Blog Gardening & Buddying News

Carey’s Spring Highlights 2024

The Beehive Garden, Dunbar Nursery School

The children have been very busy planting salad and veggies in the Beehive Garden and poly tunnel and harvesting our leeks to make leek and tattie soup!  So far this year we have beans and corn, beetroot and potatoes, leeks, cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, salad leaves and strawberries.  We have had a nibble at our lettuce leaves but our radishes were a hard sell and not to everyone’s taste!

The Beehive Garden is there to be enjoyed by all nursery children so last month we took delivery of our accessible raised bed.  The bed was made for our 3 wheelchair users – the timber was donated by Jewsons and the very talented Barry from the Dunbar Shed created the bespoke bed.  He came in to consult with the children and to make sure we got the size of the bed just right.  It allows wee ones to pot and plant on the shelf on the top. The shelf is removable allowing children to tuck right in and enjoy planting and tending. We are overjoyed!  Dunbar shed have also taught me how to make compost bays from pallets.  This is my first attempt and I am rather pleased with the results, thanks guys!

With careful supervision from Andrew from Haddington Hire Centre we also have an accessbile path through the poly tunnel!  This amazing work was all done by our monthly volunteers and Haddington Hire Centre gave us the equipment hire and services for free.  We also received hardcore and edging from Lothian Building Supplies at a discount. The path was installed in 2 hours, a herculean effort from all involved – the wee ones will be absolutely thrilled.  Thanks so much everyone!

We are in the process of making a bog garden by our little bridge.  A bog garden is a fantastic alternative to a pond.  After digging the holes for our bog we lined the bottom with clay for slow drainage – thanks to Philip Revell for suppling and adding the clay.  Bog gardens provide lots of lovely planting opportunities and are ace habitats for wild life.  At last weekend’s volunteering session we filled up our bog with native plants including water avens, marsh marigolds, sedge, purple loosestrife and many others!  We are looking forward to seeing it grow and attracting  lots of mini beasts and even a toad or two. We are really excited to see how this turns out!

Some of the native plants we have chosen for our bog garden including Cyperus Sedge, March Marigolds and Water Avens.

We had a spring open day for the nursery school and Teddy Bears picnic in the Beehive Garden.  It was a glorious day.  The little ones brought their teddies, their people and picnics.  It was lovely to look out over the Beehive Garden to see so many people enjoying themselves and to meet parents and carers. We were able to talk about all the things we get up to in the Beehive Garden and promote our monthly volunteering sessions – hopefully we will have a few new recruits!

Belhaven Buddies

We have had some very special times volunteering with the residents at Belhaven Hospital making great bonds and having lots of fun.  Sadly, the hospital is closing. We are all truly gutted to see the hospital close and our friends move away.  Thank you so much to the residents, your families and all of the staff for supporting Belhaven Buddies.  We had some great times and we will miss you.

Before saying goodbye, the volunteers made up Easter Goody Bags with homemade Easter chicks, cards and chocolates. We delivered them to Haddington hospital just before Easter.  Everyone was so happy to see us – it was such an emotional moment for all of us. Over the past few months volunteers from Dunbar Grammar have visited Belhaven Hospital after school every week.  We have had sing songs, pamper sessions, afternoon teas, cake decorating and back in January the young volunteers ran a Burns Supper with one of the youngsters piping in the Haggis!  Young people read poems and for those that couldn’t make it to the day room we took the pipes and poetry to them.

We are eager to carry on our intergenerational volunteering because everyone got so much from it. I’m very happy to say we have partnered with Dunbar Day Centre whose staff and service users are delighted to have us on board.  Thank you so much to everyone that helped make this happen and so quickly.  We had our first visit recently and received a lovely warm welcome from everyone. The young volunteers were so confident and just slotted right in and were chatting away in no time, serving cuppa’s and helping with a quiz! 

Belhaven Green Team

Gordon and Michael have their own allotment in Belhaven Gardens and they are very proud of their plot!  We visited in February to have a look and have since weeded and reconditioned the soil made a tepee and planted some chives, carrots and peas, let’s hope we are not raided by the deer!!