winter on the Old North Stables

The recent warm weather makes it hard to believe that spring has not yet sprung (officially it doesn’t until the equinox). The hours of daylight are getting noticeably longer, however, and we can all look forward to warmer days and longer evenings.

Down on the Old North Stables there is always plenty to do, whatever the season. Seeds have been collected and stored from last season and whilst there are still a few of last season’s crops like beetroot in the ground, the focus is now very much on the new growing season – preparing our raised beds, planting seeds and nurturing seedlings.

Over the late autumn and early winter Tony planted more trees, including quince, damson, mulberry and a Worcester Black Pear. The black pear variety is believed to be at least six hundred years old and has a long association with the city of Worcester, even appearing on its coat of arms. The black pear can be found in numerous other connections with the city (there is even a Black Pear Joggers club). It seems only right, therefore, that Worcester’s community garden should have its very own black pear tree.

In the greenhouse our succession-sown lettuces continue to flourish and the broad bean seedlings are starting to emerge. Soon these hardy young plants will be settled outside. In and around the hives, the warm weather has stirred the bees into life.

We are delighted to have gained some new regular volunteers recently, but more are always welcome. If you are ever passing the gardens, which nestle on the edge of Pitchcroft, do drop in and have a look round. We’re never too busy to show visitors round.

Finally, a date for your diary: our annual seed swap takes place at the Pump House Environment Centre on Saturday 16 March from 11am to 2pm. Bring along any spare seeds you may have and swap them for a new variety or something completely different. It’s also a chance to meet our volunteers and talk about growing your own in 2019.

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