Churchyard Update (17/11)

By Tim Hewitt, St Mary’s Head Gardener/ Community Gardener

This week we start the main phase of bulb planting. There are two large areas (along the railings in front of The Welcome Centre and near the noticeboard) which will be prepared and then planted with bulbs. On Thursday we welcome volunteers from Maximus UK, who will be working on these areas.

It will not have escaped your notice that work has started on the church building redevelopment. They have made a great start and we will be working with them to minimise waste of materials from the project. Already, woodchip and useful topsoil have been set aside for us. We will also be looking at suitable trees to plant in order to replace the one which was felled. It seems to me that Horse Chestnuts are so disfigured by ‘leaf miner’ insects that alternative trees must be found.

This week is the best for autumn leaf colour so far. Take a moment to appreciate that as you pass by. Also, see if you can spot the male sparrowhawk, seen in the churchyard last week.

Quote of the Week

“Never buy cheap collections of bulbs, but go to a good bulb man, and pay a fair price. Good bulbs have a firm feeling about them. Don’t buy bulbs from firms who advertise flagrantly.” -The Garden for Expert and Amateur, circa 1920

Workshops at St Mary’s

I am planning a series of two-hour paid workshops, bookable on Eventbrite, costing £35. There will be 10 spaces for each workshop. While many of our offerings will be free over the next several years as part of our National Lottery-funded ‘Creative Church’ regeneration project and activities, these will not be part of my Lottery-funded sessions, but might be of interest to the congregation and local community. They will all take place in the churchyards and the St Mary’s Welcome Centre.

Upcoming workshops:

Volunteer Times

St Mary’s offers weekly supervised volunteering in the churchyard at these times:

Tuesdays: 1pm to 3.30pm
Wednesdays: 9am to 12pm
Thursdays: 1pm to 4pm
Fridays: 1pm to 4pm

There’s no need to book; just turn up, preferably with your own gloves. Tools and expert instruction will be provided!

Burials in Bloom 2021-22 

Dozens of local people have adopted a grave to plant around and care for; if you would like to adopt a grave that’s currently not visited or looked after, contact me at