Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Bees, Bees and More Bees

The sun was hot and the bees were out in abundance yesterday. 

Here in the PCP garden we grow a wide diversity of plants to attract pollinating insects, which is essential for us to produce a good crop of fruit and vegetables. 

It's fascinating to see the honey bees and solitary bees fleeting between flowers, collecting the pollen and nectar as they go.

David Cockburn, PCP, Garden Newton Aycliffe

Trying to get the bees to stay still for a photo shoot is always a problem

David Cockburn, PCP, Garden Newton Aycliffe

Different varieties of bees on the same Oregano plant

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Planting Sweetcorn

Garden Newton Aycliffe, Durham

I love sweetcorn, cooked as soon as it is picked is best.

Bed number 1 was prepared with chicken manure and bone meal to act as a natural fertilizer. We've planted our corn in rows of four spaced 30cm apart. 

A good mixture of rain and sun over the last couple of weeks has ensured a good start to the crop.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

‘Super Shed’ Appeal at PCP for Wheelchair Gardeners

PCP Garden, Super Shed, David Cockburn, Newton Aycliffe

Model of our new shed

Disabled volunteers with a keen interest in gardening could soon be honing their skills in a ground-breaking, custom-built ‘super shed’ at the Pioneering Care Partnership Centre in Newton Aycliffe.

The bespoke timber building has been specially designed to enable people in wheelchairs to access space where they can learn the finer points of preparing seeds, potting and planting under the watchful eye of a green-fingered tutor. But, everything now hinges on the kindness of well-wishers donating the estimated £1000 still needed for the build as well as ‘Super Shed’ Appeal at PCP for Wheelchair Gardeners materials and equipment so that work can start on the foundations.

Members of the local Greenfield Men’s Cree group have already offered to build the new shed which, say Centre staff, will make ‘a tremendous difference’ for would-be gardeners in wheelchairs.

The PCP Centre already boasts a well-developed and sizable garden with raised beds and a greenhouse where volunteers of all ages and abilities grow flowers, fruit, herbs and vegetables - some of which are subsequently sold to the public.

Donations to the Shed appeal can be made by cheque to the Pioneering Care Partnership Carers Way, Newton Aycliffe, Co. Durham DL5 4SF or in person at PCP Reception for cash or card donations.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Volunteer Celebrations at Beamish Museum

Durham Community Action Volunteer Celebration at Beamish Museum on Wed 14th June, David Cockburn, Pioneering Care, pcp garden, partnership, Pioneering Care Centre, PCP Garden, Pcpgarden,

Our volunteers had a great evening at the Durham Community Action Volunteer Celebrations at Beamish Museum on Wed 14th June ! We like to say a huge thank you to all our volunteers at the PCP, without your time and dedication, our services would not be what they are today!

Durham Community Action Volunteer Celebration at Beamish Museum on Wed 14th June, David Cockburn, Pioneering Care, pcp garden, partnership, Pioneering Care Centre, PCP Garden, Pcpgarden,

Our garden volunteer and Blogger  David Cockburn enjoyed the evening which gave organisations across County Durham a chance to thank the many volunteers.  The PCP Community Garden offers volunteers the opportunity to learn how to grow their own fruit and veg, have fun and socialise with other people.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Blooming PCP Garden

Blooming PCP Garden, pioneering care garden
With summer almost upon us we are enjoying a great display all around the garden.  There's blossom on the fruit trees, bedding plants and perennials in full bloom and the chives are covered in a mass of edible flowers.

 The tubs and pots outside the cafe provide loads of colour to visitors enjoying a coffee on the patio

In the raised beds, perennials such as the poached egg plant and borage add early summer colour to attract pollinating insects to the vegetable plot

The strawberry flowers are in abundance and will provide us with lots of fruit in a few weeks time

Pear and cherry tree blossom always give a fantastic show if only for a few weeks of the year

Sunday, 14 May 2017

More great plants for sale

Geranium Magnificum

The plants we sell at the PCP garden are always really popular with our visitors. We are now able to add more variety to the range. 

Geranium Magnificum is a lovely hardy blue cranesbill geranium that we have growing in our garden at the Pioneering Care Centre.  These plants are in large pots and great value at £1-50 each.

Also available are blackcurrant bushes, most of which are two year old plants and these too are only £1-50.  There are loads of these blackcurrants in our fruit beds and are very popular among our gardeners.

We will have lots more plants ready very soon including cabbages, broccoli, broad beans and a selection of herbs and flowers so keep checking back to see what we have.

To see what we have available at the moment please use this link 

Friday, 7 April 2017

Local MP Phil Wilson drops by to lend a hand in the garden

Today we had surprise visit from local MP Phil Wilson.  Phil was with us for an hour, taking time to have a look round the garden to see what we are growing and what our plans are for the future.

One of our jobs for the day was to empty the compost heap onto the raised beds and Phil was eager to get a fork in his hand to help out.

We told him that we also grow some plants to sell and he was keen to buy a few of them from us.

Phil was interested to hear that the garden had it's own blog said that he would take some time to view it.

We appreciate the time that he took to be with us today and hope that Phil becomes a regular visitor to the PCP garden.

Phil helping David to put the compost onto the beds.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Early Spring Update

Preparing the bed for the parsnip seeds

In the PCP garden we practice crop rotation and this year bed number 7 is going to be one of two beds allocated to root vegetables.   Before anything could be planted we cleared  the bed of weeds, conditioned and finally raked the soil.   Parsnip and early carrot seeds were then sown in rows 30cm apart.

Some of the gardeners have been working very hard to tidy up around the greenhouse. They've been doing a lot of digging and clearing weeds to make way for a new gravel pathway.

