The Start of the Garden
The garden is an ‘L’ shaped plot, on two sides of the library building. One part, the ‘upright’ of the ‘l’ is part paved and part covered in woodbark chips for children’s use. It is 15m long and 6.m wide. The other part of the garden - the ‘foot’ of the ‘l’ is 18m long and 6m wide. This part is the part we are working on most intensively. It faces south, so when we’ve got it clear it will be a lovely sheltered sun-trap, but there’s a long way to go before we get there. For years, the area has been unused, and the ground is full of all sorts of rubbish: so far we’ve dug out an old immersion boiler, a milk crate, the inner sleeve of a dustbin (circa 1968), car wheels, computer motherboards, bits of roofing materials, downpipes, wall tiles, plastic bags and a firegrate! We are making good progress, and we think we’ve got down to the original level at some points, and are beginning to put in some of the raised beds which will form the main planting areas of the garden.

Designing the Garden
We’ve all had lots of thoughts about this, and plenty of lively debates on the subject. It is agreed by all of us that the garden is there to be a quiet reading place for all library users. At the open day we held in April 2008, we gave visitors outline plans for the garden, and asked them to draw in their ideas about what we should put in it. This gave us lots of ideas, especially from younger library users; many of them wanted to make sure that there are good resources for garden wildlife, water for bird baths, habitat piles for invertebrates, nectar plants for bees, and nest boxes, as well as a tree house, hammocks, edible fences (raspberry canes, perhaps) and lots of comfortable places to sit and read. We haven’t got room for every idea, but we will do our best.

The plan is to put in numbers of raised beds which will be accessible to gardeners with restricted mobility, and have plenty of seating areas for quiet reading. There will be some dividing structures in the garden – trellis work and trained fruit trees, - which will allow garden users to find plenty of peaceful corners. One part of the garden will be more particularly designed for children’s use, and will have the promised tree house, a ‘reading tree’ with a circular seat underneath it and laminated book pages tied to the branches.

Progress in the garden
We’ve made huge advances in the garden. The weeds have been dug out – though there are bound to be some we’ve missed, we’ve shifted over a ton of rubbish out of the main garden, rotivated the soil and put in the first of the raised beds. On the January dig day the energetic team dismantled the old lean-to shelter in the paved garden, preparatory to putting up the recently purchased tool shed – all this while the snow fell around us.
There is still a lot to do in the garden, so please do come and join us