Monday, 19 November 2018

Centenary Armistice Event.

The Gardening Volunteers helped to commemorate the event by flying the flag in honour of the W.W.1 Soldiers.


We welcomed Service Personnel,Veterans and the wider community to the event. In the Mall there were Stalls and displays reminisce to the era.

The Garden had their own display complete with sandbags and W.W.1 memorabilia.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Special delivery

The tractor arrives with our manure.


T 21 lends a hand - Its a dirty job but someone has to do it!



Autumn Planting in the PCP Garden


Volunteers hard at work

The PCP garden volunteers have been working hard today planting spring cabbages.



The nets provide protection from the pigeons and the plant pots help to keep them healthy and grow straighter and stronger.






















Thursday, 14 December 2017

Gardeners visit to Hardwick Hall

David Cockburn Garden PCP Aycliffe Durham Healthwatch

The PCP gardeners were treated to a day at a wonderful park in the grounds of  the Hardwick Hall Hotel.  
With loads of winding paths, the park has some great walks around a fantastic lake.
Visiting in the autumn gave us a great chance to see a vast array of seasonal colour with the red berries of various Euonymus  proving to be the most spectacular.

 PCP Aycliffe Durham Stockton Healthwatch
Andy showing us his bird watching skills!

David Cockburn Garden PCP Aycliffe Durham Stocton Healthwatch
Masses of berries on the Euonymus

David Cockburn Garden PCP Aycliffe Durham
 I tried to make Jude take a couple of steps further back!

David Cockburn Garden PCP Aycliffe Durham

Spectacular Autumn Colour

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Still Plenty of vegetables in December

PCP. Durham Garden. Best garden UK
We're still harvesting vegetables in the PCP Garden.  Leeks, parsnips and Jerusalem artichokes are now ready to lifted out of our raised beds along with the last of the carrots.  

Monday, 20 November 2017

Cheeky Squirrel

Best garden, squirrel in the PCP David

After chasing away the birds, the squirrel used some clever acrobatics to reach its goal!

Planting green manure

Best garden in the UK PCP Community garden David Cockburn
Our green manure experts!
The PCP gardeners are preparing the raised beds for next years produce. 

 Green manure provides nutrients and improves structure to the soil.  We used left over bean plants in this bed.  They will be left to grow until the spring and then dug-in to the soil before planting next years crop.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Scotswood - a Community Garden that was well worth a visit

On the face of it Scotswood Natural Community Garden (SNCG) and our own PCP Garden might look very different from one another, but what they do have in common are their volunteers who have a great sense of pride in their gardens.  It's not just gardening that brings a happier and healthier community together, it's the camaraderie and the friendships that are made in these great outdoor spaces.  What we loved most on our visit to SNCG was their volunteers who were so enthusiastic about their garden and that they, just like our own volunteers are what the greatest difference is between an ordinary garden and a community garden.


David Cockburn Garden, best garden uk, PCP Garden, Pioneering Care, Durham Garden

Scotswood Natural Community Garden is on a two and a half acre site to the west of Newcastle city centre.

We were met by Sean, who is garden officer at Scotswood.  He introduced us to some of the volunteers who made us feel very welcome.


David Cockburn Garden, best garden uk, PCP Garden, Pioneering Care, Durham Garden

At the garden entrance is a lovely carved wooden archway, the first of many artistic sculptures which adds a nice interest to the garden. Willow is widely grown and is used for fencing, covered walkways and plant supports.
Sean lead the way and he was very knowledgeable describing the various planting schemes and future plans around this vast site.  Making our way along the winding pathways leading to a fantastic woodland area, we saw loads of apples, nuts and berries on established trees and bushes.


David Cockburn Garden, best garden uk, PCP Garden, Pioneering Care, Durham Garden

Three ponds and areas for wildflowers will attract plenty of welcome wildlife. There's also beehives which is great for pollinating the plants while providing the gardeners with honey.

Of course a community garden wouldn't be complete without a vegetable plot and the one at SNCG is of a good size to provide plenty of produce for everyone.


David Cockburn Garden, best garden uk, PCP Garden, Pioneering Care, Durham Garden

We had a brilliant time at Scotswood and have brought home many ideas for our own garden at the Pioneering Care Centre. We would like to thank Sean and all of the other volunteers for making our day a memorable one.

Written by David Cockburn






Sunday, 17 September 2017

The Power of Volunteering

David, our gardening volunteer, was invited along to our staff meeting to talk about his involvement over the past three years at PCP. He says "I first came to PCP to take part in a ten week gardening course.  When the course finished I wanted to stay and help create a great garden, now I love coming as I feel part of the PCP Family" As a regular volunteer David is helping to formulate the PCP garden action plan along with other volunteers and we are looking forward to visiting a few other gardens to pick up new ideas.
Nigel Brough & David Cockburn during 'The Power of Volunteering' presentation.

We've got our fountain working!

Garden, Gardens, PCP garden best garden in UK, Durham garden
Thanks to Colin for fixing our fountain. Also Howard, Jimmy & Fiona trying to take some of the glory!

The fountain, with its glass covered art, originally decorated by the PCP's options group has been out of action for a few years.
Now, thanks to Colin, it's as good as new.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

PCP garden gets a visit from the RHS

RHS, pioneer, care centre, garden Newton Aycliffe, PCP

Jo Wood, RHS assessor with Fiona and Howard

We have entered our community garden for the It's Your Neighbourhood category as part of Britain in Bloom.
 Jo Wood, Royal Horticultural Society Assessor came to view the garden and meet the participants and funders who help it thrive.

Friday, 18 August 2017

One day gardening courses at the PCP


Starting on Tuesday 22nd August

A series of 3 hour gardening courses open to anyone who would like to learn about different aspects of gardening.  Whether you are new to gardening or want to learn new skills, these short courses could be just what you've been looking for.

For more information telephone the PCP on : 01325 321234 or click on the image below.


Monday, 24 July 2017

Starting this years potato harvest

Garden, Best garden in the UK, pioneering care david Jude Jimmy, PCP garden
You would think these two had never seen a potato before!

Digging up our first potatoes of the year is always exciting, wondering how many or if there will be any at all to take home.

We planted several different varieties in our raised beds and this week was the turn of  Duke of York to be harvested, a large first early potato that is supposed to be really good for roasting.

After rummaging around the under the first plant we knew that there was going to be a decent crop from the four tubers that we sowed around twelve weeks ago.  
pioneering care david
Our potato plants in flower
pioneering care david
'Duke of York' a first early variety




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 vast array 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, Garden

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.