Meanwhile inside the greenhouse space is at a premium already.  We've sown more seeds including chilli, broccoli, chives, beetroot and marigolds. Some of the vegetables and herbs will be potted up when ready to be sold at the PCP.   The leeks that were sown a few weeks ago are growing nicely and have now been separated and put into individual modules.

...Like I said, 'some' of the gardeners were working very hard to build a new path around the greenhouse

Sunday, 29 January 2017

January Jobs In The PCP Garden

We've started to get the raised beds ready for this years crops. The height of our raised beds make easy work of  pulling up dead plants and weeding. The herbs and strawberries were also tidied up a bit.

Broad beans, onions and garlic were started last autumn, they should be ready by early summer. There's still some vegetables ready to eat that we grew last year including leeks, parsnips, brussels sprouts and kale. 

In the greenhouse, we've sown our first seeds of the year.  There were six varieties of tomato seeds that we dried from last years crop that hopefully will provide enough fruit for this year.  Aquilegia and sweet peas that were started in October have now been potted on.

Over the coming months there will be lots of seeds to be sown, seedlings to be planted in the raised beds and fruit and vegetables to be eaten.  We are always looking for new people to come and join in with the group.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Jerusalem Artichokes

Today we dug up a few of our Jerusalem artichokes.  This vegetable was new to most of us.  We've been watching them all year getting taller and taller.  They eventually grew to more than 6 feet high with lots of large yellow flowers covering them.  Those of us who took some home to cook found them to be sweet with a bit of a nutty taste.
yellow flowers on the Jerusalem artichoke at the PCP Garden
Loads Of Big Yellow Flowers On The Jerusalem Artichokes

Monday, 5 December 2016

Winter Viola Plants

Today we received a kind gift of viola plants from Mr Lawrence Burniston of Aycliffe Village.  We put the plants around the edge of our raised onion bed and there was enough plants left to go round the apple and pear trees. The violas will bring a nice splash of colour to our garden.

Trish, Planting Violas In The, PCP Garden,
Trish Planting The Violas Around The Apple And Pear Trees

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Festive Activities At The Christmas Fayre

At Saturday's Christmas Fair the PCP Garden delivered a Festive Foliage decoration workshop at the Pioneering care Centre.  We had lots of families take part and hopefully more people found out about the work we do in the garden and how to get in involved further.
Festive Foliage decoration workshop at PCP's Christmas Fair. PCP
Everyone who visited the workshop had a great time and made superb decorations
Pioneering care Everyone who visited the workshop had a great time and made superb decorations

Friday, 11 November 2016

Autumn Planting Vegetables

Over the last few weeks we have been putting veg into the raised beds before winter sets in.

Broad beans are going into Bed Number 1.  The beans are from this years crop that was dried in the greenhouse before sowing into modules.
Pioneering Care Centre, Daniel
Daniel Sowing the Broad Beans
And How They Look Now...

Bed Number 2 is where our onions and garlic are going. After separating the garlic cloves they were planted into rows 30cm apart. The onion sets are a hardy Japanese variety and are also in rows 30cm wide.
Pioneering Care Centre, PCP Garden, Pioneering Care Centre Newton Aycliffe
Getting Bed Number 2 Cleared For the Onions & Garlic

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Harvesting The Last Of The Potatoes

2016 was a good year for our potato crop.   All of us had plenty to take home and try the different varieties including Arran Pilot, Pink Fir Apple & King Edward.  This week we emptied Bed Number 4 of the remaining potatoes.
Harvesting The Potatoes, PCP Garden, Pioneering Care Centre Newton Aycliffe
Mick Watches On As Anthony & Keith Work On The Potato Bed

PCP Garden, Pioneering Care Centre Newton Aycliffe
Just Some Of Our Potato Crop

Monday, 31 October 2016

Plants For Sale at the Pioneering Care Centre

Throughout the year PCP Garden have plants for sale.  Fruit & veg including tomatoes, beans, peas, cucumbers and mixed salad have been popular with visitors to the Pioneering Care Centre all year round.  Located outside the cafe conservatory, the plants are always good quality and very reasonably priced.

Pcpgarden, Plants for sale, Pioneering Care Centre,
Plants for sale now
Broad beans 50p per tray
Strawberries 50p per plant


Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Painting Instead Of Weeding!

It's been almost a year since the old planting areas were demolished to make way for the new higher raised beds.  Most of our trellis was still in good condition and only needed a coat of paint to get them looking like new.  We had plenty of volunteers willing to swap their trowels for brushes to spruce up the woodwork. 

PCP, Pioneering Care Centre, Newton Aycliffe, Painting,

A lot of concentration going on here!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Planting Up The Brassica Bed

Bed number 8 is to be our brassica bed this year.  We started some cabbages, broccoli, kale & cauliflower in the greenhouse at the end of February.  These are all going into the same bed within the next couple of weeks and intercropped with turnip, swede & radish.
Pioneering care centre
David's making sure Jimmy & Michael are planting in straight lines

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Transplanting Seedlings

The new gardening year is well under way now.  Already seeds that were sowed last month grown into healthy seedlings.  They need pricking out and transplanting into larger pots.  We're still sowing seeds in April to keep a succession of vegetables throughout the year. 
PCP, Transplanting Seedlings, Pioneering Care Centre
Daniel, Jimmy & David Transplanting Seedlings Into Larger Pots

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Time To Start Sowing The Seeds

The greenhouse has been a hive of activity this month as everyone is sowing the seeds for the coming season.  To get the seeds to germinate we are using multipurpose compost in modules and seed trays, making sure that they don't dry out.

PCP Garden, Pioneering Care
The Greenhouse Has Been A Busy Place To Be This Month

Wednesday, 13 January 2016