TRACEY JONES: Come along if you’d like some inspiration

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WE HAD a busy summer here in the community orchard.

There has been some lovely warm, dry weather which keeps us busy with lots of watering.

There was a very successful event held here in June called the Bee Friendly fun day and we had lots of visitors, including volunteers from other projects. It was great to meet them.

The event was a joint one with Portsmouth Friends of the Earth.

Bees are in decline and this is a serious problem, not only because bees are lovely to see in the garden, but also because they pollinate our fruit and vegetables, so if we want to grow our own food we need bees.

The event had information about how to attract bees and what plants to grow so they have a good supply of food throughout the year.

Plants such as lavender, sage, marjoram, chives, sedum, perennial wallflower, crocus, cotoneaster and fruit trees are all good but please see the Friends of the Earth website for lots more information about bees – foe.co.uk.

The Portsmouth Friends of the Earth group planted two bee worlds in the orchard and these are doing really well.

One is a wild flower area and the other has been planted with shrubs and perennials, all good for bees.

Do come along and have a look if you want some ideas of what to plant in your own area.

Now we are in autumn and the leaves have started to fall.

We have started to rake up these leaves and put them in our compost bin ready to make leaf mould.

Our attention has also turned towards the end of October and our yearly Hallowe’en event.

This year it’s going to be bigger and better.

It’s tomorrow, from 10am until 3pm.

There is going to be pumpkin-carving, willow activities, arts and crafts, face-painting, sowing winter vegetables, a quiz, music and free refreshments.

Please feel free to come in fancy dress.

A lot of the activities will be outside so please be aware of that. The event will go ahead whatever the weather.

So come along and have a wonderfully fun and spooky time.

To contact the Stacey Centre call (023) 9261 7890.