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Our next monthly meet-up is on the 7th March 2020. We welcome all that wish to enjoy the garden ~ 12-2pm

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Winter Blog

Vegetables sprouting

Here we stand after storm number two, this time Dennis, oh how he tried to knock us all down! Despite being just a stone’s throw from the sea the Southsea Green garden is rather well protected from the elements and the storms that winter drives our way. The heavy rain did manage to put a hold on sowing and planting this week, but the onions, garlic, beans, chard and other winter greens are all fairing well.

Winds may have brought down branches in our parks and gardens but there are many still attached that need our attention. We can often be nervous of cutting things back, as if we are cruelly taking hard earned growth but it’s necessary to take charge of this careful pruning to encourage new growth and nurture the trees and shrubs we love. When up against whatever storm comes next, they’ll be robust and ready, just like we are!

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 22nd February
A lily on its own

Storm Ciara has played a dominant role in proceedings this week, extreme gales and diagonal rain have left many of us craving those spring days that hopefully lie just over the horizon. February means Valentines to florists like myself. Flowers, flowers and more flowers! We grow so much veg at the Southsea Green garden that the flowers must almost feel forgotten at times.

Nevertheless, they are vital to all of us, bee, bird, gardener and visitor alike. Nectar rich, scented blooms make the garden a real oasis in the warmer months. During this time of abundance, they almost go unappreciated, perhaps the real love is reserved for those first brave blooms emerging from the cold, dark, February earth. Even after the battering we’ve taken this week, we can’t deny the beauty that continues to break through and stand tall.

There’s nothing like a first love!

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 15th February
Artwork of Casnoe Lake in Southsea, bird's eye view

As the days become brighter, we turn our minds to our plans for the garden over the coming months. Current conversations involve lots of vegetable chat with excitement growing just like the overwintered plants. We have a new ‘square foot’ bed here at Southsea Green to illustrate how even in the smallest of spaces you can still grow and enjoy your own vegetables. A 3ft x3ft grid is divided into 9 sections with tacked string. Each section can have something different planted in it, a reasonably fast crop like spring onions or lettuce is ideal. Begin growing in one square, delaying the next slightly so that once the first crop is ready for harvest the next crop will be well underway! Later in the season courgettes could be planted and allowed to take over other squares. See this in action and find out more, come down to the garden on a Tuesday and get involved!

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 8th February
Green leaves

We’ve arrived in February, and those much-anticipated early signs of Spring are starting to show in the Southsea Green garden. On a sunny day there’s nowhere better as the buds tentatively appear and the birds begin to sing once more. This strip of green is a real haven for wildlife in our busy city and we do everything we can to encourage diversity.

Our pond is currently causing trouble and we need to replace our liner with a rigid one. If you have one spare, please do get in touch! Today the gates of the garden will be open as we hold a garden meet up. A chance for all to catch up, share ideas and get stuck in with some gardening. Please feel free to pop down after 11am, we are adjacent to the Natural History Museum within Canoe lake park. Come visit the garden, see what we’re up to and how you can get involved.

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 1st February
grey skies and trees in the middle of winter

When the wind is cold and the skies are grey, we may question, ‘Do we really want to go outside today?’ These are the months of hibernation in nature, a past time that may seem more than appealing to us all when the winter weather bites. But rather than a time of nothing-ness I think of this time as the laying in wait time, the secretly setting the scene time, the excitement and promise of what is to come time.

The garlic is in here at Southsea Green, and though ground level shows nothing too exciting, we trust that this cold spell is helping the bulb to divide itself into cloves and establish strong roots. Whether bulb or seed it’s amazing to think these little unassuming things know what they’re doing and don’t really need much from us at all. All we have to do is step outside, embrace the cold earth and trust in what we sow.

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 25th January
A view of Southsea common and beach

Southsea is, and always has been, a rather busy, bustling place. Without our green spaces and of course the glorious sea it could feel a little overwhelming sometimes. These places give us connection and a chance to breathe, both providing not only physical space but also miraculous in the way they can create space and bring peace to our often frantic and busy minds.

This week has seen some very challenging weather conditions, not unusual for this time of year. I’ve often felt the sea can mirror how we feel whether that be unsettled and changeable or still and calm. There is magic in those waves. We connect with water and earth and it brings so many of us great joy to be working with, or in the presence of either. We always need more hands here at Southsea Green, there’s no need for green fingers, everyone is welcome.

