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  • Rebecca Armstrong

Planting bulbs at TransMission Community Garden

On Sunday 12 November we had our second event at the TransMission Community Garden: bulb planting, with a sunflower seed dyeing workshop.

Two yellow netting bags of bulbs are on a turquoise plastic tray in front of a flower bed waiting to be planted

Sunday morning didn’t start in the most auspicious way. We woke to heavy rain – not ideal for an outdoor event. However, we had borrowed a gazebo for the workshop and the forecast was predicting clear skies for the time we had planned for the planting.

The bulbs were supplied by Waltham Forest council for free, as part of a giveaway they do every year. We had a mix of Narcissus Tete a Tete and White and a few crocuses. We had two big boxes and a bag – there were hundreds!

Despite my misgivings due to the weather, we had a good turn out on the day. The ‘core’ Transition gardeners were there, along with a few volunteers. Running the workshop was Anna Kasmir, ably supported by Hilary Powell of Power Station fame.

The workshop was an experiment with and an introduction to using sunflower seeds and flower heads to create natural dyes. You can read Anna’s thoughts and see some of her photos over on her LinkedIn page.

A flower bed with lots of holes each with a bulb in

The planting was surprisingly easy. The ground had been very well prepared by our hard-working gardeners Mike and Adam. They had dug over several beds in the week, so us bulb planters only had to grab a few bags of bulbs and our trowels and dig holes.

Bulbs should be planted about twice their own size deep and twice their own size away from other bulbs. We had plenty of bulbs and plenty of space to put them in.

The rain held off for the rest of the day and we filled all of the prepared beds with bulbs. Each of the volunteers took a bag of bulbs with them and we still have plenty more. Do you know of anywhere that could benefit from a splash of colour next spring?

Now it’s a waiting game. We’ve had plenty of rain to feed the bulbs, and the presence of plentiful fat earthworms would suggest the soil is in good shape. Come spring we should have a good crop of flowers to look forward to.

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