WWH staff dig in to help community gardeners

Staff from Wales & West Housing took time out to help a group of community gardeners in Cardiff to prepare for winter planting.

St Mellons Community Garden brings together Wales & West Housing residents and neighbours together to grow fruit, flowers and vegetables. They meet every Friday and, over the years, many friendships have grown along with the food, which is shared among neighbours living in the area.

However, the gardeners say that, since the pandemic, they have struggled to keep on top of the regular maintenance so turned to Wales & West Housing staff for help.

Four staff volunteers spent the day digging and weeding at the community garden, helping residents prepare for the autumn and winter planting.

The day was part of our Giving Something Back Day scheme, where WWH encourages every member of staff to take an extra day’s paid leave every year to make a real difference to our residents and communities.

WWH resident, Glenys Vandervolk, is one of the original garden members and regularly shares her gardening knowledge with other garden members.

She said: “We are so pleased that staff came to help us. During the pandemic the garden became overgrown and, since then, we’ve struggled to keep on top of it.

“Thanks to the help we had from Wales & West Housing staff, we can get on with growing our own vegetables for our Christmas lunches.”
WWH resident, Glenys Vandervolk

Here are some of Glenys’ gardening tips for autumn

Autumn is the time to start protecting those tender and fragile plants from the oncoming chill. It’s a good idea to take them indoors for the winter or wrap them in plant fleece, widely available from garden or DIY stores or online, to stop the frost from killing them.

It’s also a good time to start planting vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, onions, garlic and  broad beans, especially if you want  to grow your own Christmas lunch.

Instead of buying seeded potatoes, you can make your own with any potato you have in your vegetable basket. Cut them in half and let them dry out for a couple of days in your kitchen or on a windowsill. You can then plant them in the garden or in pots.

If you’d rather plant spring flowers in your pots, a good tip I always follow is to plant bulbs in layers in your pots.

  • First put a layer of compost in the bottom of your pot. Then plant a layer of tulip bulbs.
  • Add another layer of compost and plant the daffodil bulbs. Another layer of compost, then  plant crocus bulbs. Cover with  compost, then finally plant some  snowdrop bulbs, before finishing  off with a top layer of compost.
  • In January or February, the snowdrops will be the first flowers to burst through, followed by the crocus, daffodils and last, but not least, the tulips giving a pot of beautiful Spring flowers to admire until May.

Alison Stokes 07484 911100 Alison is our PR & Marketing Officer for South & West Wales.