On the morning of Saturday 5th February 2022 we gathered once more for our second community morning event. A group of interested and engaged local people shared their views, hopes and ideas. Thank you to all who came.

The focus was on developing a wild food garden on the lower boule court area, plus ideas for the Kymin more generally.

The event preceded the installation of a green house and three raised beds. Here’s what our community had to say.

Your ideas:

Secret garden area – there are many wildflowers there, be good to take one full year to observe before intervening.

Children’s garden – we were delighted with an idea put forward by a young person to survey local school children about parks and what they like about them, and what they might like to see here. Asking our community about how we can make spaces and places within the grounds for children and young people is important to us.

Keeping the Kymin grounds open for young people to use was raised. We recognise that local young people have few places to go to spend time with one another. We are hopeful that we can involve young people in decisions about the future of areas such as the pagoda. We are keen for young people to take ownership of creating a place for themselves here. Thank you to the two young people who have come forward and joined our volunteer group to keep the conversations going.

More specifically about the pagoda – young people would like a dry space to spend time in. All the benches are broken. It would be good to do it up and make it a nice place to be, using a power washer, removing the graffiti. Creating a dedicated wall for murals where a professional artist can come along and create something with the young people. The feeling is by being involved, young people would be more likely to look after the space.

Benches on the viewpoint – let’s fundraise to revive this area. The young people expressed an interest in being involved too.

Lower Boule Court/Wild Food Garden area – Creating an open, welcoming and friendly space is vital. We want people to feel they can walk freely around the garden, spend time here and take a fair share of the food that we will grow. We will need to sign-post people to the area, ensuring they know it is open for them to explore.

We discussed growing things up, over and around the railings and down the wall area by the steps. We also thought it important to maintain the open feel of the space, not to block it in with too much planting, both to keep the good view, but also to keep it inviting for people to come in.

We discussed bringing the rill (small pond that fills from the pagoda roof along a gully), back into working order.

We talked about other places where there were accessible food growing spaces and places for children to explore and interact, Insole Court and the Mountain View Ranch Gruffalo Trail for example.

An idea was put forward to create a wellness and wellbeing centre in the area surrounding the garage, with an outdoor meditation space on the upper boule court.

Thoughts about herbal medicine and a sensory garden were shared. Plus we talked about soil building and making inoculations from woodland organic matter. We will be importing a huge amount of top soil from outside into the raised beds. We are keen to form a healthy soil, inoculations plus mulch will help. If you’re interested in this, see here.

Richard talked of bringing all those interested in discussing plans for the house together to draw up sensible plans for the Kymin. He continues conversations with interested parties and The Vale. There will also be a Friends of the Kymin AGM in the coming weeks. If you’d like to be part of that, sign up to the Friends mailing list here.

Other news

We had some ideas shared on social media, including potential to run sessions for children in the school holidays. We are developing plans for this, as we have been awarded a small pot of funds from The National Lottery, as part of the ‘Together for Our Planet’ campaign. We will also be running sessions and workshops at the Kymin. Plus, we will host a seed and plant exchange event with Friends of Victoria Square as part of the Food Vale Festival, that’s on Saturday 19 March, 10-12 at Victoria Square.

We had a good morning last Saturday planting a range of heritage variety fruit trees. That makes our community orchard home to 15 fruit trees now. We look forward to the fruits of our labours in years to come. Our plan is to create a mini food forest around the fruit trees near the pagoda, planting in guilds. To see more about this, read here.

We will continue installing the wild food garden in the days ahead. We plan a planting session on Saturday 26th February, 10-12. All welcome.

Look out for events and activities on our social media at Penarth Growing Community, sign up to the Kymin Community Gardens mailing list here (this is separate from the Friends list). You can also join our Kymin Volunteers WhatsApp group here.

One response

  1. Thanks very much. I think there are some excellent ideas, some of which will be easily achieved and some will require grant funding. The need for it to be, as far as possible, accessible to all is important. I’ll sign up for Richards’s mailing list about the house as well. One extra idea, talk to Emily Shaw from the LNP about using locally sourced wild flower seed mix (as mentioned by the County Ecologist in his talk to PCS on Thursday. I love that idea.)

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