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Catch up with our Community Garden

The Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) Community Garden continues to flourish through the autumn period.


It can be a difficult time to keep gardens in check during the autumn and winter months, but Trustee and Lead Community Garden Volunteer, David Cockburn, has kept on top of things in remarkable fashion.


Initially it was a ten week gardening course seven years ago that got David into the gardening scene. It was after that period of ten weeks where he realised, he wanted to see the progression of what they had planted during that course.


This led David to put together his own gardening group, and an extra one year course, so they could see the progression of what they had planted. This is what drew David, to the PCP Community Garden.

What started as a small pot of land in the corner of the garden, growing little plants and herbs, has now blossomed into a one acre space, covering the back outdoor space at the Pioneering Care Centre (PCC), Newton Aycliffe. It is now home to a vast number of different plants, herbs, spices, fruit and vegetables.


What is really fascinating and commendable is that David, a wheelchair user, realised the beds would be too high for other wheelchair users and the nursey children here based at the PCC. He set his mind to work and with the help of his brother, who is a civil engineer, they made the beds low enough so that David could work with the beds and that they aren’t high enough to obstruct viewing for children, as well as being able to overlook the whole beds, getting a great view.


David, along with the help of volunteers from the community, managed to turn the land into something much more than just a garden. It is a sensory hub, with love and thought behind every decision, which requires much maintenance throughout the year by David and volunteers.


‘The Sensory Walk’ as David has coined it, has lots of smell and touch present plants and herbs, with the Southernwood or ‘the cola plant’, being a favourite (it really does smell like Coca-Cola)! Others such as the ‘curry plant’ that gives off aromas of your favourite curry, you also have ‘lambs' ear’ plant that has the feel and texture of said name. There is an abundance of visual plants, with Dahlias as they are so bright and vibrant being a big feature.


Fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, an apple tree, and vegetables like leeks all grow in this plot of land. The replanting of sunflower seeds will see them grow tall once again next year also!


Currently being put together is a wheelchair accessible path near the storage unit, to allow David to get there with ease, as before the foundations were put down, it was a grassy mound. Soon it will feature a lovely pathway, that looks into the woodland to see the birds and other wildlife.


Santa will be visiting the Community Garden, on November 20th for PCP’s Christmas Fair! He will be based in Santa’s Grotto within the Community Garden. We hope to see you all there for a visit with Mr Claus and a tour of the Community Garden space.


Visit the PCP’s social media channels. PCP’s Facebook page, Twitter @PioneeringCare and Instagram @PioneeringCare

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