appreciated help of architect Kevin from the neighborhood. Many discussions are taking place regarding design, multi-functionality, efficiency and location. Its an exciting new venture with great potential as a shade structure and meeting place as well as water collection and storage. We would love your input!

High fivesHigh fives

MAY 2011
Meeting notes Thur, 19th May
Jo, Gemma, Sonia, Phil, Deanna, Tom, Mahmud, Jane

  • Agreed build a seating circle for lunches etc.
  • Move meeting to 1pm
  • Social marketing project info received. Gemma to pass on to others for action. Short film would be good, need to find someone to do this.
  • Seed gathering Sunday from Finsbury Park. 1st Sat in Oct – idea from Tree Council
  • Signs for the show bed. Jo drafted the text – others to check for simplicity etc
  • Move some blackthorn to fence and mulch other plants
  • Add pumpkin seedlings to west fence as green mulch
  • Bed of Judas tree seeds sown by Gemma – very good to eat bright pink flowers
  • watering plants – not to ignore the cuttings
  • Red mustard. Experiment with cutting seeds on one of the plants in the showcase bed. See how much, if at all, it extends the life of the plant
  • Jo to take some plants for selling at Wilberforce Road plant sale on Sun 22nd May
  • Grass cuttings from the park staff. Someone needs to approach the park for this.
  • Funding to ensure security of tenure.
  • Signs outside site to be done by next 2 weeks.
  • Phil has been mulching and watering
  • Mahmud has been watering every day
  • Sonia transplanted lots of chard and seedlings
  • Deanna doing same with Sonia. Everything looking good.
  • Tom – rainwater harvesting. Maybe a tap will be installed

APRIL 2011

07 – 04 – 11 Mahmud, Kiraz, Sonia, Umit, Dani, Jo

  • Watering, weeding
  • Signage collected


  • Emptying greenhouse
  • Watering
  • Moving pots and parsnips around

06-04-11 Lynne, Dani, Mahmud, Jo

  • Cleared M.H. bed
  • Pots moved to M.H. beds
  • Tidied greenhouse
  • Grafting


  • Moving the rest of the pots from greenhouse outside
  • Watering
  • Weeding
  • Sieve earth
  • Tidying M.H. beds
  • Re do labels - bring in permanent marker

Giant to do list. We have recently started having meetings on site - great way for everyone to find out quickly what's been happening and what needs to be done. Monster list from last couple of meetings. Thanks to Dan for typing this up:

  • Stake outside of raised beds
  • Build compost heap – pallets/scaffold
  • Build/obtain outside table - for working on - for plant sales display
  • Rainwater harvesting - do try out of Tom’s idea of using fence + transparent sheeting/corrugated plastic leading into buckets/storage - do drawing for more permanent shelter/structure
  • Make signs – outside (Jane) x2 - showcase bed sign x 7 - shady salads, mother bed
  • Kiraz graftingKiraz grafting

  • Advertise – parks notice board (Lydia) - other growing projects
  • Plant leaflets – 37 plants in ART book (to sell now 8, sell later 20) - 13 plants not in ART book (to sell now 1, sell later 8) - 8 plants in showcase bed that might be in ART book (to sell later 3)
  • Make more growing space by consolidating pots – unused beds
  • Find evergreen climber for railings
  • Plant more seeds, e.g. pumpkin
  • Decide on plant prices (+50%)
  • Opening times - how much should we open in summer. How will we cover the times?
  • How do we take /store cash (bank account?)