A Review of July

Another month has passed by so I thought it was time for an update on my gardening at the hospice.

I am back from my holiday in Croatia and a good time was had by all. The weather was excellent, the food was excellent, the sightseeing was excellent and the company was alright too! One of the first things that I noticed as I stepped off the plane, after having been hit by the wall of hot air, was how brown and barren everywhere looked. It is the same in many Mediterranean countries. This is obviously the direct result of a lack of rain. By contrast, as you fly back to Manchester, you can’t help but notice how wonderfully green our lovely country is – obviously a result of too much rain! And boy has it been raining a lot since I got back.

The hospice gardens are looking fab, if I say so myself. The raised beds that we planted up at the end of June are looking glorious. I get so many comments from staff and visitors on how nice they are looking. I really appreciate being appreciated –  it is so rewarding, in a way that money isn’t always (although I do still want to be paid, if my boss is reading this!).

Raised Beds

We have had another large group of volunteers working with us last week. This time they were from Wigan Councils “Green Space’s” team, and  they were very useful to have around! 15 people came for two whole days, so we got masses done. They painted 5 benches, constructed 4 more, they made 3 composting bins out of old pallets, trimmed all the hedges and did some weeding. THANK YOU! It was also good to spend some time with the managers, including an assistant director, who were volunteering too. We were able to build some good links, and they will hopefully be able to support us again in the future.

Composting Bins

Wigan Council Volunteers

I was especially pleased to have the composting bins made. The soil quality isn’t great at the hospice, with lots of clay, so it is good to add compost to improve its structure. This can be quite expensive, so hopefully we can save some money by making our own.

There are so many plants that are flowering at the moment, including the crocosmia, rudbeckia, salvias and lavenders. But I want to make a special mention for two flowers that I have noticed this week. The first is an Aquilegia, I think! (If it isn’t, and you know what it is, please message me). And the second is Inula hookeri, with its wonderfully flamboyant flowers.


Inula hookeri

The Inula, appeared in the garden this year for the first time, without knowingly being plant by me or any of the volunteers. We think that it has hitched a ride with another plant that one of the volunteers brought in earlier in the year. What a bonus!

There is plenty of weeding and tidying to be getting on with at the moment. We are also preparing to open the gardens up for the National Garden Scheme on September 10th, so I am making sure that each area is going to be at its best. If anyone wants to come and visit the gardens you’d be more than welcome.

Until next time, happy gardening!