Autumn Blog

Tuesday 26th November

I’ve not been able to do so much in the garden this year as mobility problems have made it hard to move easily. I’ve found help from two lovely men from a gardening company. They’ve been able to make lots of changes which I’ve wanted for a long time. Trees and large shrubs have been moved, and with Winter coming on in leaps and bounds, I can safely say the garden is ready to go to sleep until the Spring.

My camelias have been cared for with compost and coffee grounds. This worked well last year. My tree peonies, left to grow tall last year, but then had no buds, has been pruned and I’m hoping for improvement in early summer. My bridal wreath shrub is now in flower for the second time this year. And, my purple penstemon which flowered in May, was cut back as the roots had grown through the pot, has now been divided and planted around the garden - so here’s hoping they will be happy there, and flower next Spring.

By Pat Brain Patron of Southsea Green

Secret Garden at Charmaine Florist

Charmaine shop
Tuesday 19th November

Twas a cold and windy day but we gathered at Kelly’s secret garden, at Charmaine’s Florist, in Albert Road. We were wearing warm clothes, but the event was guaranteed to warm hearts and souls as we prepared to welcome visitors to take part in our coffee morning to raise money for Macmillan.

There were cakes and coffee and a fabulous raffle arranged by the fantastic Irene Strange, with wonderful donations from Albert Rd Traders. Despite the season, the garden was still lovely and green and amazingly long and winding - a great space to enjoy, and as we explored, we discovered the Mimosa tree and my favourite, Pussy Willow.

What a charming place to meet friends, old and new, and £130.was raised for this wonderful cause Well done everyone and our thanks to Charmaine’s florists.

by Peta Sampson

Slimey Worms

Worms in hand
Tuesday 12th November

You slimey worms as through the earth you slither

Sliding, crawling, hither and thither

As you twist, reel and coil

Through the wet and hardened soil

Chewing on old carrot tops

Regurgitating countless flops.

We tend to think of you as awful creatures

Not to heed your good worth features.

Sometimes we think of you with dread

As your slimey skin turns from pink to red.

Then, in the darkness as if lost

You plunder amongst the dirty compost.

But to the gardener’s great help and joy

You break up the earth as you onwards ploy -Enriching, chewing as you go

Fulfilling your tasks as the Lord made you so.

You can help reduce food waste and improve the soil for insects and wildlife by saving your old veg scraps, recycling, and growing more yourself. And we always need help at the community garden to make compost and to keep the garden tidy over winter and prepared for the Spring - If you can help please get in touch Visit our contact page

by our garden poet Irene Strange

‘Stronger Together’

Pears hanging on the tree
Tuesday 5th November

Did you know there are over 3.04 trillion trees on the planet or around 420 trees per person? That’s 3,040,000,000,000. Planted for our future. ‘Tiny seeds, growing tall trees’, like a deep promise. With roots connecting them underground, and to each other, keeping them standing, growing, in tune with each other - we learn from trees, whose leaves help us breathe, their fruit feeds us and our wildlife. Roots soak up floodwater, branches give shelter. They are life savers and must be protected. Hilary Reed cared for trees, she grew pear trees in her Milton garden and dedicated a tree in our community garden for her sister, Alison. Now we give one back to her, to grow, alongside her sisters to remember Hilary, our friend and fellow gardener, sailor, campaigner, bicycle lover. We’ll miss your happy smile and deep roots; your love of colour and equalities, and your essential hopefulness. Sure, your trees will bear fruit just as you always did.

by Sue Stokes
Looking down the garden
Tuesday 22nd October

Rain occasionally called off play at the Southsea Green garden this week, the water-butts are certainly full! Unpredictable weather, synonymous with this golden season, reminds us gardeners that there is only so much we can and should do to control our outside environment. To be reminded there are things we can’t change is humbling and we must learn to work with what we have. There are times when the weather, the plants or even the people let us down. The garden cannot evolve without the hands that nurture and nudge it forward but equally if left untamed it would still be a lovely green space, a refuge for local wildlife.

Compassion, care and support are essential to both the plants and the people in our community. So, ask how someone is, listening to their reply, there are things aside from the weather we can influence in such a positive way. Come join us this Thursday, 10-12pm!

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green

Macmillan Coffee event

fighting over cakes, smiles
Tuesday 15th October

It’s ‘Waterworld’ outside, am thinking, how we can best, all work together? Radio 4’s ‘AnyQuestions’ are talking about ‘net zero emissions’ and asking ‘if the ends justify the means’ in the‘Extinction Rebellion’ campaign, and debating our commitment to climate change action.

7 years ago, we started a Co-operative and a community garden, which we hoped mightbecome a movement for change - growing and buying local, sharing surplus; protecting treesand parks; planting flowers and trees; recycling rainwater; pooling resources; composting; safercycling, cleaner air.... despite support from hundreds of volunteers, and thousands of hoursre-invested, how much has changed? Still a long way to go to make change happen... but,maybe you can help, and be a part of the change that you want to see?

And if you love gardens, come to our Macmillan Coffee event in Charmaine’s florist’s secretgarden, Albert Road, 12.30-2.30pm, October 23rd. For cake, cuppa, and a jolly little raffle:)

by Sue Stokes

Over 60's Event

Tuesday 8th October

What a fabulous turn out we had at the garden for our over 60s event last weekend. The rain held off, the sun occasionally poked its head out for some glorious autumn sunshine and everyone was in such great spirits! Requests for ‘Goff’s cool, casual, courgette and cucumber soup’ often outnumbered mugs and there was a great selection of delicious cakes contributed by some of our wonderful volunteers!

To be amongst friends, old and new provided the atmosphere we love here at Southsea Green. One of community, care and friendship. This event was to welcome the over 60s but on any other day our garden doesn’t ask about your age, or your gardening knowledge or how strong you are. It welcomes all with open arms. We are a supportive unit here at southsea green, come down and see how you can get involved too!

Portsmouth Friends of the Earth

Portsmouth Friends of the Earth

October Newsletter

Read more

Autumn swaying in!

Picture of Southsea Green, bench and garden
Tuesday 1st October

As we sway through autumn and begin to clear the Dig for Victory bed, news reached us that proves what a ‘Victory’ the raised bed has been. Canoe Lake Park won a Silver Gilt award in the large parks category in South East in Bloom! All of us here at Southsea Green are thrilled with the result, it truly is a great reward for the many months of hard work put in by all. Judges noted the bed as a highlight, particularly how we used heritage varieties in our planting scheme, we felt it essential for adding some real authenticity! Going forward from our first entry we are excited to see what the park can achieve next!

The tremendous effort from all our volunteers made this possible, pop down to our over 60s event today at the garden, 12-2pm and see what we’re about, we’d love to get more people involved!

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green

Southsea Green with Irene Strange. Garden Poetry

Red vegetable up close
Tuesday 24th September

Aubergines and Celeriac.

' Dig new potatoes, ' ' Bend your back '.

Peas and beans growing tall

' Stretch your arms ' gathering all.

Tomatoes and Peppers firm and green

Turning red , soon to be seen.

Strong the gardeners as they tend their plots

Sunshine and rain to complete their 'lots'.

There’s plenty to be enjoyed at the garden during this glorious season, please pop down for our over 60s event at the Southsea Green garden in Canoe Lake Park, Saturday Oct 5th 12-2pm. Come and see the many ways you could be involved with us!

By Southsea Green

Looking at the garden from inside the polytunnel
Tuesday 17th September

The gates to the Southsea Green garden, painted by local artist Fark, celebrate a message championed by the late MP Jo Cox, one of peace. We’ve had many joyful designs here over the years and are currently working together to update this vivid entrance to our secret garden. An important part of this update will be the addition of some regular opening times. Whilst you can often find somebody at the garden by chance, we now have two established weekday garden club meet-ups we are excited to share with all who pass by too. Every Tuesday from 11-1pm and every Thursday from 10-12pm, we’ll be at the garden alongside the brilliant Goff Gleadle -what he doesn’t know about growing fruit and veg isn’t worth knowing! If you’re keen to get involved in some gardening, make friends or have ideas to share please do pop along!

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green

A welcoming space

A hand full of vegetables
Monday 9th September

Southsea Green has always been a welcoming space for the local community, young, old and young at heart!

Next month sees the garden join in with Portsmouth City Council’s Over 60’s Festival as we host an event that is sure to bring even more new faces into our lovely green space. From 12-2pm on Saturday 5th Oct we welcome you to join us as we celebrate our harvest! Inspired by the RHS Big Soup Share campaign, there’ll be fabulous soup made with veg grown by volunteers in the garden. There will also be tea, coffee and hopefully plenty of cake! It’s a great chance to get your hands dirty, ask our gardeners questions, chat and make friends. We understand the importance of feeling part of something bigger here at Southsea Green, to feel vital, connected and rewarded is an important part of our wellbeing whatever our age. Come and join us!

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green

Autumn gliding in

Sunlight beaming through red leaves
Tuesday 3rd September

As we move into September, and therefore into the new season we definitely sense the opportunity to pause and reflect on a fantastically vibrant Summer here at Southsea Green. Our Dig For Victory bed, built in partnership with Portsmouth City Council is quietening down now after being a great success. Engaging young and old, it gave people the chance to ask about growing veg and to share memories of Canoe Lake Park from days gone by. Seeing children pulling carrots and potatoes from the ground like buried treasure brought a smile to many faces and hopefully planted a seed in the mind that growing your own is worthwhile on so many levels.

Now that Autumn glides in with all the colour and light we adore, take the chance to stop and absorb that beauty. There’ll always be more to do, but let's not fall into glorifying being busy, it’s probably best to leave that to the bees!

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green