As mentioned below progress with What Will The Harvest Be? is proving VERY slow at present, so l really enjoyed catching Richard Reynold's talk at Broadway Bookshop this week. Seeing the very immediate and fresh efforts of other gardeners who are in contact with him from around the globe was quite uplifting.
If all else fails with Abbey Gardens perhaps the residents should just adopt the Guerrilla approach and get on with it!
In return for the free sunflower seeds he gave us (which personally I've never been keen on but I can see they are ideal for this type of gardening) I just emailed a link to the Plaistow Landgrabbers (who inspired our project) and of course offered some of our own wild flower seeds gathered last summer.
His book,website and seed packets all look great so you won't be surprised to hear that his 'day job' is in advertising!
It seems the only thing to be moving at the moment with Abbey Gardens is my growing seedling collection outside the bedroom window!
The actual project progress seems to be frozen in a horrible limbo - this, it seems, is caused by the soil remediation report (or lack of report) which we have been waiting weeks and weeks for. Even when this does come back we still have to wait for the suggested action plan and see how this impacts on the design for the Harvest Garden.
In extreme brief the soil on the site is polluted (which we always knew) but now the council have to find out exactly how polluted and how this can be put right. The Harvest Garden was designed with remediation in mind (raised beds at different heights for edible and non-edible plants etc.) but we had to do this before the reports etc. were available.
Anyway the waiting is all very tedious and frustrating as we inch nearer and nearer to the start of the growing season proper.
On a more positive note we have now secured funding for the site from the councillors 'Local Fund' and the application I drafted with the friends group to Community Spaces has got through stage one, and we now have the help of an advisor with stage two. Karen has also submitted an Arts Council application which we'll hear about very soon - so all fingers crossed.
On July 26th 2009 Karen opens her Lake District garden - Lawson Park - again for the NGS, here's the info complete with pics