Weekly Churchyard Update (20/10)

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

Falling light levels (rather than temperatures) have slowed any growth and started leaf fall. There is still a lot of moving to do: plants, pots and overgrown areas. We may start on new a new area for bulbs and a meadow this week.

It was nice to put a stylish bird box made from old pew dividers up in one of the ash trees opposite the Welcome Centre. Local craftsman, Alexis, made it for us (I’ve included a photo below). Prior to the building work on the church starting, the 100-year-old pew dividers, which are made of oak, had to be removed. Too good to waste, this wood has been handed to local craftspeople like Alexis to use. If you would like a birdhouse similar to the one below, let me know and I’ll put you in touch with Alexis.

As a church, we are also collaborating with local people to use some of the extra church wood from the old pews and kneelers to build planters to put in a barren spot of the Welcome Centre car park (I’ve included a photo of our first planter below).

The final big show of the year is hardy Chrysanthemums, which will be emerging this week on the South Bed, while everything around them is pulled out. Nerine undulata, in the exotic pot display, are having their best year ever.

Quote of the Week

Thanks to Will for lending me the bound 1896/7 edition of Gardening Illustrated. It is a goldmine of curious advice, such as the reply to a question about window boxes below:

“A sunny window may now be devoted to raising seedlings of tender annuals. I need not enumerate them. Just sow the ones you want to and treat them in a common sense way” –Gardening Illustrated, March 1896

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.

Paid workshops confirmed so far:

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 tim@stmaryswalthamstow.org.