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Posts from ‘June, 2011’

Horwich Harvest Open Day Sat 16th July 2011

Horwich HarvestOpen_Day_2011 Want to ‘cultivate’ an interest in gardening, but don’t know where to begin? Thanks to the National Lottery Local Food fund, we have plots available for experienced and beginners alike, there are no charges for our plots, all you need is enthusiasm! Come and have a look around our Community Allotment and whilst [...]

Vegan Organic Network AGM/Garden Party 9th July 2011

Vegan Organic Network (VON) We are holding our AGM, with a garden party in Blackrod this year. Once the AGM business is out of the way, we will be sharing food (please bring vegan food to share, and try samples sent to us by companies such as alpro). There will also be plenty of [...]

Suburban Permaculture in Horwich

Suburban Permaculture in Horwich

A 1996 urban 3 bed, plus loft conversion, semi detached house.

After attending a Permaculture course in 2011 Vicky decided to make the front lawn the start of a Permacuture project for the whole house.

· Modern estate build on playing fields between a cricket club and town park.
· The front garden measures 2m x 4.4m, 31.68m sq (341 sq ft) has a 7/8 degree slope and aspect SE so has a lot of daytime sun.
· Top end of lawn has a tendency to dry out in hot weather.
· Wind from SW, houses act as a windbreak so quite a sheltered garden.
· Water currently collected in 2 x 220L rain barrels in back garden.


· Lawn with clumps of white clover and dandelions, occasional thistle.
· Swedish Whitebeam tree with shrubs around the base.
· Raspberry canes in boarded between neighbours lawn, not a suitable place as they have a tendency to spread.
· Not much time spent in the front unless talking to neighbours or mowing the lawn.


· A low maintenance garden with bee, bird, creature loving plants that are edible or have medicinal properties.
· Something that other people can see, benefit from and maybe transform their own lawn into an edible growing space.

First stage

· Design idea, then measuring the site and transferring this to graph paper to see how everything would fit.
· Using string to map out the paths gave me a good idea that the measurements would work ok.
· First the sun made the ground too hard to work and then rain for weeks encouraged the grass to grow covering my design. Tried covering with black weed suppressant fabric to hold back the growth, this didn’t work at all as the cover wasn’t close enough to the soil and the grass carried on growing.
· Had to wait for dry weather, remove string and mow the grass.
· In the meantime made a Base Map so that I could plot suitable plants for the space, realised that although this is useful to me, the initial plan & base map should have been draw with North at the top!
· Sourced materials for path, initially would have liked brick as the house is made of brick but was offered broken York stone flags for free.
· Waited for some rain to soften the ground and cut out the shape of the paths.
· Ordered seeds, Roman Chamomile & Creeping Thyme to grow between broken paving slabs, ground covers – clover, Limnanthes, lupin and perennial veg, Good King Henry and sea kale. Ordered a few perennial herb plants, Corsican mint, marjoram, fennel, balm, sage, bergamot, welsh onion, French oregano. Plus some rosemary, oregano and lavenders given to me by neighbours.
· Removed turfs of grass and used to start making the mounded raised beds, once all paths were in place 4 of the 7 planned beds where almost ready.
· Emptied the good compost from the bin in the back garden. Bought in 1 ton top soil – (not very much), some of which was spread over compost on top of the turf beds, foraged some mulch from local forest.
· Used compost, top soil and mulch to make 5th bed.
· Started to plant annual veg plants that I had already started, brassicas, chard, leeks, cucumber and some squash seeds. Used some Roman Chamomile & Creeping Thyme in path.
· Problems started to arise from soil erosion on the mounded beds, which covered some of the paving areas that had been planted with seed. Some paths became quite muddy when it rained.
· Placed forest mulch on top of beds around plants to help keep in the moisture and stop erosion.

Site analysis – Early Summer

· Tree gives dappled shade in the morning on the centre bed, heavier shade by midday for a couple of hours.
· Raised beds give shade to north west side nearest to paths.
· South sides of beds will be good for tender plants
· Stone stays warm helping to generating a micro climate
· Plants could get waterlogged next to paths which collect rainwater and slow to drain.

Inputs 2011
· Time approx 10 hours plus design time
· £30 in top soil
· £60 plants & seeds

Next stage (year 2)
Features of Garden

Cycle Training for Adults in Bolton

 I am sure that many people would like to change their transportationm methods to cycling….. if only they felt a bit more comfortable and confident about riding on our roads. Also there will be some folk regularly using bikes who are good road users and qualified and experienced drivers, but who would benefit from a [...]

L I B Y A . . has the last of the light sweet crude oil – forget saudi

Even though Libya’s production has fallen from 1.7 million bbls/d to a mere 200,000 bbls/d, the Saudis capacity that will help make up the difference isn’t exactly the same. Libya’s production is light, sweet crude with an American Petroleum Institute (API) gravity of about 380. The API gravity tells us how heavy or light the [...]

A Sustainable Future for Bolton

Hello, Transition Town Bolton and Bolton College would like to invite you to a friendly, informal link-up meeting at Bolton College, Deane Road, room A1.30b on Thursday 7th July, 6.30-8.30 p.m. Transition Town Bolton is a group which aims to raise public awareness of the challenges of peak oil and climate change, and to foster [...]