Just what the Common ordered

Runner beans - perfect for getting children interested in gardening.

BRIAN KIDD: From these seeds, mighty gardeners might sprout

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This week’s rain came as a relief to parched Southsea Common and its gardens.

The second pond still awaits pondside planting, but a host of colourful bedding is in place. Deadwood has been removed and the garden, which suffers from seafront winds, does remarkably well as its original designers took care to plant tamarisk bushes and maritime firs as a windbreak along the exposed seafront edge.

A Green Flag was awarded to the Rock gardens and a flag-raising ceremony held for the volunteers, council staff and contractors who work hard to keep the gardens in tip-top condition.

Friends and volunteers meet on Wednesday mornings for weeding, pruning and planting. They are a help to resident gardener Ros who does a marvellous job despite plant thieves and those who leave unsightly scars in the lawns with their bar­b­ecues. A Friends’ rock garden flyer details the history and interest in the plants and birds. E-mail southsearockgarden@gmail.com for information or if you can help. It’s a delightful spot, and every GP should recommend it as a healthy pursuit.