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 18th January

Garden Earth - Poetry & Prose

Fork in ground of garden ready to sow plant potatoes

New Year cold and January Snow

In frozen soil it's so hard to grow.

We plant potatoes in the earth

The Spring will bring them sudden birth.

Deep in a groove we sow tiny seeds

Carrots, turnips, onions and swedes.

Too early for beans and peas.

Prepare poles and sticks ready to tie with ease.

Perseverance, determination

Gardeners patience provides strange fascination.

Plants and seeds grown with stealth,

Our Lord provides such food for our health.

If you would like to join us, volunteers will be at the garden every Tuesday 11-1pm Come and see how you could get involved, extra hands and minds are greatly appreciated. Please check our Facebook page for further updates!

by Irene Strange
Saturday 11th January

Beach clean at Eastney

Sunset on Southsea seafront

Southsea Green’s community garden is just a stone's throw from the sea. The health of our oceans is vital to our health, water connects us all like the air we breathe. Southsea Beachwatch, alongside The Marine Conservation Society, are holding a beach clean at Eastney today, Sat 4th January (meeting point near the Coffee Cup). It will run from 10-12pm but please do join in at any point before the rubbish is collected at 12. Litter pickers, bags and gloves will be provided but please bring your own or a bucket if you can reduce our bag use.

This is such a valuable thing to do with children, giving them the opportunity to ask questions about the ocean and why we all need to do our bit to look after it. It seems to me as if we should not only be thinking ‘Southsea Green’ but remembering we are also, in so many ways, ‘Southsea Blue’.

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 4th January
Happy New Year wishes for 2020
Saturday 28th December

Winter Solstice was upon us this week, a celebration marking the lengthening days and shortening nights. As we move further through winter this increase in light, (and at some point, warmth too!) is a welcome development to us gardeners and nature lovers alike! With only a matter of days before the new year begins, plans, goals and wishes may be forming, both for our gardens and life in general.

2020 is a big year for Southsea Green, signing our new lease, planning to excite events and pushing to get everyone thinking greener than ever before! It really is the time for action! If you’d like to volunteer with us, please do fill in the form on our website or drop by the garden on a Tuesday to meet some of our fantastic team. Whether you’re interested in gardening, handy with a screwdriver or just want to get more involved in making Pompey green we’d love to welcome you!

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green

Light up a life

Light up big stars on a tree at Canoe Lake, Portsmouth
Tuesday 24th December

As we head into the festive week, the big day approaches, presents are wrapped (hopefully not in foiled paper!) and greetings exchanged. Excitement and magic fills the air but with this joy can come the pain we feel for those who are not with us.

Last Sunday the Rowans Hospice held their annual ‘light up a life’ remembrance event at Canoe lake Park. Hundreds of people came to light a candle and float it on the water in honour of a loved one. A beautiful, peaceful and uplifting evening to pause and reflect. With our garden right around the corner, a place that offers peace and reflection year-round we welcome you to come along, get involved and join our friendly green community too.

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green

Festivities

Tuesday 17th December

As we head into the festive week, the big day approaches, presents are wrapped (hopefully not in foiled paper!) and greetings exchanged. Excitement and magic fills the air but with this joy can come the pain we feel for those who are not with us. Last Sunday the Rowans Hospice held their annual ‘light up a life’ rememberance event at Canoe lake Park. Hundreds of people came to light a candle and float it on the water in honor of a loved one. A beautiful, peaceful and uplifting evening to pause and reflect. With our garden right around the corner, a place that offers peace and reflection year round we welcome you to come along, get involved and join our friendly green community too.

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green

BIRDS AT CANOE LAKE

Young swans in a group
Tuesday 3rd December

Seagulls screeching Yea-a-a-a all the day

Pigeons flapping as they go their way.

Blackbird's shrilling

Thrushes trilling.

Whilst Swans on the Lake devour pieces of cake.

Squirrels dash forth their luck to try, to steal a crust as they dart by.

Magpies try out their ploy One for sorrow, two for joy!

“Caw Caw“ the Crow cries out “A meal for me without a doubt”.

Down flies the Robin from a tree, Chirp, Chirp, Sweet Sweet “Save a crumb for me”

Duck's quack and dive, more crumbs and grain needed to stay alive.

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, come to Canoe Lake and enjoy them all.

Around the corner at Southsea Green our Community garden can be seen.

“Take a walk on the Wild side”.

Remember our next monthly meet-up is on the 7th December 2019. We welcome all that wish to enjoy and help at the garden ~ 12-2pm

By Irene Strange