Churchyard Update (31/1)

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

The scaffolding is rising steadily and smoothly. Its perimeter metal fence will give way to corrugated iron before too long, allowing more access to the main churchyard.

Meanwhile, we are preparing for a drainage ditch to be dug along Vinegar Alley, behind the Cherry trees. This will take out the two large beds we have made, temporarily, before we replant them.

Last week we moved about a third of the plants to a new bed near the Garden of Remembrance.

This week we will move more to other areas, including the far reaches of the Old churchyard. While the weather is relatively mild, February is a good time to move plants which are hardy. I half expect a severe frost or snow, so best to move plants while we can. There are lots of bulbs still to emerge and it is less than ideal to move them now, but we will try.

Path mowing in Vinegar Alley should happen this week, encouraging more access. Several early Primrose, Hellebore, Crocus and Snowdrop are worth seeing in that area.

Quotation of the Week

“May I walk every day on the banks of the water, may my soul rest on the branches of the trees which I planted, may I refresh myself under the shadows of my sycamore.” -Egyptian tomb inscription, c.1400 BC

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:

How to Make a Meadow (However Small Your Patch): Saturday 12 February 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Volunteer Times

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

Tuesdays: 1pm to 3.30pm

Wednesdays: 1pm to 4pm

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 2022 

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


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