Chances are if you've visited Millennium Country Park in recent years then you've definitely seen the handiwork of our dedicated Volunteer Gardeners! PaulineMike, Helen, Diane and David meet at Millennium Country Park every week - come rain or shine! - and look after the day-to-day maintenance of the garden areas that our visitors love so much.

Each month they'll be giving us an update on what they've been up to in the Park, and features to look out for on your next visit.

May has been a strange month. Different members of the gardening team have been away for various reasons at different times and we have not had a complete team any Wednesday this month. However, the work has continued!

At the end of last month we cleared the roof garden of the bug house in the wetland area removing all the soil and plants most of which were dried out. We put the soil back and at the beginning of this month we added a mixture of topsoil and grit to top it up. We purchased a number of drought tolerant plants which we then planted in the roof garden. Having planted them we top dressed with grit. This gave a nice appearance but, more importantly, it should help deter weed seeds in the future. We managed to revive the thrift and harebells and these will be planted in the Sensory and Wildlife garden. Unfortunately we lost the cowslip.

We fine weeded the beds around the Arbour and dead headed the Bergenia. We then gave each bed a good watering and top dressed with compost. The lavender that had been nibbled earlier in the year has now recovered and so we removed the wire cloche. However, we left the netting around the jasmine which is now shooting nicely from the base. The clematis and grape vine have grown well and are covering the Arbour.

Over the last couple of months we have done a lot of pruning and we would normally have shredded the woody bits. We would then have used the shredded wood as a mulch. Unfortunately our shredder is broken and is unrepairable. This would have meant sending the branches to the burn site, which we didn’t want to do. It was decided to build a “dead hedge” at the back of the side garden. The branches are simply laid horizontally on top of each other to build the hedge. This will provide a good habitat for beetles and other insects and eventually, as the wood rots, we will start to see fungus. If anyone has a shredder they don’t want we could make good use of it!

In the Smudge Garden the pasque flowers have now produced lovely seed heads and the two ferns are doing really well. Later in the year we will need to prune the hebes as they have become very untidy and we plan to plant another fern.

In the Sensory and Wildlife Garden the comfrey and forget-me-nots have finished flowering so we have been removing the forget-me-nots before they set seed and have also removed some of the comfrey that have strayed across the garden. The summer flowering Jasmine is just coming into flower and we are looking forward to smelling its lovely fragrance. We are beginning to see a lot of bees here and the Mason Bees are again laying eggs in the mini bug house.  Another creature we are beginning to see is the Damsel Fly.

Plant sales are continuing to do well and we now have a good variety on offer. We only charge £2 for the larger plants and £1 for the small ones. All the money goes into the volunteers fund and helps us to buy potting compost and the occasional plant. Plants will be available for sale on Wednesdays from 11am - 2pm (or until we sell out) just opposite the entrance the Sensory and Wildlife Garden.

We need support to grow and look after our green spaces

Our volunteers kindly donate their time to help us plant trees and look after our Community Woodlands and Millennium Country Park. For just over £1 per week you can help support us too:

Become a Friend of the Forest