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An opportunity for a gardener with previous experience to work as part of a team on 7.5 acres of Grade ll listed historic gardens run for the benefit of residents.

32 hours pw covering both the heavy work of hedge cutting and the lighter horticultural work. OR alternatively up to 24 hours pw covering just the horticultural work, which does involve some grass and hedge trimming.

You will need previous experience of working in a professional gardening team under the supervision of a head gardener, adopting safe working practices in a garden where residents visit throughout the working day

For full details and application form contact Closing date Friday 9th March.

Good Luck Andy Weller!

Andy Weller

Many of you will know Andy Weller, who has been part of the gardening team in the Enclosures for the last three years.

Sadly, Andy will be leaving us shortly to take up a position as Trainee Tree Officer with Horsham Council. It is probably a sensible career move as he studied Arboriculture for 4 years.

Cheerful, sociable and committed, he will be sadly missed but we wish him all the best in his new post!

Date For Your Diary

The next AGM will be held at the Steiner School on Saturday 20 January 2018 at 10.30.

Please try and attend and have your say about what is going right and what is going wrong in the Enclosures.

AOB - Mark Walker has asked for the following be added to the AGM agenda under AOB

In the spring of 2017, notices were hung on the gates to the enclosures stating that spraying was happening in the gardens. It looked like the spraying was being undertaken by an ATV and a small boom sprayer. The contractor left a trailer unattended and in the back of the trailer there were bags of Ammonium Nitrate and, I believe, a broad-leaf herbicide called Headland Polo.

I have absolutely no problem with Ammonium Nitrate being applied to the grass in the spring or spot spraying with Glyphosate. However, I am concerned that if the contractor did boom apply a broadleaf herbicide to the lawns he did not adhere to the most basic precautionary statutory principles. As it was, it looked like a can of herbicide was left unattended and unsecured and the spray signs were removed before the application had dried and later that day children and families were playing in the spray residue.

Headland Polo has a harvest interval of several months (the latest it can be applied before harvest) which gives an indication to the assumed toxicity. If the contractor did not take the most basic precautionary principles, I would question whether he has the resources or the knowledge to wash out his spray tank between different applications which means that even if the application were meant to be fertiliser only it would likely still contain significant herbicide residue. Will a boom sprayed broad leaf herbicide be applied to the grass in 2018?

Dog Waste Bins

RIP Elsewhere

Three dog waste bins have now been installed in the Southern Gardens and will be emptied regularly. One is by the tunnel and the other two are by the double gates on the east and west side.

All the gardeners and the voles would be delighted if dog owners would kindly make use of them. It is not pleasant to find a little rotting package hanging in a shrub or tucked away at the back of a flower bed.

Dog owners are reminded that all dogs using the gardens must be registered at Jonathan Rolls’ office. The fee this year has been increased to £25 pp (per pooch) to cover the cost of installing the waste bins and having them regularly emptied (surely one of the world’s most unenviable jobs).

R.I.P. Elsewhere, please!

RIP Elsewhere

Jeremy has been increasingly concerned of late about people using the gardens as a burial ground. Somebody buried a cat in the North Garden recently which was, of course, dug up by foxes. Jeremy then had the unpleasant task of disposing of the rotten corpse, which the foxes left in the middle of the lawn.

"We do also have quite a few smaller animal burials (like hamsters)," Jeremy writes. "I don't mind that in itself of course, except where people create a little patch and put in unsuitable plants without asking. I then don't know it is a burial sight until I dig it over.

"Then we have the regular ashes from what I can only assume (because of the volume) are human. They are often left in a pile next to a bench or under a bush. We probably get at least 10 a year. I would prefer it if people talked to me about ashes and I could advise them how and where to put them. After all I don't think people really want their loved ones being in a pile with several other people, or end up being washed off my boots.

"I also don't think they want their dear pets going into the communal bins."

More Voles Urgently Needed

The so-called “voles” - the volunteer gardeners - make a major contribution to the upkeep of the gardens, but much more work could be done if we could recruit more “voles”.

At the moment the same handful of people turn up, week in week out. Jeremy would greatly welcome more help, particularly when spring is breaking out all over.

The “voles” meet at ten o'clock every Tuesday morning at a location designated by Jeremy by e-mail the night before. You do not need to be an expert gardener, or indeed have any experience of gardening at all - Jeremy will tell you exactly what to do and supply all the tools needed.

At 11 o’clock we break for coffee (bring your own) and then usually work through, at a gentle pace, until about mid-day or 1230.

If you are free on Tuesday mornings, please consider joining the “voles”. It is a great way to get some fresh air and feel a sense of accomplishment by making a positive contribution to our wonderful gardens.

Who’s been living in my house?

If you have not yet checked out the “Who’s Been Living In My House” report on the Kemp Town Society website we urge you to do so. Designed and edited by Vanessa Minns, it contains a mass of well-researched information about the history of the estate, with links to further reading, and is aiming to compile histories of as many individual houses as is possible.

An extraordinary cast of artists, writers, actors, aristocrats, and various ne’er-do-wells has lived on the estate at various times and their stories make fascinating reading. Some are wonderfully eccentric. Take, for example, the irascible writer Kay Dick, who held court in the basement flat at 9 Arundel Terrace for many years:

“Kay’s friends included the writers Neville and June Braybrooke, and novelists Brigid Brophy, Pamela Hansford Johnson, Francis King, Gillian Freeman and Shena Mackay. They were entertained at Arundel Terrace, where cigarettes, cream teas and Martinis were supplied in quantities which belied her financial situation.

“Her basement flat was lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves crammed with editions of most of the 20th century’s notable writers, many of which were inscribed by authors grateful for her editorial help, including George Orwell who gave her a copy of Animal Farm, inscribed with the words: ‘Kay – To make it and me acceptable’, and L.P.Hartley who wrote ‘with gratitude and admiration’ in her copy of The Go-Between.

“A friend visiting Kay in hospital found her berating a nurse ‘You are not educated enough to look after me’.”

There are many other fascinating stories. Highly recommended.