It has been another wonderfully busy year in Eashing Cemetery Community Garden and Orchard. We have held lots of community planting days, volunteer days, and our absolute joy – working with children to make their local green space more beautiful and biodiverse.

Hedges

We planted two new hedges, a Golden Privet and a Beech hedge. It is so important to plant hedges, they provide a vital habitat and food source for so many creatures – butterflies dormice, bank voles, harvest mice, hedgehogs, bats and birds all benefit.

On a very wet day, four of us planted 20 beech whips in seriously squelchy mud.

On a much sunnier day, the Guides dug a trench and planted a privet hedge. The Ligustrum units had been saved from another site where they were dug up and discarded. So not only have they created a new hedge, the girls saved some well established hedge plants.

In the 50 years following the end of world war two, it’s estimated that a quarter of a million miles of hedgerow were removed. So we are planting new ones for the future. These hedges once established will create a much needed wildlife corridor for the local insects, minibeasts, birds and larger animals that use the garden and wider green space. And it will grow alongside the children who planted it.

Corporate days

It has been so much fun working with corporate groups at the garden. Thakeham Homes have had two great volunteer days with us. The first, in summer weather, we built an accessible raised bed with materials donated by AVS fencing. The video shows what a fun day it was.

We also had a gardening day with a larger group of Thakeham Home volunteers. On a colder, wetter day, the team dug a huge trench for the beech hedge, planted and staked a rowan tree, weeded, deadheaded plants, trimmed hedges, repositioned plants and generally cleared the area. We were delighted to be hosted by St Mark’s church next door for tea and warmth as the volunteer day fell on the same day as their warm spaces day.

The young gardeners

We have being doing lots more with the local Rainbows, Brownies and Guide groups as well as school classes from St Mark and All Saints School. All the children from Key Stage 2 came to the garden to plant daffodil bulbs. We planted so many, come spring, the cheerful bright yellow flowers will be a sight to behold!

Thanks to funding from Voluntary Action South West Surrey, we took a group of Rainbows, Brownies and Guides to Wisley. It was a fabulous day walking around the entire garden.

It also provided us with inspiration for what we can plant, both at the garden and in the outside area of the guide hut. We are holding a Bring a Neighbour day there in February to help prepare the ground for planting. Join us!

Orchard trail contiues

On a windy, wet day in November six exotic fruit trees were planted, including mulberry, quince and figs next to the Muslim Burial Area. This is the third year of planting and also included a row of five apple trees. Claire from COPSE always brings the most delicious warm mulled apple juice and homemade apple cake.

Christmas wreath making

We held a lovely event at the end of 2023, a Christmas wreath making workshop at the local Guide hut. So many of the local wreath making sessions are unaffordable to a lot of people. So we invited people who live close to the garden to come along to make their wreaths with friends, family and neighbours for only a £5 donation to the garden. It was made possible again from funding from Voluntary Action South West Surrey.

And the results were so gorgeous! If you want to keep up to date with the events at Eashing Cemetery Community Garden and Orchard, follow the garden on Facebook or email francesca@rootsforthefuture.co.uk to be added to the email list.