The Dartmouth Community Garden is located along the riverfront in Dartmouth. It consists of several display beds and floral boats in a grassed space bordered by shrub planting with a Mediterranean theme. There is the Olive bed with roses planted to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee, the Poppy bed commemorating the loss of young naval cadets in World War II, and, new in 2019, a rose bed to mark the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020 with five Mayflower roses.
We have obtained a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural trust to make improvements and add new plants to this area where we already grow fig, papyrus, pomegranite, geranium maderense and a castor oil plant. In 2019 have added more unusual plants including a banana, some echiums, a pepper bush from Chile, fuschia arborescens and camellia sinesis, the tea bush.
At the heart of the community garden is the site of the proposed Dartmouth Pyramid Greenhouse for which we are raising funds. At present there is a small temporary greenhouse on the site.
In 2013 three raised beds were created outside the community greenhouse using rotted horse manure from a local nursery. They were planted as a demonstration potager, and local people were delighted to harvest the produce. Since then they have been planted with vegetables, herbs and flowers each year. In 2018 the beds were replaced with higher surrounds of oak, with the help of naval cadets from the Britannia Royal Naval College and a grant from Dartmouth Caring, making them more accessible by wheelchair users.
‘Potage’ is French for soup or stew, Traditionally a potager is an ‘edible landscape’ which is symmetrical and organised. It is a large, ornamental vegetable plot, with design and colour being paramount, also incorporating herbs and some flowers.
It is usually divided by box hedging and gravel pathways though here it is on grass in a simple wooden frame.
We have a cutting garden to demonstrate the variety of flowers which can be grown locally for display in the home rather than expensive imports bought from supermarkets.