Redbridge

Community mission

No diggity, we've got to bag (soil) up!

2 GoodGymers made their way to help the Hainault in Bloom in Redbridge.

  • Redbridge runner
  • Yasmine Li
 
Wednesday, 2nd of August 2023
 
Led by Redbridge runner

This was an epic day of GoodGym goodness and Yasmine, Simon and Julia put in some real hard work to keep a community garden going!

As it was only two of us (Yasmine and Julia) until later in the day, we arealised we had a lot to do! But we started the morning easy to keep fun vibes going - we met at the station at 10am just in time for the plants and compost delivery from the Forest Farm shop, who kindly delivered all the goodies for the start of our session. We then made a cuppa and eased into the day:)

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Llitter, litter everywhere! The first task was to collect the litter in the area around the entrance, we picked up the litter all around the corner where an old tree stump stands and also all around the hedge where we created a new flower bed a few month ago. We also collected all the cigarette butts from the planters, to be fair the planters were quite clean as the station cleaning staff continue helping with the clearing!

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Creating a new flower patch: Our next task was to take the compost that has been standing in the green waste bag in the station area (remnants of previous planter replacement from a few years ago) and create a new flower bed by spreading the compost around a tree and putting in some of the wildflowers. We hope it won't be sprayed by the council or peed on by some dogs and men that seem to use that corner for peeing!

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Hard work and some 'Psycho' stabbing: Once we warmed up we went for the first planter to remove what is now just a heavy lump of roots, weeds and ivy. Because it's been raining heavily in the days beforehand we had to cut through half of the planter roots and that's when anger-releasing trowel stabbing action came in! It was hard work but very satisfying to do that:) We managed to clear two planters and put the old stuff into a now freed green-waste bag that was filled to the full. But it's looking lovely with the ivy in there now:)

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Lunch in the station office: having worked up the sweat by working for a few hours, we decided to take a lunch break, which was provided - Julia brought it some yummy Hot Pot noodles from Itsu and lots of snacks! Lovely station fellas invited us to sit down in their kitchen that is just behind the control centre so we were able to make use of the kettle and have a relaxing lunch. And yes of course we also had tea and some choccies before the next task:)

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Water, water everywhere: Despite the torrential rain earlier in the day, the planters under the bridge were very thirsty and needed a good watering and filling of the containers. This is where Yasmine came in! She attended to this bicep-busting task of filling in all the planters with water and carrying watering cans - we now have a new 'water filler' that knows her way around men's toilet at the Hainault station hehehe - welcome Yas;)

Freshening up planters and topping up with nutritious compost: At this point, we had extra reinforcement arrive in the shape of Simon, council's Civil Pride enforcement officer who got stuck in straight away to help out this community project! Simon filled a huge bucket with the new compost and attended to all 15ish planters by putting fresh layer at the top so that the planters got new food. Simon also planted in more plants as he went along. Yasmine and Julia continued to carry watering cans:)

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Fresh and beautiful planters: Before lunch we prepared the empty planters by putting in new liners, mixing water-retailing gel with compost and watering it thoroughly to soak up the gel. The planters were ready for planting so Julia put in a selection of lovely evergreen and herbacious perennials and annual flowers. Simon and Yasmine finished their previous tasks and joined Julia in the planting up of two new mini-gardens. Julia also added more compost and planted flowers for the wildflower patch around the corner.

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More Tea and choccies: Before one last push and almost 4 hours we took a quick break with more tea and sweet treats to hide from the rain, which didn't stop. It was always lovely to have a chat and hear what's happening in the area - Simon talked to us about lots of lovely events he is doing with the schools and community and he offered to take some of the goodgym leaflets to distribute. We also shared all the plastic pots we had for Simon to take to school events for kids to plant seeds into them and grow more flowers!

One more planter and flowers! At this point the rain properly arrived but it didn't stop this hardy bunch! There were still plenty of plants and flowers and compost left and with Simon's help the three of us cleared and replaced the 3rd planter in no time! We put the old weedy and Ivy floweing compost by the hedge corner where things tend to get full of litter, we hope this 'ivy cascade' will deter the litter louts and keep that corner nice and green. We then put the compost and new plants in collectively. It was such a satisfying task and we kept getting lovely comments from passers-by thanking us for making the local area so much nicer and more green. That was lovely!

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Cleaning in Progress - sweeping, mopping, tidying: Once the refresh and replant of community planters finished, we wanted to make sure we left the area as we found it! Yasmine took care of mopping and cleaning the area in the toilets and station where we spilled compost. Simon and Julia swept the area outside the entrance that got quite messy from planting. We also collected the rest of rubbish, put it in bags and got a thank you from the station cleaning staff! We are so grateful for this fantastic collaboration between the TFL Hainault station and Goodgym to keep this initiative going!

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This was such a rewarding and satisfying session that even though the rain was really heavy by the end, we left in good spirits and no one chose a train or bus and instead walked and cycled back! THANK YOU SIMON AND YASMINE!

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Report written by Redbridge runner


Discuss this report

Yasmine Li
Yasmine Li
Friday August 4th, 2023 13:08

Love it! I also swam home...

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