Church Garden Project

Co-ordinator: Anne Litherland

We are delighted to announce that we have received funding from The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to implement the plan for both the Martyrs and Believers gardens and the training sessions between March and September 2021. The first training session will be on Wednesday 17th March. Please email ham.creation2020@gmail.com to find out more and to join the training.

Outline of project

We wish to develop an underused side garden of the church into 3 areas inspired by the name of our parish and our faith: an apostles’, martyrs’ and believers’ garden. The apostles’ garden would be on the higher level, dominated by a mature sycamore tree and surrounded by bulb rich soil and borders of low level, pollinator perennial shrubs. The Martyrs garden on the middle level, to honour especially the 20th Century martyrs with pollinator friendly planting in reds, green and white. The paved area will be reduced to enable additional planting in raised beds of fruit and herbs to share. Seating will be introduced and a focal point/sculpture created. The Believers garden would be the main growing area using newly created beds and constructing raised beds for fruit and vegetable produce. It would represent our growing faith and care for our community.

Before Covid-19 a group of parishioners met monthly to manage the garden, but this area was undeveloped. Since then, as soon as we were able to, we met twice weekly and started growing vegetables and were able to manage the weeds in this area. We shared plants and produce with each other and parishioners. A member of our group was inspired to share her ideas and they have been shared and developed over the summer.

We benefited from gardening together and wish to pass this experience on to others, especially those isolated in our locality and those without gardens. From our own experience we are aware that many of those living alone are isolated and activities like gardening are so therapeutic but also enable friendship and a feeling of belonging.

Aim: To provide learning and growing experience for local community

We will provide training sessions in growing from seed and plants, how to plant up a demonstration 1.2m2 raised bed to provide food; how to make a raised bed (using reclaimed materials). These will be a mixture of learning and practical sessions, using the room on site and the garden. Additional sessions e.g. on bird box making, willow weaving may be offered if requested. We plan to work with Wirral Environmental Network on these sessions. To help reach those who would benefit, we will contact the local community groups.

We will continue the twice weekly sessions for all to join in so we work alongside each other on a variety of gardening tasks, in addition to the vegetable growing, as suited to each one’s ability and interests.

Aim: To develop an area for contemplation and quiet

We will develop the Martyrs garden to incorporate seating and beautiful planting to provide this quiet area. The border areas are on a steep slope with a poor retaining wall on one side and a loose structure on the other. Both walls need rebuilding on firm foundations, but we plan to relocate one wall to reduce the slope and increase the area available for the raised bed and seating. 4 dead tree stumps need removing with the depth of soil retained to support the neighbours’ dividing fence. A paved area around the raised beds will be retained to allow access for appreciation and maintenance. Broken flags will be replaced by spare intact ones and the broken ones passed on to local allotments and gardens. We will appeal to parishioners to donate plants in memory of loved ones.

Aim: To enhance biodiversity by planting pollinator friendly plants

The plan will seek out pollinator friendly plants e.g Rosa Moysei in reds, greens and white to provide colour and pollen for as many months as possible. This will be a learning experience for all involved in the garden and enable us to pass on this practice to our own gardens and to others. The native hedge and holly tree will be retained.

The raised beds will contain herbs and fruits e.g redcurrant, blackcurrant, strawberries which will be available for anyone to pick. And for birds to eat as well.

Aim: To grow food locally and sustainably

We will build raised beds on the present grassed area for vegetable growing. These plots will be available to those training. We will ask for seeds and plants from our community and share. The funding will be needed for seeds and plants we can’t obtain otherwise. We have access to surplus building materials and scaffolding planks for the raised beds and spare pallets.

Church Garden Appeal

We will need the following items. If you have any spare at home, please think of passing them on to us. We meet every Monday and Wednesday 2-4pm, weather permitting! Alternatively, we can collect. Please email ham.creation2020@gmail.com or call Anne 07910960316.

Seeds, especially bee friendly, herbs and vegetables
Trowels
Spades
Forks, hand
Gloves
Secateurs
Wood saw
water butt netting
Wood 2″ x 2″  x 3m for raised beds joints
Wood screws

Later on we will have the list of plants ready for the Martyrs garden and appeal for help with them.