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Willow volunteers create new community garden

By Leslie Mitchell

THE Willow Garden is an exciting new project which will see an under-utilised area of grass transform into a community garden in the grounds of Forton Road Medical Centre, Gosport.

In June 2022, the garden was officially launched, and the draft plan drawn up by local surveyor and designer Brian Hindle, of BJH Property Services.

The completed project was designed to have two elements – formal growing and a sensory garden.

After the long dry summer, it was only in October 2022, when the ground had softened, and with the help of Brian, that members of the steering group including Dr Robin Harlow and volunteers Dean, Sean and Mark spent their Sunday digging out the path and growing area in the formal garden.

Existing trees and shrubs by the bike sheds were given a tidy-up and the brambles behind the pharmacy were reduced.

Beaver Tool Hire kindly gave the free hire of a mini-digger and  rotavator which was a great help.


Since then more work has been done, including the creation of raised beds and planting of bulbs, wild flower seeds etc. Donations of time and materials are most welcome and you can contact  (https:/www.love outdoors.org.uk/contact-us).

This inspirational initiative aims to reach groups that will benefit most from spending time outdoors and in the garden. Motiv8 and targeted patient groups are among the first to use the garden and help to develop it.

In November, the Willow Welly and Wellbeing (WWW) volunteer group was  launched to establish and maintain the garden. The group is open to anyone with a keen interest in gardening and who would like to help.

If this appeals to you, then just turn up to one of the sessions wearing suitable clothing for gardening and either wellies or stout shoes. A selection of hand tools is available as well as a cuppa and biscuit.

See the poster for more details or address any queries by email to Emma: hello@loveoutdoors.org.uk.

PICTURED: Detail from the Willow poster which provides information about opening hours and volunteering