It’s been a very productive few months this autumn at the Vale Community Hospital Allotments in Dursley. Our new allotment tenants have begun planting and our flower borders are in. The first flower border we transformed looked beautiful until frosts earlier this month – lots of bright colours and we hope that next year will be even more beautiful with self seeded annuals.

Some of our photos below shows allotment tenant John planting up his raised bed with herbs. He’s also got garlic, onions and broad beans in. Also there is Derek, one of our volunteer gardeners at our gardening club, planting out donated violas in a newly cleared border.

There are many areas of the hospital grounds that have been cleared now, but it’s still going to take another year or so to get round all the borders! We rely on donated plants and shrubs, as well as needing more donations of grit, compost, soil – anything that can improve the soil quality which is solid clay! We’ve got a small budget for some manure if we can find a source that can deliver it for us.

We were very grateful to Avon-Vale Nurseries – we had to get in the big guns as filling the beds by hand was taking too long. They have helped us loads in sourcing materials and also filling the beds.

The last photo shows one of our community days at Vale Community Hospital Allotments with tenants helping to fill the last bed. Most of the beds are allocated to new tenants now but we have 3 remaining. We’ll hopefully be starting the next stage of another 20 or so raised bed allotments in the new year. We’re planning our next community day for when we start the next stage also. If anyone’s interested in an allotment, please call Amanda Godber on 01453 700011 or email valehospitalallotments@downtoearthstroud.co.uk. You can also ask your GP about social prescribing and get an allotment that way.

Thanks as always to all our volunteers and for all the donations!