THURSDAY APRIL 23RD
David Wrenn arrived, brandishing two trays of miniature seedlings.
"Are these our seeds?" someone asked.
"Your plants, you mean," he replied.
Sure enough, from the tiny seeds sown a month ago had emerged tender shoots of plants, and Steve, Mark, Maddie and I happily set about potting them up.
The courtyard space at the Greenhouse has long been a haven of peace for our customers and volunteers - a quiet space to sit, read and reflect whilst consuming fairtrade and organic food and drink from our café. Remnants of the courtyard's first planting give some green architecture to the space - the wisteria growing along the back wall, the grape vines offering a leafy canopy... but as far as consumable plants go, a hardy rosemary plant was the only edible offering. Our mission was to create an urban garden, from which we could pick fresh produce for the kitchen.
One tray of lettuce seeds makes for a lot of lettuce, and we spread them out in pots along a trolley that Frankie had made from scrap metal. Aesthetics will be important in capturing the imaginations of our customers, so we set about mixing the
colours and shapes of Mizuna with Chinese mustard leaf and crisp leaf lettuce. Architectural plants like fennel and dill made the display pleasing on the eye, whilst we gave the solitary mint plant room to bunch out. Around the same side of the large wooden tub we planted chives - as the mint grows upwards and the chives droop over the rim, they complement each other visually.
This project is as much about people as plants, and it was exciting to see Steve so enthused. He currently works as a maintenance gardener, cutting hedges and lawns, He's keen to learn more about growing veg to open up new career opportunities, and he was delighted with his two day's work, and left with several surfeit lettuces to plant at home.
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