This morning I made my way to Thames View Community Garden to volunteer - to do what? I did not know...until I got there :) The garden is a piece of waste land behind the Sue Bramley Centre and next to Thames View Infants school and I wasn't too sure what too expect as I haven't been there since it was turned over to the community for a garden. I was quite amazed at all the raised beds made with railway sleepers - there must have been at least ten. Each bed has been given to a different group of the community so I helped Hazel and six members of Panda class from Thames View Infants plant out their raised bed. I took this photo after all the children had left - there were children from the Infants and Junior school and Sue Bramley Children Centre as well as Police Cadets and also some gentleman from the council plus a young man from Home Base. Home Base had donated quite a lot of flowers and this young man was busy planting them out into various raised beds.
Our finished bed with elephant watering cans.. As I helped to dig and plant it gave me an opportunity to chat to the youngesters (age 7) and I discovered that they all lived in flats and none had access to a garden. One little boy held up his flower and said to me 'Miss this is the first time I've planted anything' and the smile on his face said it all. As they left the garden another chappie said to Joyce (organizer of the community garden) 'Thank you for having us I've had such a wonderful time'. After they had left Joyce and I looked at each with tears in our eyes - no words were needed.
When I got home I had a cuppa with Nigel then went for a stroll in Mayesbrook Park - before most of it is closed for the Olympics. This is the new sports centre, which has recently been built and of which Karl is a member; however, during July and August no member of the public will be able to use as it will be used by the athletics training for the Olympics.
Large areas of the park have been turned into natural habitat areas to encourage 'Flora & 'Fauna' and on a sunny day, as today, it does look quite pretty with long grass in various areas next to running streams and lakes.
It appears to be working and it was lovely to see wild poppies and other wild flowers being allowed to grow undisturbed and there were also alot of butterflies. I snapped this little cabbage butterfly as he came down for a rest.
This evening I shall be attending the Green-Finger Gardening Club in Dagenham and the guest speaker is Lawrence Hobbs and his topic is 'Knowing Your Orchids'. If you read my post yesterday you will know that this very applicable to me at the moment as I endeavour to keep my one Orchid plant alive..
Also I have been invited on to the steering group for 'Revamp the Ripple', which is a nature reserve near George Carey Primary School (for which I am a Governor and Chaplain) plus on Thursday I will be meeting Francesca (London Wildlife) for a Butterfly Transect Walk and this is taking place at the Nature Reserve.
So today really has been a day about Gardens, a park and a nature reserve. I am always amazed as to how my days vary so much - tomorrow it is Coffee and Chat, then off to Barking Riverside Office for a presentation from The Frederick Handley-Page Association followed by a pastoral visit in the afternoon - the evening is still available to anyone?