Chelsea Newsletter

Chelsea newsletter

July 2014

It’s been a while and life has been pretty busy down here in Chelsea. Sincere apologies for the general lack of news for the past….er several months. Firstly, a HUGE welcome to my shiny new colleague –our new HT, Ed! Admittedly, he is well into his third month here but we have been very busy growing things, hence the belated welcome. We are really lucky to have him here and really hope he enjoys being part of the team.

Ed Bowring, our new Horticultural Therapist

I would also like to congratulate our volunteer, Georgie on her acceptance onto her Occupational Therapy course. She’s a cracking lass and will make a brilliant OT and let’s hope she comes back to visit us sometimes!

I don’t think I have done a newsletter since our raised beds have been done and I have to say, they are very smart. They were finished at the very end of March and since then, we’ve had great fun filling them with exciting veg and salads. They’re currently brimming with nosh, which every Tuesday and Thursday gets cooked and served up for lunches. We are also taking hefty bunches of herbs, salad and veg to the Royal Hospital Kitchens and the Café to feed the several hundred hungry pensioners and Joe Public. Not bad for a little garden!

Some of the produce harvested from our garden

We’ve finally recovered from having the Chelsea Flower Show crowds in the hospital grounds and we were lucky enough to be given a huge donation of plants from The Pig Hotel show garden. They are now fairly evenly spread between East Acton, Chelsea and our stomachs.

Working at our raised beds

With the recent warm weather, everything has gone a bit rampant and I fear we may lose a significant number of tomatoes to hungry tennis players as the plants have grown through the fence. Serves us right for tying them to it. Still, we can’t begrudge the tennis types the odd tomato snack when we have them coming out of our ears! We’ll probably still have plenty to sell on our Thursday stall even after giving them to the café, kitchens and eating our fill!

Things are still going well at the Union Jack Club. Our Trustee Liz has worked so hard on it and it’s really paid off. The red, white and blue planting at the front looks extremely snazzy and if you ever get a chance to whizz by, please go in and admire the patio area – it looks absolutely stunning. We’re hoping to take some of our veterans over to make admiring noises and have some scran in the canteen while they’re at it.

Our Heather outside the Union Jack Club with the GL-planted flowers

Speaking of admiring noises, I would like to present to the world our lovely new pond. We have four sea monsters (koi carp) lurking in there somewhere. The veterans all worked their socks off to build it and Del has bought us a brand new fountain to help us relax and enjoy the sight of the water and the urge to run to the loo every 5 minutes. No I’m only joking, it’s every 10.

Yesterday, the Royal Hospital hosted Alan Titchmarsh (!) who opened the Chelsea Pensioners’ allotments. We were hoping that he might want to have a look around our humble patch, but sadly he was needed elsewhere. Next time eh?!

Our pond

I’m going to have to rush off and water things now but happy gardening and I hope you’re all enjoying the heatwave! (hope you’re getting some sun in Scotland at Head Shed!)


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Thanks for helping explain how plants help heal the invisible wounds of war #botanical #art


Did you know we have a hort.therapy garden for Armed Forces veterans nr #Glasgow? We call it our tarmac paradise

About 2 days ago

Over 1k people have signed our Honesty pledge aimed at tackling stigma around veterans' mental health. Plse join them

About 3 days ago

Our stand at Ayr Flower Show – many thanks to @dibleys plants for the black cloth backdrop! #AyrFlowerShow

About 3 days ago

Jim, our woodwork volunteer, collected over 300 Honesty pledges at #AyrFlowerShow - you're wonderful Jim, thanks!

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