Garden

Outdoor Activities

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We are fortunate to have a large garden in the centre of Leek, which is popular with visitors in spring, summer and autumn.  The terrace allows al fresco eating and drinking and overlooks one of two spacious lawns.

Children are particularly welcome to run around and explore, although we do ask parents or carers to keep an eye on them and encourage them to respect the plants and wildlife.  Dogs are also welcome.

Plant Share and Earthworm Watch

Despite the rain, the Plant Share saw many plants exchanged and lots of donations coming to the Foxlowe.  All the leftover hardy plants  have been left on a wooden tray on the patio in front of the dancing railings.  They are available for anyone who would like them to take away in exchange for a donation.  This can be handed in at the cafe or left in one of the donation boxes (beside the inside front door and in the bar).  We will keep the tender plants in greenhouses for a while longer and put them out in June.

On the day we had enthusiastic young volunteers to help with our Citizen Science earthworm count.  Our experiment was testing the hypothesis that earthworms like soil better if it has compost materials above it than if the surface is bare.  Their expert counting recorded 35 worms under soil that had been covered by Foxlowe veg peelings for a month and only 9 under the surface that had been left bare.  We will be sending the results into the Natural History Museum to add to their data collected from elsewhere.  Many thanks to all involved.

 

 

Citizen Science in the Foxlowe garden

The Gardeners have launched a Citizen Science project in the garden as part of the Natural History Museum’s Earthworm Watch.

Join us at the Plant Share from 11 – 12 noon to explore the Foxlowe Garden and find out how to get involved!

The earthworm experiment was started at the April Seed Share, when we covered one site with vegetable peelings (from the Café kitchen) and left the other bare (control).  We will be digging down to see which site the worms prefer and what sort of worms are there.  For the survey we’ll be digging under different types of garden surface (grass, bare soil, plants, layer of comfrey leaves) to see which type the worms like best. No need to bring tools, just be prepared to get your hands dirty!

There will also be the chance to win a very special Misco chocolate lolly by guessing the number of brandling worms in a jar of compost.  The winners will be those whose guesses are closest to the number we’ve counted into the jar.

Anyone who would like to join us will be very welcome.

Apple Fest

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The Apple Fest saw 110 bottles of scrummy additive-free juiced though communal effort on a beautiful autumn day in the garden.  Visitors were kept fortified with lots of different apple cakes,  local award-winning cider from Congleton Community Co-op and heritage apples from the National Fruit Collection in Kent. These are exceptional apples that can’t be easily bought elsewhere.

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Leftover apples and cider are now available for sale in the café and bar.

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A day of Cake at the Foxlowe

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Leek’s increasingly popular Food & Drink Festival filled the town this Saturday (19th March), reportedly bringing incoming traffic to a standstill on occasions.  The Foxlowe Café played its part, providing a seemingly endless supply of Lemon Drizzle cake as part of the Great Leek Bake-off in addition to countless coffees, lunches and afternoon teas.

The Foxlowe Garden team, who are celebrating International Year of Pulses, arranged their Seed Swap to coincide with the event and contributed to the cake fest with a range of cakes made from pulses.   Thanks to Penny, Jane and Alison who made them and also to the lovely people who brought seeds to share and/or left donations.  Leftover seeds will go to the next seed swap, which will take place on Saturday, 9th April.  Continue reading →

Christmas Wreath Workshop

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Christmas greenery supplied by the garden and volunteer donors filled the upstairs workroom on Sunday, 6th December, while enthusiastic participants made their own unique wreaths to celebrate the festive season.  Continue reading →

Bird Box Donation

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Volunteers Brian Hill (on left) and Nigel Williams prepare to install a nesting box kindly donated to the garden by Brian.

Apple Trees

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Lots of helpers, of all ages, turned out on Saturday, 28th November, to help plant our six apple trees.  Many thanks to all of them and also to the lovely people who sponsored the trees. Continue reading →

Foxlowe gardener’s talk about soils and sustainability

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The talk (Why on Earth should we care about soils?) delivered as part of the Foxlowe Talks programme on Wed 21st October, received an enthusiastic response.

To answer some of the questions that followed, here are some relevant links: Continue reading →

Apple Fest 2015

Fresh, foraged fruit with fun at the Foxlowe.

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Apple juice
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Lots of people came to celebrate the apple at Apple Fest 2015 and the sun shone all day.  What could be better?

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