Strength in numbers , thank you Transformers North , amazing work ethic.
The Bulb Planting Push
We met a very short spring bulb planting deadline thanks to the generosity of so many people who’ve pitched in to help. We continue to be touched by how people pull together in the name of basic kindness and community.
'Transformers North' get busy.
Transformers North get busy planting out bulbs. Amazing work ethic. Thank you.
A volunteer digs deep.
Digging deep to move the clearing on. Bending the knees like a professional.
Our shady area.
The area was cleared and our bulbs who prefer a more shady spot are planted.
Barbara and her Cyclamen
Phone rings. Barbara: 'I've been digging up cyclamen in my garden - I was going to throw them away. Would you like them? I'll plant them for you.
The Chrysanthemum Man
The Chrysanthemum Man. A morning of unexpected rain forced a rethink of how best to use our regular gardening time. Out went grubbing out with Angela, and in came the most inspiring visit to Angela's friend Geoffrey. Angela had talked about the chrysanthemums Geoffrey used to grow in his back garden, but it didn't become clear what this really meant until, over coffee, he looked out some old photographs . The size of the blooms; the scale of his growing (he supplied the local flower market); the systems he put in place to guarantee the highest quality blooms each season. "I hadn't realised that growing chrysanths was your full time job", I commented..."No, no...", he laughed, "I just did this before work and when I got home!" There's inspiration.
Rob's Tools Donation
Rob from RSJJ Painting and Decorating has lived some of the ups and downs of trying to turn Clem's Garden from an idea to a reality, as he's cheerfully painted away in Vicky and Dunc's house. One day he turned up with a delivery of tools he wanted to donate. What a star!
Huge thanks to Min and Billy from Smokebush Floral Design who travelled all the way from Cheshire to help lick the Clem's Garden plot into better shape. Focused on reclaiming some of the paths from our Yorkshire jungle, their hard work meant that people can now get to the polytunnels without fear of being swallowed up by plantlife.
Ann takes great care pricking out and potting on our precious seedlings.
Annie and Richard
A massive thank you to Annie and Rich for giving up their Sunday afternoon to help with transplanting our brilliant donation of tulips.
We love it when other creative souls find inspiration from the garden. It's always a treat to welcome our lovely friend, Fiona from Firenza Floral Design in Ripponden, who has done so much to support us.
Neighbours Like These
We had a brilliant afternoon at Lindley Carnival - a proper community gathering. Our flower display caught the eye of Sue from Lindley Bowling Club. In spite of all the distractions and bustle, Sue kept her neighbour, Connie in mind. 99 years old and with failing eyesight, she told us that Connie couldn't make it along to the carnival. In return for putting her shyness to one side and posing for a photo, we struck a deal that Sue could take our fragrant sweet peas for Connie to enjoy. We can't imagine a better home for them.
Transforming by filling our raised beds and planting bulbs. Amazing work ethic and joy to work with.
A cracking tulip-planting shift with the fabulous Crissie - big smiles and a donation of a bumper packet of seeds too!
A Well-Earned Break
Jack, Hilary, Bernice, Angela, Vicky and Dunc - taking a break for coffee and cake is a crucial part of each volunteers session.
Suzie from Picked At Dawn
Suzie, another flower grower from Thirsk has been SO generous with her support for Clem's Garden. When this photo was taken, she had brought trays of seedlings.....and for the house the most gorgeous bouquet of flowers from her plot.
Rachel Digs In
Rachel gets digging and planting to liberate precious plants from pots into a nursery bed.
Penny, Jack, Patrick and Lizzie settle the plants that are happiest in a shady, damp area.
A Flower Farmer's Holiday
Alison has her own flower-growing plot to manage at 'Flowers From The Garden' in Slaithwaite, but she still made time to help clear the plot for our raised beds.
The generosity of local builder Richard Burgin from RB Developments. He kindly donated 2 days' labour and lent us his digger. We saw soil whizz from the car park into raised beds; and our green waste and rock mountains moved out of the way. This would have taken us weeks by hand.
Chris and Dave, 'light up the garden' with a mini bonfire to clear some of the dried out perennial weeds and brambles.
Fantastic to have help from S2R to start clearing what will be our rose-growing area. They, like us appreciate the link between well-being and working outdoors.
A Well-Earned Break
Luc, Dunc, Jack, Bernie, Hilary and Angela - taking a break, Coffee and cake is a crucial part of each volunteers session.
One of our garden clearing sessions; this time joined by Jo and James from meliamelia.com who donate their time and skills to help us document the development of Clem's Garden through their beautiful photography
Polytunnel clearing team, amazing work by all.
