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Green and Growing during Covid-19: Greenway Orchard, tree pits and sunflowers

Slowly but surely, the lockdown is easing off- and that means many more people out and about on Plaistow streets and green spaces.

The Greenway is filling up again with cyclists, dog walkers and runners- and summer is in full swing, although you could not tell by the weather.

Orchard on The Greenway is busier than ever, used by families and groups of friends, which is very encouraging to see. To add to its food growing theme, PSBL has purchased, delivered and organised planting of the cooking herbs in the two front boxes in The Orchard few weeks ago, which will be available for Green Gym volunteers and residents to use once the plants get fully established- for now, they need to be left to develop roots and new growth in their new home. Thankfully, recent rains have helped to keep them lush and healthy.

We also have a new volunteer, Zofia, who is very keen to put her enthusiasm for helping community spaces to thrive by removing litter from The Orchard and bringing water to ever thirsty Tree Pit Gardens on Tunmarsh Lane. She is also producing hand-made signs for both sites, bringing her artistic flair to the mix. Welcome Zofia, the Green Gym volunteers and Tree Pit Gardeners are so very glad to have you on board!

Last month we were contacted by Newham Mag to give our contribution to the promotion of volunteer activities during Covid-19 lockdown, and their resident photographer came both to the Orchard and the Tree Pit Gardens to capture volunteers at work; tidying, weeding and watering whilst also joking amongst themselves and clearly enjoying the outdoor photo session. We hope we make it to the next Newham Mag’s edition selection-look out for smiling faces of our volunteers, being a dab hand with shovels and rakes!

In the pipe line there will be a few gardening maintenance sessions at the Tree Pits soon. The PSBL Steering Group approved a further spend to re-populate Tree Pits- the variety of plants has been ordered, and the call out for all who want to join will be sent as soon as they arrive.  Look out for the message from PSBL on social media sites(Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Lastly, we are sharing a few photos of sunflowers planted across South Plaistow few months ago in resident’s front gardens and outside Plaistow Fire Station, clearly thriving- update to follow when their glorious flowerheads open!

If you would like to get involved with projects we are currently running, or are interested in joining the Steering Group, please get in touch with either ros@plaistowsouthbiglocal.org.uk, or milena@plaistowsouthbiglocal.org.uk, we will point you in the right direction. Wishing you all a pleasant rest of July!