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.

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

Best community garden in the UK,Volunteer David Cockburn, PCP Durham, PCP Newton Aycliffe

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!

Beamish Museum, Volunteer David Cockburn, PCP Durham, PCP Newton Aycliffe

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