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Yesterday at Let's Grow Preston

Good afternoon blog followers and welcome to the weekly visit into the voluntary pursuits young Alex Ashworth is committing to in and around the city of Preston.

Today was Wednesday which meant another visit to Ashton Park where the Let's Grow Preston team were getting prepared for the final session of the horticultural class. The session has been going on for some time now between the hours of 12noon - 3pm every Wednesday afternoon. The group is being taught the basics such as how to plant plants, how to prevent weeds and how to grow your own vegetables.

As volunteers started to emerge after 12.15pm we began with the planting. This included Echinacea purpurea ( wild berry) which is an erect perennial producing tall rose purple flowers with orange - brown cone shaped centres. We also planted another Echinacea purpurea this time however it was white flowers and yellow cone shaped centres. Finally, the Leucanthemum or Laspider, this is a compact, mat-forming perennial producing a very large, double pure - white daisy like flower. It is ideal for borders and patio containers.

Whilst this was being carried out a number of other volunteers began weeding a series of beds in the community garden. Bill ( the tutor ) and another fellow volunteer observed how on the right hand side of the beds there appeared to be two plants sprouting purple flowers in an area that mostly included yellows and whites. They agreed it was slightly odd and would have been preferable if they had been planted on the left hand side.

The next task included removing the grass from the potato bed. I did this solely then I was fortunate to have at least two other volunteers and Bill contributing to dispose of the grass. It was here where a conversation about music and favourite artists occurred. It was interesting learning about other peoples musical interest and how they differ from one another.

At this point in the afternoon it was time for a break, and, an opportunity to indulge a little in a fellow volunteers treats she had brought. When brew time was taking place lead of Let's Grow Preston Annie Wyn appeared complete with mower and strimmer. This became the background noise whilst we were slurping and scoffing.

In part two of the session all of us got to work in taking out the potatoes from the potato bed which included forks and tubs for the spuds. I foolishly took the whole root out and placed it in the tub! I then realised the correct way of doing it was to remove the spuds then place them in the tub. We all got on great during this period and it was such great fun when we'd dug up quite large potatoes. Much to our delight we were allowed to take some of the spuds if we were that way inclined.

For the half hour or so our sessions were crystallised when a photo of us all was taken. It captured the fun and enjoyment we've all experienced during the past few weeks. After that several of us explored the community fruit garden and picked some berries for a potential pie whilst others took some to try.

The session wound up around 2.45pm as we'd just about exhausted all our physical and mental strength. Whether we see each other again depends on who signs up for the next course but it has been both educational and enjoyable in way that is truly unique to each volunteer.

This is Alex Ashworth signing off for yet another rewarding afternoon with Let's Grow Preston.

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