Issue 24

Compost Corner: Winter     wateringcans2Tilt


NG CC Herb GardenThe garden being out of bounds is not unusual for the OT Gardening Group. This year it is building work on Newton, last year it was building work on Penarth and slugs and rain. I say this because I feel that I need to be the voice of the patient. They work hard out there in the ground and it′s not easy not being able to get out there and tend to your crops, or stand by and watch slugs eat the efforts you put into the year. Never-the-less we manage to have a fairly good year and our crop yield was more than we expected. Well done to every one who took part in this year′s group. Not only the effort you put into the ground work, but you all worked very hard in this years OCN course. It was harder than 2007, I know this because I wrote the course.

This years OCN course included; Practical Allotment and garden Skills, we covered buying and selecting plants, inspecting plants and probing for problems, container plants, bare-root plants, containerized plants and field dug plants. We also covered crop rotation and garden tools. There were also units covering ground preparation, learning all about soil, soil texture, soil types and Ph, preparing the ground ready for planting and weeds and weed control. Added to all this we covered the life cycle of plants to include annuals, biennials and perennials. Thanks to Neil OT we had a compost bin and so the course included all about compost making. We also covered pest and diseases, but the biggest part of this years course was all about herbs and the group, starting from scratch, built a formal herbs bed, (see the summer issue for full details) I was really please with the result and effort this group put into this great OCN project. Let us hope that we can get out into the garden next year to maintain and look after it.

I will spend the winter months working on next years OCN courses and I hope that many patients will sign up and earn just credits for the hard work that you do. Yes I said courses. I plan to write two courses for next years OCN studies. I know I am taking on a lot, but I enjoy it and helping you actually, helps me. Course one will be a Basic and Applied Garden skills, set at about the same level as this years course. Course two will be much harder and include artwork, writing small essays and doing some of your own research work. The second course will be on actual, Garden Design. Both courses will be to my usual professional standard, to include course book and work books, as well as my usual Power Point Presentations, using the large screen TV in the cafe. Now the coffee machine is working again, you can even get a hot chocolate drink as well, while you listen to me going on and on about the life of plants. I say all of this so that my manager and the team that I work with will know that I do, do some work some of the time when I am out of the numbers. I do try and earn my wage. Once again thank you to all, both OT staff and patients for putting up with me for a second year. I look foreword to working with you all next year.