Greenhouse 5 Update – February 2018

Current state of greenhouse

(Photo by Martin Hewer)
All vegetation and roof glass has been removed. Also all the 40 rotten roof glazing bars have been removed. The sagging side horizontal beam on the east side where 2 or 3 vertical support timbers had rotted has been jacked up to remove distortion of the structure. The ridge timber has been tied to the wall at the south end with a long timber tie to stabilise the structure without any glass in the roof.
Estimates for work to be done
John Wyatt who heads up a joinery firm has had a good look at the structure and submitted estimates as below:
a) Works to stabilise the main structure – £1650
b) Supply 40 roof glazing bars and 19m condensation channel – £1200
The wood used in the above will be Accoya which is the world’s leading high technology wood with durability matching or exceeding that the best tropical hardwoods.
John writes that he is excited to be part of the project and has provided good contacts for glass supply, etc
Next steps
1) Immediate procurement of tarpaulins to enable us to dry out the structure is number 1 priority
2) Obtain quotes for supply of glass
3) Work out a safe but inexpensive means of access to the upper part of the structure
4) Work up funding application

Tim Parkinson
GH5 Facilitator

Greenhouse 5 Progress – October 2017

The Trustees met on October 3rd to consider recent representations and suggestions made on the web and by email on the future of this historic structure. They decided that the idea of using the current state as an exhibit to show how much the rest of the garden had been improved was not in the long term interest of the garden or in line with our objects. They did agree with the proposal that we obtain a fully costed estimate of restoration but that would best be done once vegetation had been cleared and the structure made safe to enter by removing the glass from the roof. It was felt that as the current structure is dangerous, it cannot just be left to deteriorate even further. And the general feeling was that unless we took action the possibility of rescuing a potentially fine asset would be lost for ever.

As of 18th October the process of clearance and removal of glass has been carried out by a small teams of volunteers working with extreme care after a full risk assessment of the proposed method has been carried out.
In line with this teams led by Neil Philpott and Tim Parkinson have completed clearance of vegetation and removal of the glass so that a full assessment can be carried out. The pictures below give some idea of before and after the work.


Help us! Tesco grant of £8000 can be increased with your vote


We have been awarded £8000 by Tesco as a community group,  but if we publicize the project successfully and Tesco customers in our region vote for us we can be in line for up to £12000.  Can you help Blaise Community Garden by voting for us at Tesco Stores? The next paragraphs are Tesco’s official explanation of how it all works.

Tesco has teamed up with Groundwork on its Bags of Help initiative in hundreds of regions across England and Wales. The scheme will see three community groups and projects in each of these regions awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.

Bags of Help offers community groups and projects in each of Tesco’s 416 regions across the UK a share of revenue generated from the 5p charge levied on single-use carrier bags. The public will now vote in store from 31st October – 13th November on who should receive the £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 awards. In total, there is over £12.5 million up for grabs.

Here is a list of Tesco stores that you can vote at between the 31st October and 13th of November



The link to the Bags of Help website is

They came, they went at it and then they went!

DSC_0688Phew! Nothing was going to stop the volunteers from THE YORKSHIRE BUILDING SOCIETY: certainly not the weather though it was a nice dry if windy morning in the garden.

The volunteers worked with enthusiasm and even enjoyment in achieving a transformation of Greenhouse 4. Just look at the photos kindly provide by Martin and Joanna in the collection below.

We, the  Community Garden, are very grateful indeed to the volunteers. Perhaps they will encourage others to come and give a hand and, at the same time, enjoy the fresh air and activity.

Diggers required – getting to the root of the problem

We have two raised beds uncovered by the enormous efforts of stalwart volunteers who cleared the brambles of the area. We now have the problem of digging the beds to clear the bramble roots and other undesirable weeds. This is a big task and we urgently need more members to help on Saturday mornings.

A little guidance if you can give us a helping hand (and foot!) gained from direct experience.

The soil beds are lined with a tough black membrane at a depth of about 10″ and the bramble roots lie along on top of the membrane.  So I recommend digging solid clods out with a spade and exposing the membrane.2016-01-09 12.28.30

Then any roots lying along the membrane or, occasionally, coming through it can be cut off with the spade.

Then the clods can be broken up with a fork, roots, etc extracted and the soil replaced in trench.

This is hard work and takes time but does ensure most of the problem brambles are eliminated.

It took me 2hrs to do this amount.2016-01-09 12.53.39

The deadline date for having the ground prepared for planting Early potatoes is St Patricks Day, 17th March,  so please come and dig if you can.


Success in Aviva Community Fund contest

Thanks, primarily, to hard work by Charles Claxton and to all those who voted and encouraged others to vote for our application we have been awarded up to £1000 pounds.

1304 people voted for the scheme and you can see the full details here: Aviva Community Fund

Its not easy to find the info on the Aviva web site because its listed under Secret Garden!


Today, April 1st, Mick , Chris, Charles and Tim met with Jason Bailey from BCC Property Dept. and Sarah Tyler from Parks Dept and walked around the garden and agreed the basis on which we would sign a lease for THE WHOLE GARDEN including the Tool Shed.

Significant features of the lease will be:

BCC will be responsible for the walls

We will have unlimited access to the area shown on the outline plan attached.

Our use of electricity will be metered but not our use of water.

We will make the two boiler houses safe by dealing with the asbestos roofs after BCC have completed an asbestos survey.


Tim Parkinson





Quercus robor planted in memory of Marguerite Tonkin

Chris Carroll obtained the oak tree due to the generosity of Blaise Commercial Nurseries and organised a planting on Sunday 9th March with members of Henbury Conservation Society.
And here is a picture:

And there is a report and photo gallery on the Conservation Society site