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.
Garden, David Cockburn, Nigel Brough, Gardens, Best Garden UK, PCP Garden, Pioneering Care, Gardens County Durham
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

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

PCP Durham, David Cockburn Phil Wilson Newton Aycliffe, David Cockburn Phil Wilson Ferryhill, pioneering care Newton Aycliffe, pioneer Durham, Garden Newton Aycliffe Durham


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.


PCP Durham, David Cockburn Phil Wilson Newton Aycliffe, David Cockburn Phil Wilson Ferryhill, pioneering care Newton Aycliffe, pioneer Durham, Garden Newton Aycliffe Durham
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