Saturday, 6 January 2018

Sweet Pea - Gardening Advice with an Environmental Slant

Well we are past the shortest day but some of the coldest weather is yet to come. Sweet Pea is about to give you some contradictory advice. Both to tidy up and to leave untidy.

The cold weather is a gardeners friend it helps reduce pests and disease so get out in your garden and tidy away old pots, slabs, ornaments and general rubbish. Cut back all of the woody stems of perennials like phlox. This will prevent a lot of our garden enemies such as slugs and earwigs having somewhere cosy to pass the winter before coming out to renew the onslaught on our planting. Wash all of your old flower pots and make sure the greenhouse and cold frame are clean. Their time is coming up fast. Put some fleece over treasures that may not be fully winter hardy and trim back items that can be damaged by wind and weather.

Our friends and allies in the form of birds (I’m not sure about pigeons though) need all of the assistance we can give them. So leave a few fallen leaves in odd corners. You will see blackbirds constantly raking through them. Do not be hasty to remove anything with berries, even Ivy. They are invaluable food sources and can be left to stand for a month or two yet.

Make sure that the bird tables and feeders are well supplied and don’t forget some fresh water.

Go through your seed collections and be ruthless and throw out anything that is really out of date. Remember you can always get fresh discounted seeds from the Chinnor allotment and Garden Society on Sunday mornings.

Finally, get planning for 2018. What worked, what didn't and what new wonderful things to try this year.

Happy New Year and Good Gardening
Sweet Pea

Friday, 5 January 2018

Innovative Community Action Groups are taking on unnecessary waste

We're very excited to be part of the successful bid for funding for initial Repair Cafes in Oxfordshire. Working with The CAG Project, Oxford County Council and other Oxfordshire Community Action Groups our aim is to repair items that would be thrown away but could be mended.

We throw away vast amounts of stuff, even things with almost nothing wrong which could get a new lease of life after a simple repair. The trouble is that lots of us have forgotten that we can easily repair things ourselves.

Repair Cafés are free community events where skilled volunteers help people fix their own items to save them from going to waste. The focus is on skill-sharing and an enjoyable ongoing learning process.

Knowing how to fix things is a skill quickly being lost to our modern society and with a Repair Café invaluable practical knowledge is passed on. Items are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away. This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new items. It cuts CO2 emissions for example, because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released.

With this funding and support we plan to run two Repair Cafes in Chinnor in 2018. To do this, we need your help. What can be fixed is dependent on our volunteer repairers skill set. So if you like fixing things, have a specific skill you could share and like a challenge contact Linda at

Waste electronic equipment is a huge environmental problem in the UK and abroad. There are also huge missed opportunities for communities to benefit from what is…

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Happy New Year

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all our volunteers and supporters. As always, without you, Greening Chinnor would not have been able to achieve as much in the community.

Look out for our exciting new community projects for 2018.