Good afternoon and welcome to the next update within the Let's Grow Preston team.
I arrived at roughly 10.50am to the Ashton Park Pavilion base. From there, Paul Greenwood ( community involvement worker) let me know how long he'd be able to stay today and what the overall plan was. Soon another volunteer arrived and then another, all in quick succession.
Once we were all together we made our way to the Peace Garden and absorbed ourselves in several jobs until Annie Wynn arrived ( chair of Let's Grow Preston ). As mentioned in another blog Annie had kindly received a donation of spades and trowels yesterday so without further ado we got on with a portion of the work.
Annie guided the three musketeers ( myself and two other volunteers ) round the Peace Garden in order to resolve what should stay and what should go ( no I'm not breaking into a song by The Clash). Annie let us know the names of several plants and shrubs, the importance of some as opposed to others and the great clearance of some we would have to endure. A fellow volunteer took some excellent notes as we were going round to enable us to consider the general scope of the peace garden and how it can be improved much to the welfare of others and to benefit the general public as they relax and reflect in this neglected haven.
As we reached the sign 'Peace Garden 2006' I though it would be good to create a new sign marking the 10th anniversary from it's first makeover. I also came up with the idea to create a rainbow effect in the centre of the peace garden with certain plants representing the colours of the rainbow. Annie thought this was a good idea but she did stress that some plants don't flower all year long so you would have to have quite a wide variety in the rainbow format.
Annie gave us some sound advice as to how to go about the transformation of the garden. She gave clear insight and knowledge of the many plant life, grass, flowers and shrubs immersed in the garden. We were all well aware as to the big undertaking that would be needed in order for it look and feel good but we were prepared to take that challenge on when we agreed to get involved.
All of us only had a small minority of time today. Paul had to lock up the pavilion base and another member required some much needed TLC, something am sure we wished we could all have sometimes.
Despite the small portion of time we began the big clearance job that saw some of deadhead plants, cut back huge plants and, much to the shocked reaction from Paul as it was being taken to the skip, the loss of the lavender.
With the work being underway, Paul wanted to capture the action, so the snap happy camera was out again. Picturing a moment in time and giving clear evidence of our time this afternoon.
After several trips to the skip and much debating as to what should be removed and included all of us left the tranquil retreat of the peace garden for another week. We left feeling that little bit more reassured from Annie's guidance that our eventual goal in making the peace garden a perfect escapism and a place for quiet solitude, a reality.
We've agreed to meet again next Wednesday , April 6th at 11am for another session.
This is Alex Ashworth signing off for another eventful day volunteering for Let's Grow Preston.