Now that the windmill’s restoration is nearly complete, the Friends of Windmill Gardens are working hard to improve the surrounding park to provide a suitable setting.
On Saturday morning five volunteers from the Friends planted up a new herb garden in a disused sandpit in the children’s playground. Veolia gardeners from Lambeth Council had prepared and delivered two planters to sit behind the bed. They had filled both of them and also the old sandpit with lovely topsoil. They brought all the cuttings that had been prepared by the Friends and over-wintered at the Brockwell Community Greenhouses.
At 10 o’clock five Friends started marking out the bed and sorting out the herbs to plant according to the detailed design that had been drawn up by herbalist Sarah Rubalcava. They were soon joined by several children.
We marked out an S-shaped path which divides the bed into four sections: herbs for the skin, herbs that help respiration, herbs that aid digestion and herbs that are good for genito-reproductive conditions. Many of the herbs also have culinary uses as well as medicinal and will attract wildlife – butterflies and bees.
While we were planting more Friends arrived who had been alerted to the event by the discussions on Radio London earlier about the windmill and the herb planting activity.
Everyone was very grateful when the Friends’ PR manager Nancy Platts arrived with cakes for everyone working hard on the planting.
At the end of the session, after extensive watering, we put up temporary netting to allow the plants to settle in and develop their root systems. The netting will be removed before 2 May and is only there to prevent the young plants being damaged by stray footballs, dogs and foxes!
If you missed this planting session, we will be planting heritage wheat behind the windmill next Saturday 16 April at 10.30am. Come along and join the fun! You don’t need any special equipment – just wear sensible shoes.