Library Community Garden

Westbury Library Community Garden

One of the ideas that came out of the discussions held back in April of last year was the possibility of using some of the grassy area next to Westbury Library to develop a Community Garden, providing a place to grow a variety of vegetables and other crops. With the support and expertise of members of SusWoT (Sustainable Westbury), a group of volunteers started work on developing the first plot in late November...

Unfortunately the Saturday was persistently wet, so work had to be postponed until the Sunday afternoon. The group were organised by Alex Dunn of SuSWoT and managed to remove the turf from the area to be cultivated and stack it up to rot down.  They were able to start forking over the ground - and then discovered that, from about 6 inches down, it consisted mostly of clay, with lots of tree roots, bricks and large stones...

They removed quite a lot of rubble and a few roots and then returned for another session the following Sunday (December 1st) During this session they managed to finish clearing out roots and rubble from the bed, raked it level and sowed Broad Beans.

The plan was then to leave it until the beans appeared and then weed as required; when the beans were tall enough they would be staked to provide support.

Broad beans are as a crop that will enrich the soil as they fix nitrogen and can be dug in. They would be harvestable by June which will allow the group to plant out things that have been started in greenhouses in early spring such as cabbages, tomatoes, cauliflowers, borlotti beans, runner beans, French beans etc.

Update - January 2020
Our garden is celebrating the New Year with the appearance of a full set of bean shoots! They will soon need staking to protect them from the wind, but at least they won't need watering for a while!

Update - June 2020
The plants flourished during the hot sunny months of "lock-down" - benefitting from some regular visits with a car-boot-full of plastic milk-bottles of water!
The end result was a substantial crop of fresh broad beans, which were rapidly harvested by various members of the Library Group and were unanimously described as "very tasty!

Update - July 2020
Thanks to Alex and the Gardening team, the broad bean plants have been removed, the soil dug over and edges trimmed, and Westbury now has a thriving set of runner bean plants, winding their way up a very sturdy framework! 
As well as the traditional Scarlet Runners, there are a number of Borlotti Beans - yes I has to use Google as well, and now know they go very well in soups, salads, risotto...
We are currently watering by using lots of plastic milk-bottles but, hopefully, will be able to install a water butt in the near future.

If you would like to join the group for the next phase, please email Alex Dunn at

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