Syon Lane Community Allotment is a strip of land next to Syon Lane train station in west London, which had been unused for 20 years until a group of sustainable agriculture enthusiasts were offered it on loan for 3 years. We have re-opened it as a forest garden and permaculture demonstration centre, a growing space for local schools and also an outdoor area for arts and crafts.
Open days are every Sunday from 12pm, and admission is free.
You are invited to come and join us as we begin the rousing work of spring at Syon Lane Community Allotment. We have a huge variety of wierd and wonderfull seeds to try out this year, and we will be sowing into small pots and filling up the greenhouse and polytunnel to birsting point. There will be outdoor sowing happenning in the market garden too, but please feel free to come and join us just for a cup of tea and to enjoy the garden. We’ll arrange a communal meal for everyone at around 2pm. Everything is free of charge.
As you can see from this beautiful blossom that we spotted on Sunday! With spring well on the way now, we’re planning for 2013 at Syon Lane. Wild winter weather has had an impact on the site, and we need to have a general tidy-up and repair our poor old polytunnel, which has taken a bit of a battering over the last few months.
If you’d like to come along and give us a hand (or even just say hello and have a cuppa), we’re open every Sunday from 12pm, and everyone is welcome!
Good News! We have been granted another growing season at Syon Lane community allotment in 2013. If you don’t have a plot there and would like one please contact me before spring (07905283114).
Thankyou to everyone who has been involved over the last few years, please keep on coming over and sharing in the abundance.
Happy solstice and christmas!
A big thank you to everyone who visited us last Saturday for the Edible Gardens Open Day and Harvest Festival – it was lovely to meet you all on such a beautiful late summer afternoon! Here are a few photos from the day (more photos below)….
As you can see from the photo, we’ve won a Green Flag Community Award! The Green Flag Award website explains that this is:
a national award that recognises high quality green spaces in the UK that are managed by voluntary and community groups. The Award is part of the Green Flag Award® scheme, the national standard for quality parks and green spaces.
Some thoughts on the Sycamore tree and other invasive species:
Invaders must die:
Mention the word sycamore to almost any conservationist or woodland manager and you will find they have a very low opinion of this tree. They will tell you how rampant it is, swamping our native species with its rocket-like growth and unstoppable breeding, and that we need to cut down as many as possible and replace them with oak and beech. Mention something like Himalayan Balsam or Japanese Knotweed and you will get a similar response; it must be eradicated! “Balsam bashing” – waking the poor plants with sticks before they go to seed – has become a popular activity among conservation groups all over the country. Ecologists talk about the urgency of these issues in terms which suggest that if we don’t control these species they will completely take over, and we’ll all be living in a jungle of Japanese Knotweed, even though a recent report put the cost of eradicating the stuff in the UK at around £1.6 billion.
I have previously tended to go along with this way of thinking, believing that the best thing for Britain’s ecology is to return to the relatively balanced state it was in about a thousand years ago, and for that state to be guarded fiercely against floral invasion. However, having experienced living in woodland and wasteland populated by these species for the last few years I have come to see a more complex picture. The fact is time doesn’t go backwards in ecology. There is no way that things will ever return to the way they were. The question is: where is our ecosystem going?
These raised beds are cheap and simple to make and effective to use; we have a number of them of varying sizes at Syon Lane. They are particularly useful if your soil or ground is not ideal for the plants you wish to grow. All you need is a pallet (in this case, one 1.85 metres square. It can help to have a spare pallet to hand too, in case any of the planks in the first one splinter beyond use as you dismantle it), a hammer, a saw (and a drill, if needed), manure, topsoil, compost – and, of course, whatever plants or seeds you’d like to grow in your raised bed! Here’s how our volunteer Sam did it: