Autumn 2020

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Trees covered in snow

From all of us at Southsea Green hope you have have a peaceful and healthy Christmas. It may feel like things couldn’t be more upside down than they have been this year but we can find deep comfort in knowing that through nature’s eyes 2020 has undoubtedly been more rich and peaceful than it has been in years. Cleaner air and cleaner seas I’m certain there was as we all locked down and used less. Fresh air and green space never felt so precious. As we wait for a time when we can safely embrace each other once again, being grateful for and embracing the natural world and things that many of us have taken for granted, things that turned out to be everything we needed, comfort in a world of uncertainty. New appreciations for the sound of the waves or the shade from a tree, the appearance of buds or the humming of bees.

By Vanessa Goldbert
Thursday 23rd December 2020

The Pigeon

A pigeon close up

The Pigeon sat on the tallest branch of the tree His head cocked high to see all that he could see.

The wind was strong, the wind was tough Ruffling the feathers of the pigeons ruff.

Strong and steadfast he silently sat His eyes surveying every this way and that.

In the garden below tender morsels, he could espy New seedlings caught his beady eye.

Juicy fruits tasty and yellow Tender Melons ripe and yellow.

When to swoop, the question on his mind Before the gardener turned around, him to find.

Just then to the pigeons' great dismay Down flew a Hawk And frightened the pigeon away.

Written by our garden poet Irene Strange
Saturday 19th December 2020
Angled view of Canoe Lake, aerial

If I’m out for a wander I’ll often try to check in on the Southsea Green garden to see how she’s doing. Walking past the gates on a dark and drizzly evening this week, albeit only 4pm, she quietly sleeps, a narrow winding wonderland of secrets, resting and readying herself for the busyness and beauty of spring. Branches that have twisted and curled through years of storms blown in over the sea. Evergreens providing shelter from the harshest of winter weather, the garden, even on these darker days, has it all. A small but precious wildlife haven in our busy city it certainly is, birds are friendly and frogs are curious. It positively sparkles with natural beauty and charm. It’s perfect now, it’ll be perfect next season, on and on with continued care forever. This is the true beauty of nature, we are only here to encourage, she will shine in all seasons.

by Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 12th December 2020
Welcome sign on a branch

Any visitors to our Southsea Green garden might have seen our pond, which is often teaming with wildlife, frog spawn, dragonflies, the occasional newt, as well as the resident fish. It’s also well stocked with plants that regularly need cutting back to allow the wildlife space to breathe.

This year, it was also time to replace the old, leaky pond liner, and so on a wet and windy day in October a bunch of intrepid gardeners gathered in waterproofs and wellies to revamp the pond.

Using a couple of fishing nets the fish were all caught and transferred to a nearby water butt, catching the frogs proved more challenging, but after much chasing round a slippery, muddy pond they were all removed to a safe place.

The day ended well with our pond complete with its new liner, with the plants and fish back in place, and even a couple of frogs who had made their own way back to their newly refurbished home.

by Helon Fellows
Saturday 28th November 2020
Autumn leaves

Autumn In The Southsea Green Garden, time of mists and mellow fruitfulness. We have harvested our summer crops - broccoli and beans, potatoes and courgette, cucumbers and peppers and our one and only squash, though we still have celery and a few tomatoes. Not yet time to put our feet up though. After clearing the early crops and preparing the beds, using compost from our bins ( the circle of life!! ), we planted leeks, chard, kale, brussel sprouts, winter cauliflower and purple sprouting broccoli, all now thriving, to feed us during the winter. We then planted garlic, onion and broad beans to overwinter and give us an early crop next spring. The onions and garlic are coming through but the beans have yet to show. In the polytunnel the tomatoes and peppers are coming out and in will go lettuce and rocket for winter salads.

Then we can relax, sit in front of the fire, look through those colourful seed catalogues and plan for next year.

by Goff Gleadle
Saturday 21st November 2020
Autumn leaves

Inspired by the beautiful Southsea Green Community Garden .

In the hive she softly danced

Amidst them all she buzzed and pranced.

“ Go my friends, my worker Bee's

Fly and seek till your hearts ease

To the gardens, you must fly

Into compost amidst the soil.

To capture sweetness for you and I.

Flit your wings and glide away

To find flower blossoms all the day.

Lovingly, gently in the morning dew

Pollen and nectar they will shower on you.

Buzz, Buzz, as you sing your praise

Then swiftly homeward bound you gaze

Carrying and crafting in sweet fascination

As you flit to and fro in deep pollination,

Bring back your loads, fresh and more

And honey make as in folk lore

And in return you will see

Each one may Buzz and dance with me”.

Your one and only.

Your Queen Bee.

Garden Poetry by Irene Strange
Saturday 14th November 2020
Autumn leaves

We’re excited to announce that we are one of the local causes chosen for the Coop Local Community Fund. Between now and October 2021 we will receive a % of the profits from their own brand products. Over this period, with this support, we will continue to maintain the garden, helping it thrive for the wellbeing of our volunteers, visitors and wildlife; connecting people & nature. We plan to open regularly for visitors (covid permitting), run events teaching new skills, promoting home growing, inspiring sustainability & thinking local.

We aim to build on our past successes. To help us raise more money, Coop members can choose Southsea Green Community Garden as their nominated cause. If you’d like to do this, sign into your Coop Membership account online, search Local causes in the “Skills” Category, find us and click “Choose this Cause”. Thank you in advance if you do! To keep up to date with what we’re doing go to

by Jenni Van Wijk
Saturday 7th November 2020
Autumn leaves

Exciting developments are in the pipeline here at Southsea Green at the moment with more news to be announced shortly! There is positivity in the air and a bounce in our step as we continue to move forward with support from the loveliest people in this wonderful local community. Grand plans there may be but the real event we’ve all been looking forward to, the fixing of our leaky pond, is commencing today and has been fabulously heralded as a ‘Pool Party’. Strictly six at a time these days unfortunately but someone is still bound to end up in the water! It’s a job that’s been at the top of our list for a while, so this long awaited occasion deserves more than just a little celebration. Then again every victory, every step forward, every kind gesture is worth tenfold this year. Stay safe and well and keep going everyone, we’re moving through hard times together.

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 31st October 2020
Autumn leaves

Such delectable plants, Green,

Such dejectable weeds Green

Deciduous leaves from trees and shrubs

Fall upon our gardens and fill our tubs.

Autumn glory drifts into the ground

Covering the earth and then, compound,

Into compost amidst the soil.

Gardeners stealth then work and toil.

Earthworms wriggle in and out.

Those slimy creatures are needed without a doubt,

Regurgitating the weathered earth,

Avoiding the early birds' greedy mirth.

Gradually, silently, God's earth must rest

Till' Spring, in all it's glory, harmonizes it’s BEST.

Garden Poetry by Irene Strange
Saturday 24th October 2020
Autumn leaves

It feels like we have really leapt into autumn now here in Southsea as temperatures drop and winds blow in the new season. At a time of such uncertainty growing offers us all something incredibly important. Hope. ‘To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow’ as Audrey Hepburn once said. When we put hands to earth, whether it is sowing seed or raking up those autumn leaves we are continually moving forward, we are believing in the next step, the future, tomorrow.

Things may be beginning to slow down in our gardens in terms of growth but there are always jobs to do that no matter how small, always contribute to the overall picture and vital flow of our green spaces. Gardening as ever, mirroring life, reminding us that if we keep taking those small, seemingly insignificant steps, one day in the future, a tomorrow, you’ll look back and realise their real importance.

By Vanessa Goldbert
Saturday 17th October 2020
Lots of pumpkins

October is such a beautiful month isn’t it? Autumn in the garden is second perhaps only to Spring in my mind in terms of both beauty and jobs to be done. The glorious changing colours around us remind us of the passage of time in what has been just a typical year for the silver birch, the potato and the dahlia.. unlike for the rest of us! As feelings remain uncertain and we find ourselves perhaps a little all over the place at times we once again look to nature and our local community.

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green
Saturday 10th October 2020


Cup of water with lemon balm

Fragrant perfumed Lemon Mint

With tiny blossoms of yellow hint.

A cool breeze wafts through the air

Sending sweet Lemon balm everywhere.

Butterflies alight to glean

On curled pale leaves of lightened green.

Gathering pollen, honey bee's hover

Dusting stamens with no bother.

Then flying to their Queen they take

Their precious load, --- honey for to make.

The sun beams down on the garden so calm

To profuse the heavenly scent of the Lemon balm.

By Irene Strange
Saturday 26th September 2020