Newsletter Number 4

We welcome news items, please send to This blog-page will be sent on 27/11/2015, and Newsletter Number 5 will follow on 11/12/2015, the deadline for items to include being 9/12/2015).

The SLI Annual Report for 2014-15 has just been published on our website – comments and feedback are welcome …

Annual Report 2014-15 Dates for the diary

What’s been happening

What to do now


logo-growwilduk-comThe Grow For ItAwards

An opportunity for a grant from Kew (Royal Botanic Gardens): if you have a community-based wildflower-related project in mind, follow this picture-link.


image1Pictures of Nick Winn, water engineer, connecting the tanks to deliver rain water for delivery to dip tanks.

Click on the picture (and keep clicking) to see what happened…





Building the new tool-shed

Building the new tool-shed

The build continues despite weather conditions.



Training Day 11November 14th 2015

Gardening With Nature”, with George Ishmael

George discussed our climate here in Norfolk and Norwich. Very dry, almost drought (official definition) conditions.

Male Oedemera nobilis, False Oil Beetle, Thick-Legged Flower Beetle, Swollen-Thighed Beetle

Thick-Legged Flower Beetle on Ox-eye Daisy (Photo Jim) Click to book training courses.


And went on to explain how the large fields and intensive farming of our area is not an ideal habitat for wild life. There are more insects, small creatures and greater diversity in the smaller fields in the west of the country.

He gave us ideas of how to work with nature, in an organic way, to grow plants that like the dry conditions.

The training was held at the Community Centre, as the day was cold and wet.

A walk was taken to see the Wild Flower Border at the Garden. George explained his ideas behind the planning, and how it has proceeded so far, and what he expects in the future.

The walk was followed by a delicious lunch, provided by Amy and Mahesh, of food grown at the Gardens.

The group enjoyed the session and left with a native strawberry or ox-eye daisy.
George Ishmael is an Environmental Scientist and a Chartered Landscape Architect, he designed the layout of the Marlpit Community Garden.



Click here to see all Sophie’s photos of this training session.

Here is George explaining to the group about management of the wild flower border that he planted at Marlpit Community Garden last year.

Photos by Sophie

Overwintering Vegetables at GO2 BluebellBluebell-members

There are a couple of weeks left to plant overwintering vegetables before the weather gets colder, Broad Beans and Onions are available in the Green shed, the Garlic is finished now but can be planted in spring, anyone who has missed out this Autumn please let me know and more can be ordered for spring planting.

icon-onions-guideicon-broad-beans-guideInformation on how to plant the broad beans and  onions is available on the website, in the Green Shed and in the Planting Manual.


MCG Winter planting MCG-button-logo-icon

Broad beans, garlic and onions are available in the container at Marlpit Community Garden.


Newsletter Number 3

Tasks for November (advice on what might need doing on your plot)

Dates for the Diary

Sunday 15th November – Composting at Bluebell South
Tuesday 17th November – Tree-planting at Marlpit
Saturday 28th November – Ricardo’s Masterclass
Saturday 28th November – Tree-planting at Marlpit
Saturday 19th December – Christmas Meal

Bluebell News

November Food Share
Land and Water Update at Bluebell South

MCG News

Pots at MCG
Pond Life at MCG
1,500 Bulbs planted
Pumpkin Day (with spiders)
Tree planting
MCG Birds


10th November 2015

Chris and Teresa planting trees

Tuesday turned out to be a lovely mild day for the group that gathered to plant trees round the borders of Marlpit Community Garden. They were “whips” donated by the Woodland Trust. One team concentrated on clearing undergrowth and planting a mixture of hawthorns, rowans and cherry trees. Others focused on clearing round previously planted trees and planting dogwood near the entrance. We also have hazel trees to join those already established at the far end of the site and birches that we can use to start a small birch grove.

After a busy morning the group enjoyed a relaxing meal.
A welcome lunch break




SATURDAY 28TH NOVEMBER (On this day please bring a dish to share)


Cardboard needed for mulching in the Forest Garden at Marlpit Community
Garden. If you have non-shiny cardboard please bring it along after 10am
on a Tuesday or Saturday morning. Thank you.


Birds of Marlpit Community Garden November 2015

The autumn migration has now nearly completed, with a fieldfare being spotted flying over the Garden. These northern thrushes, about the size of a large blackbird, visit us for the winter, having migrated here from their breeding grounds in northern Europe. They can be recognised by their characteristic “chack chack chack” call.


Can you name these four thrush species? Click for the answer.

Robins are now singing from the hedgerow on the southern boundary of the Garden. Unlike most birds, robins sing all the year round, and in the autumn the females sing as well as the males, with the aim of the song being to warn off other robins, as robins are fiercely territorial, with the red breast acting as a warning sign, so much so that they will attack anything of a red colour, even a bunch of feathers. Robins will often come and pick up insects and worms which are disturbed by someone digging. This contrasts with their behaviour in much of continental Europe, where they are a shy woodland bird.
Wrens have also been singing from the hedgerow. They are another bird which also sings all year round, with their songs being surprisingly loud for so small

A Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes

A Wren, Troglodytes troglodytes

a bird. Although they are one of the commonest British birds, they are not seen all that often because they are so secretive. Perhaps you will spot one foraging in bushes close to the ground if you observe carefully.
Jays are busy collecting acorns to bury in the ground to tide them over the winter. The oak trees which produce the acorns are spread by animals such as jays and squirrels which bury them and then forget where they have left them, so the acorn can then grown into a new tree.

