Instead of introducing things with a short quip about the weather, I’ll set down an interesting calendar fact. December was originally the tenth month in the Roman calendar, followed by a number of dark, cold non-agricultural days that were not part of any named month, before the year started again in March. These unnamed days were eventually assigned to be ‘January’ and ‘February’, and hence, pushed December back two places, to be the twelth month. And that is where I find myself now, 11 months on from the start of my placement. In the build up to December my time has been divided into three really interesting fields.
I have been regularly helping out at a Social and Therapeutic Horticulture project called Green Routes, getting involved in whatever tasks they need help with and generally learning about working with, and alongside, students with additional support needs. My time at this walled garden has been fantastic and I have learned so much. It has shown me the depth of the value of working outdoors for all people, and particularly those who would not otherwise get the opportunity to do such things.
I have also continued my work over at Urban Roots in Glasgow, our meadow creation work has moved into more of a maintenance phase, and we are also now building a low willow-woven dead hedge with material from a Goat Willow (Salix caprea) which we pollarded. This will border the meadow and make it even more appealing to the eye. It is hoped the meadow and fence will provide a real burst of colour for local residents and local pollinators in Toryglen, and show how wood can be used in traditional and low impact ways.
Finally, I spent a lot of time putting together a funding bid to extend the Toryglen wildflower project into next year. The process was an invaluable insight and opportunity to learn more about project planning and budget management. Dull sounding phrases, yes, but so crucial for creating projects that really do affect local communities and their green spaces. These are skills I cetainly hope to use in the future.
For more info on the meadow project so far, check out things here.
Let’s hope that December brings us some lovely festive cheer and perhaps I’ll bring in 2015 with some more EXTRAORDINARY facts, this time, about January!