The Camassia Crew
Katie, Angela and Jane made short work of planting the camassia bulbs generously donated by Gill at Fieldhouse Flowers.
Big thanks to Paxman Landscapes and Yorwaste Ltd for pulling out all the stops to get 100 tonnes of topsoil and 100 tonnes of recycled green waste to Clem's Garden, so we could start filling our raised beds.
What can we say? The old TV “Ground Force” team have nothing on this lovely lot. A million ‘thank yous’ for coming to our rescue as we dashed to meet our bulb-planting deadline! Narcissi bulbs in, long bulb bed prepared with tonnes of soil and compost, and new friends made.
Transformers North getting to work.
One of the extra-special perks of setting up a community project is the people we meet who are all about making the local area a better place. This is Tim who is in charge of the Natural Kirklees tool bank. He wanted to pose with a scythe, but we politely suggested it might not send quite the right message!
Can’t believe that Rachel travelled for over an hour to help out. It’s true what they say about Yorkshire heart!
Thanks to Richard donating his own time and that of his colleagues Tom and Darren so that Clem’s Garden can bloom. What a hero.
So grateful to Jason and the team at Myers Skip Hire in Huddersfield for supporting Clem's Garden. Complete legends!
How do you make a raised bed? Ask Joe. He’s a bit of an expert.
Ron and Judith’s Donation.
Thanks to Ron and Judith’s amazing donation, we've been able to buy all the wood to build raised beds, so that we can welcome volunteers with different levels of fitness to join our gardening team.
Estate Saw Mills lends a hand.
We had some handy help from Estate Saw Mills, providing us with all the lovely wood for our raised beds.
Spreading the Word
We're really grateful to Thelma Walker MP for supporting our work at Clem's Garden; and humbled that she gave us a mention during a parliamentary debate about the importance of addressing loneliness within communities.
As well as developing a garden, we're growing a business with the aim of generating profits that can be used to support other charities and community projects. In addition to a very welcome start-up grant from One Community Kirklees, we were delighted to secure a place on The Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start Up Programme, in partnership with the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
As well as training, we receive precious mentoring and advice from Ian - an experienced member of the Lloyds Bank management team.
Alex and Miti from another fantastic community-minded local business, Medequip, gave us a day of their time and muscles to help fill some of the polytunnel raised beds. They brought MedeMonkey with them for support!
Pam contacted us because she'd built up a stash of old plant pots and wanted them to be put to good use. We're all for recycling.
Workshop 'Flowers From The Garden'
Clem’s Garden Masterclass. We’ve been happily bunching up our beautiful tulips and narcissi for appreciative customers, but Ann suggested it might be time to get a more expert steer on how to be creative with our flowers. Cue, our brilliant friend @flowers_from_the_garden , who gave us a generous helping of her time and her flowery knowledge at a very special in-house workshop this week. Thank you so much, Alison - we all came away feeling thoroughly inspired. X
Janet's Bulb to Bloom
Clem’s GardenThe First. In ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ weather this morning, #FriendsofClem volunteers Angela, Janet, and Jack keep on trooping; helping to make preparations for Saturday’s #diggerday, ducking in and out of the polytunnel at the whim of the rain showers. There isn’t much colour to be found in the bulb beds at the moment....other than green. Like so many of our flower-growing friends, we wait with baited breath for a dose of sunshine to coax our bulbs into bloom. But one brave tulip has decided enough is enough - it’s time to show its true colours. I can’t resist cutting and plopping it straight into the nearest jam jar so that Janet can take it home to watch it unfurl.... she planted the very bulb that this trend-setter sprang from. We haven’t bound it poker-straight - spontaneity wouldn’t allow.
Clem’s GardenThe Wheelbarrow Race. Only two days til #diggerday and Rob and Ann have turned up trumps with their donation of wheelbarrows. They tell me that these are barrows that various builders have left in their garden over the years. They even ended up with an abandoned cement mixer at one stage! 😬. They’ll serve us very well for shifting our compost mountain.
Clem’s Garden Friends Like These. Today was a special day. We welcomed our friends from @transformersnorth back to #ClemsGarden to share their unique and inspiring blend of team work, skills, and focus. If #TransformersNorth is new to you, then we thoroughly recommend you follow them. They are the most brilliant #socialenterprise providing vulnerable adults with training and opportunities to build skills and confidence, through working on projects which enhance indoor and outdoor spaces. We first met back in the autumn when the team came to lend a hand filling our bulb beds with compost and planting out some of our daffs. Today, they made short work of mulching one of the no dig plots and topping up raised beds in the big polytunnel. Kofi got loads of fuss thrown in too! Of course we couldn’t let the crew leave without a bunch of the beautiful flowers they have helped us to grow.
