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Horticultural Course at Let's Grow Preston

Good afternoon avid readers of my daily blogs. This marks the last blog of this week covering my voluntary pursuits throughout Preston.

At lunchtime today a new course started at Let's Grow Preston. It was a horticultural course that was valuable training for new and existing gardeners.

I arrived at the Pavilion HQ at 11.45am complete with high visibility jacket, waterproof pants and gloves. Within seconds I was introduced to Bill who was the teacher from Lancashire College that was going to facilitate the training today. I signed in and was ready for action.

Not long after 12noon volunteer number two arrived. She was nice and friendly and I soon discovered when I was working with her how much fun she was and how easy to talk to and also encouraging and kind.

The tour de force was complete. Myself, volunteer number two, Bill and Paul all set for a three hour session that would teach us a new and interesting skill. Paul Greenwood provided leaflets for us both and then a relaxed tour of the new greenhouse and additional compost, storage and tap areas was kindly brought to our attention.

Tutor Bill then began teaching us the work we would be doing today. The first step was to weed a specific bed. Once that was done we had to tear off strips of black bags and firmly fix them into the bed. This did mean at times the whole strip wasn't wide enough for the whole bed so an additional strip was implemented to cover the remaining space. After the first one was done with Bill's help, myself and volunteer number two diligently did a series of beds applying the same practical technique that Bill showed us.

We kept going with this pattern of work till 1.30pm by which time it was brew break till 2pm. Volunteer number two was very specific with her tea, If I recall I think she requested one sugar in hers. I asked Paul for coffee with milk in no sugar as I'm on a diet. Paul, however tried to tempt me in the brew break with the chocolate digestives but I had to be strong. Also during brew break Bill noted down our personal details to enrol us on the course. He revealed that it is an eight week course and we claim a certificate at the end of it. We also chatted in great length about when we were young and where we grew up.

After 30 minutes chilling out and reminiscing on our idyllic childhood the fab four were back to work and continued from 2pm till 3pm. It was nice working with volunteer number two as we became more familiar with each other as time went on and as we got used to the work we created our own formula for getting the beds protected from winds.

As Paul called time at 3pm it was just enough time for a group photo, during which I said to Paul " have you got my best side Paul? " Paul replied "all of you is the best side Alex ". There we were the intrepid trio bar Paul of course because he was cameraman.

It was good to learn a new skill and find out about a new and developing way to prevent weeds from overshadowing raised beds. I really enjoyed myself and I look forward to attending again in a couple of weeks.

This is Alex Ashworth signing off for week one of the horticultural course at Let's Grow Preston.

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