Fabulous Fencing Fun at Slades

This was the final activity in our ‘create a living fence round the veg patch’ plan at Slades Farm Community Garden. Having planted apple trees round the patch we now needed to put up a fence so we can train those trees into a fence-shape! So when the old fence finally crumbles, (in about 15 – 25 years time), the apple trees should provide a robust but also pretty and productive structure around the veg plot.

Many thanks to everyone who supported our amazing fencing fun day yesterday, particularly to all the lovely people who turned up to help. We had a fabulous day, a lovely time together, the weather was great, we had lots of cake and the fence looks AMAZING! We also did some pond-dipping, some wildlife ID-ing, planted out some leeks (thanks Angela!) and some celery (thanks Carl!) and lots of weeding and planting (thanks for the lovely plants Cherry!) in the prairie garden.

Slades Farm Open Day 2015

Slades Farm community garden held its 2015 summer open day on Sunday July 12th. Visitors were tempted by choice plants for sale and yummy cake to learn more about the Slades Farm project and about the Transition BH groups as a whole.


Many people had a look at the pond, and had a go at pond dipping. The new pond was completed in spring and is now a key feature of the garden, with lots of water creatures, like water beetles, water boatmen, damselflies and dragon flies settling in.

11737813_10203167285462959_7601187097080758129_nLots of water snails have mysteriously appeared, and in sunny weather the pond attracts damsel and dragon flies. We have loads of cinnabar moth caterpillars on the ragwort this year, they are the cute-looking yellow and black stripey ones.

Garden plants and home-made cakes were available from the stalls setup for the event. Also provided was a range of information detailing the activities of the local Transition groups, collectively known as Transition BH.

Slades Farm community garden is located in a relaxing natural environment, with nearby children’s playground, skate park, velodrome, recreation ground, woods, and of course lots more stalls and activities around the Ensbury Park Community Centre.

Now in it’s fourth year, the garden is home to several varieties of young fruit trees and a range of vegetable patches containing potatoes, strawberries, beans and many other types.

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Springing into Action at Slades

This weekend (28th-29th march) will be a great time to visit the Slades Farm Community Garden! We have some really exciting stuff going on!

Digging the wildlife pond

Saturday we are preparing the wildlife pond for our big pond filling event on Sunday.  The workday will start at 10am and you are welcome bring a picnic lunch and stay as long as you like.

The jobs will include cutting turf to edge the pond and creating piles of soil ready to level the pond as it as it’s filled.

On Sunday we’ll be kicking off bright and early at 8am getting the underlay, liner and extra protective layers in and final touches sorted before the Dorset Fire and Rescue arrive at 9:30am to fill the pond with about 40,000 letres of water!

wildflowersThen from 2pm we then have our Big Dig 2015 event, where we’ll be digging a bed and sowing wildflowers!

There will be LOTS to do on both days so please do come along and help us finally fill our much anticipated pond. Over the next few weeks we will be planting lots of native aquatic plants and creating a great wildlife haven for everyone to enjoy.

For more info about all of the event mentioned above visit:

Pond Filling Prep
– https://www.facebook.com/events/703511559767962

The Great Pond Filling!
– https://www.facebook.com/events/676401049138447

The Big Dig 2015 at Slades Farm Community Garden – https://www.facebook.com/events/1648380445385453

Picnic in the Park on Sunday

PicnicCome down to the Slades Farm Community Garden on Sunday 28th September and join us for a picnic!

The workday session will run from 10:00 – 16:00, but on a drop-in, drop-out basis. We will be able to provide tools and gloves, but feel free to bring your own.

We will be finishing off the wildlife pond (digging/barrowing/measuring levels), but there will be a variety of other tasks available as it’s a very busy time of year gardening.

At lunch time we will take a break and enjoy eating our packed lunches in (hopefully!) balmy autumn sunshine. Remember to bring something to eat/drink and something to sit on!

We look forward to seeing you Sunday 🙂


Slades Farm Wildlife Pond Fencing

With a break in the weather over the weekend, the construction of the fencing around the wildlife pond at Slades Farm Community Garden has begun.


Last Sundays session saw off the the most physically demanding work – that being driving the fence posts into the ground with a manual piledriver which, if you’ve never tried it, takes a lot out of you but it feels great when it’s done – one tip though, definitely wear gardening gloves before you attempt this!

sladesholdpostWith a small group of enthusiastic volunteers taking turns at the hammering, drilling, sawing and piledriving, the two dozen or so posts needed to support the 50-60 meter run of fencing were in place and braced by mid afternoon. Not bad considering a break for sandwiches and homemade cake was included in the task, which attracted a number of dogs over from their walkies to see if there was any going spare!