Clem’s GardenThe Pick-Ups. A bunch of blooms in one hand and compost waste boxes in the other. This fantastic customer supports us not just by buying our flowers but by bringing her veg waste and newspaper to add to our compost heap.
Clem’s Garden A Dog Named Bobski....Well, he’s actually called Jasper (it’s a long story); and he, alongside his human mum and feline siblings, kept Lizzie and Vicky company this morning as they dug out a very thoughtful donation of homemade compost from Vanessa’s garden. Thank you so much @vanessalhaley for taking the time to think about how you could help #ClemsGarden, and for your hospitality - the coffees were very welcome 🙂
Clem’s Garden Introducing Ann. As our longest-standing member of Team Clem, we are proud to shine a spotlight her way. Always cheerful and generous with sharing ideas...though she modestly downplays them...she’s a fantastic asset to Clem’s Garden. This week she brought in delicious homemade ginger snaps to share and notes from Gardener’s World on how to get the best from lilac as a cut flower. Even ploughing through repotting 250 chrysanthemum cuttings, that trademark smile is never far away.
Clem’s Garden The Multi-Functional Watering Can. It turns out that people are very particular about methods of watering their seeds and seedlings. With the help of our kind friend @the_nurtured_stem, we will be moving to installing drip tape in the planting beds so that we can have more control over the water our plants get and stand a better chance of moisturising the roots instead of rotting the leaves. We’re experimenting with finding the best ways to water seed trays from the bottom-up too. However, watering cans still play their part in the life of @clemsgarden, and the quest to find a watering can with a fine rose which would please everyone’s tastes was a challenge. In all honesty, the appearance of this petite, lilac number was a classic example of why Vicky should NEVER be allowed to do anything which involves measuring or estimating size; and a bigger version was quickly ordered to mask embarrassment. In fairness, the ‘purple peril’ does make a cracking polytunnel vase (currently storing forget-me-nots to show @steph.world.childless.week ). However, one gardener’s vase is another gardener’s ideal soil soaker, as Jack (all 6ft of him) proved this morning 🙂. He even kept the flowers in!
Clem’s Garden Sweet Pea Bob. It must be 18 months since Vicky went to speak to the Huddersfield Allotments Association to canvas its members about getting involved with nurturing the seed of an idea. That idea has sprouted into what Clem’s Garden is today. It has to be said that it wasn’t the easiest of PR gigs - most of the members turned out to be proud vegetable growers who saw little place for flowers on their precious allotment plots. However, Bob was a welcome flower-growing sympathiser who waxed lyrical about the magic of sweet peas. Today, he made his first visit, armed with homegrown sweet pea plants to donate; and a wealth of knowledge to share.
Clem’s GardenThe Woodchip Wizards. A happy reunion with our friends Sharon and Isaac from @green_tracks, #Wakefield, today. Isaac’s skill and passion for barrowing is the stuff of legends, but his previous bid to help us shift our compost mountain was thwarted by late November snow. With some pathways turning rapidly to quagmire during our soggy spring, we were in desperate need of emergency woodchip spreading. Powered by Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Sharon and Isaac seemed to make easy work of resurfacing the path to our willow and woodland bulb beds. It was great also to have the chance to hand over the super-kind donation of veg seeds from @wellywomanblog. They couldn’t be going to a better home.
Clem’s Garden Community. We were delighted to welcome Presley from #Huddersfield#CommunityPlus this morning. Presley is a man with connections. He’s helping us get the word out in our local community about Clem’s Garden and the volunteering opportunities we have to offer - which frees us up with more time to concentrate on growing flowers 🙂🌸🌼🌺🌻
Clem’s GardenPotting up and potting on. Super-productive morning with Friends of Clem members Joe, Michael, Jenny and Angela this morning. Outside, we’re beginning to look in pretty good shape for #diggerday. The nursery bed has been emptied and the shrubs have been sent to kindergarten so that we can mulch unfettered on Saturday. Meanwhile, in the polytunnel, our calendula seedlings have been potted on to give them extra breathing space and nutrition while we’re waiting for a bit more al fresco warmth.
Clem’s Garden Tucked up. It’s fair to say there are still many plates to spin as we prepare Clem’s Garden for life as a cutting garden. In time, we will have a dedicated rose patch - as our base is Briarcourt, how could we not? But the groundwork and construction for this has ended up sitting behind other tasks within recent rounds of priority-juggling. With new bare root roses collected last weekend, the impetus today for Patrick and Vicky was to give them a good drink and bed them in to their temporary ‘holiday’ accommodation. The polytunnel with its lovely rich new soil should see them right until we’ve built them their ‘forever home’.