Magpies and jackdaws have been feeding in the horses’ field, often probing in the dung for beetles, for which the dung is a good source of food. The horses are a useful source of manure, which provides nutrients for the organic gardening we practice at the Garden as we don’t use any artificial fertilisers.


Chris Keene

Food event

Ricardo’s Masterclass at Marlpit Community Centre – Saturday 28th November 2015


About a dozen would-be chefs gathered at the Marlpit Community Centre to learn the tricks of the trade from Ricardo, our resident professional. We cooked four dishes: tortillas de patatas (potato omelette to you); spinach and ricotta ravioli; kale gnocchis; and to round it off – sensational sopaipillas with panela – pumpkin and flour patties deep fried with a sweet orange sauce. Yum!

Rochelle Wilson

Click here to see the recipes.

Compost at GO2 Bluebell SouthGO2-button-logo-icon-32x24

We are having a general tidy up of the composting areas from 10am on Sunday 15th November. Please feel free to lend a hand even if you are not in the composting team. If you could spare an hour or two it would be much appreciated.

 A note from Juyna
2015-11-01 13.39
“On a gloriously sunny day we had a lovely food share in October. Thought you’d like this photo.”



(Jim says, “Click on photos – see more…”)

Land and water update


November Food Share

It was really nice to meet greet and chat with a few of the team who came to the food share. It was good to hear your ideas especially booking one food share for a general tidy and clearance session around strips. I’ll get that in the diary. Give me your suggested date/s for the cleanup. Remember choose from first Sundays.

Tidy tools

Tidy tools

Water supply.
The large tanks are being drained this week in preparation for grey water connection.
Help will be needed to clean guttering which will direct rain water from the centre building to the tanks. This is pencilled in for Sunday but has yet to be confirmed.

The Team.
There are members of the team I have yet to meet. Please make your self known to me by emailing but better tell me when you are going to your allotment as I may be able to come to you. Text 07766032098


Pond Life at Marlpit Community Garden

filling the pond-20150515

Filling the pond in May 2015

The pond we dug in February (and filled in May) near to the bee sanctuary in Marlpit Forest Garden has been attracting wild life all summer.
Bees, wasps and butterflies have been seen drinking the water, dragonflies hovering above it and water boatmen swimming through the water weed.DSCN1951-pond
Frogs and toads, big and small, have been seen in and around the pond and baby newts were found there in October, showing that we have created an environment where they can breed successfully.


This frog posed for his photo last week.




Mark Sorrell planting bulbs


Crocus vernus var. “Cream Beauty”

Volunteers at Marlpit Community Garden planted 1,500 crocus bulbs on Tuesday 3rd November. The bulbs, 1000 tommasinius and 500 cream beauty were chosen as being particularly appealing to bees and will provide our honey bees with nectar and pollen on warm days in early spring. Most of the bulbs were planted near to the bee sanctuary and others will brighten up the entrance to the garden.


Crocus tommasinianus (Woodland Crocus, Tommasini’s Crocus, early crocus)



Our new plot at Marlpit Community Garden – October 2015

Just wanted to say a big “Thank you for having us!”
We had so much fun on our new plot!

Before the Beaman family started on their new plot

Before we started on our new plot

After the Beaman family had dug their new plot

After the Beaman family had dug their new plot

We spent few hours with the children couple of weeks ago (when we first got it) – we dug it all up and planted out blueberry bush at the end .
And now it is all ready for planting!

The Beamans

Pumpkin Day 2015 at Marlpit

Mahesh with a barrow-load of pumpkins

Mahesh with a barrow-load of pumpkins

Pumpkin day on 31st October at Marlpit Community Garden was celebrated by children’s activities based around Halloween and a delicious meal made from our own seasonal produce.

Mahesh was at the garden early to harvest pumpkins, potatoes and squashes.

Pumpkins and "messy play"

Jana Hrusovska organised activities for children including messy pumpkin play, potato cut printing, making outsize spiders, face painting and a nature trail.

A pumpkin and our Nature Trail game

Jana’s Nature Trail game

A number of children with their parents dropped in during the morning and had a great time trying out the different games. Click here to see more photos.

Some visitors explored the garden and watched our bees busily bringing home nectar and pollen from the late flowering ivy.


Pumpkin curry - made by Mahesh and Rochelle

Pumpkin curry – made by Mahesh and Rochelle

It was a short walk to the Marlpit Community Centre to sample the pumpkin curry, rice and chips that Mahesh and Rochelle had cooked from our own home grown produce.

Pumpkin home for spiders

“Pumpkin à l’araignée “