With the permission of the weather, next Sundays work will see the fencing attached to the posts. This will leave only the gate to be constructed and fitted, completing the fencing run.

The wildlife pond is the latest addition to the Slades Farm Community Garden, complimenting the young fruit trees, vegetable patch and wild flower meadow areas already in place. Over the coming weekends we plan to lay the liner for the pond and fill it up, providing a perfect habitiat for a variety of pond based wildlife.

Slades on Saturday


Having spent the winter months doing wildlife projects around the garden, we’re now catching up in the veg patch. We have already planted our early potatoes, but still have the main crop to get in, plus sowings for summer salads and roots to do.

Please do come on down and have a look at what’s been going on, or join in and help. No previous experience is necessary, and we can provide tools and gloves, although you are welcome to bring your own.

We will be meeting from 10:00 – 12:00 on Saturday 12th April.

The Big Hedge Planting

We’re having a BIG hedge planting day up at the Slades Farm Community Garden on Saturday 15th March from 10:00 – 12:00.

We’ve been donated trees from the Woodland Trust, and have been granted some funds from Green Goals, in order to develop a wildlife hedge around the meadow. The aim of the hedge is to complement  the meadow environment in providing suitable foods and habitats for bees, butterflies and moths.

Come along and help us plant the trees and hedging. If you have tools please bring them, but we can provide both tools and gloves. Stout footwear is needed if you fancy doing any digging.

Any queries, please contact Theresa on 07958 138053 or at theresa.mcmanus@hotmail.co.uk.


Say Hello to Spring at Slades Farm Community Farm

Have you noticed that the birds are getting ready for spring and primroses are coming out ? SPRING IS HERE!

Well, after all that wet weather there are quite a number of varied tasks to do in the Slades farm Community Garden.

Veg beds to prep for sowing, and some digging to prepare for new hedgerow plants, as well as continuing work on the pond. Our trees also need a bit of tlc to help them do really well this year.

Come along and visit Slades farm this Sunday, 23rd February. We’ll be there from 10:00 – 12:00. Everyone is welcome, but please wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear.


New Year at Slades Farm

Thanks to everyone who has supported the Slades Farm Community Garden. We’ve seen lots of changes in the garden during 2013, with new vegetable beds being dug, lots more fruit trees and bushes have been planted, we’ve a lovely bug hotel, and work has started on developing the meadow area, and on digging a pond.

Indeed, thanks to the extreme wet weather we’ve been experiencing, at the moment we can say that we have a pond! However, we do need to wait for the water to subside to do a bit of finishing off before we can put the pond liner in !

We have some exciting activities lined up for 2014. Including coppicing, further developing the meadow area, making more wildlife habitats, finishing the pond, and of course, sowing and planting and maintaining our vegetable plot and fruits. Watch this space for further information about specific events we are planning.

Meanwhile, here are the dates and times of our working sessions for the first part of the year. They are changed slightly from 2013 in order to accommodate two specific groups of people –  students and pre-school children, but hopefully there will be date suitable for everyone.


Friday   10/01/2014   10:00 – 12:00
Wednesday    15/01/2014    13:15 – 16:00
Saturday        18/01/2014    10:00 – 12:00
Sunday          26/01/2014    14:00 – 16:00
Wednesday    05/02/2014    13:15 – 16:00
Saturday        08/02/2014    10:00 – 12:00
Wednesday    19/02/2014    13:15 – 16:00
Sunday          23/02/2014    14:00 – 16:00

As usual, please wear clothing and footwear suitable for the weather and for gardening activities. We will be able to provide tools but feel free to bring your own if you’d prefer. Everyone welcome.

Please contact Theresa on 07958 138053 if you’ve any queries.

Photo of pond digging by Alan Roberts:


Autumn at Slades Farm Community Garden

We have a lot of activities being planned for the autumn and winter at Slades Farm Community Garden including gardening tasks, coppicing and fence-making, hedge-row development and even, we hope, making a pond !

On the gardening front we are extending some of the beds we made last year, and also doing some autumnal sowings of broad beans and onions. We’ve also plans to make the sweetcorn patch much larger for next year.

If you have any children in your family, it’s a lovely time of year to be outdoors, so winkle them out from behind their games consoles etc and get them out of doors ! You could combine a wee bit of gardening with a walk in the woods and then a swing or climb in the park.
There’s a fuller list of suggestions for getting children more involved in nature at the bottom of this article from the BBC :


Our gardening session dates for November (all 10:00 – 12:00) are :

Friday 1st November
Saturday 9th November
Wednesday 13th November
Sunday 24th November


We look forward to seeing you there.