The Incredible Edible Winchester team were excited and raring to go when we met up at 1000 hrs on Thursday 30 Jun …..we were faced with three blank heras fences and a pile of edible plants. We had a morning to create a blooming vertical garden.

Luckily the months of planning, and several practice runs, paid dividends, and the containers made from milk cartons, yoghurts pots and tin cans were quickly attached to the fences to spell the words “EAT” and “GROW”. The third fence would be covered in guttering growing salad leaves.  We attached our lovely new signs designed by Wendy Bramell, local artist to the top of each fence. 

vertical gardenOnly 5 hours later, we were finished and ready for the Hat Fair public to see our living installation. 

A gentle trickle of people came to see the installation on the Friday afternoon, but during the main event of Saturday, the trickle became a stream.  Some visitors, who came to the installation, were already keen gardeners, just interested in growing vertically or some of the unusual edible plants. Other visitors were beginners seeking growing advice including a large number of families keen to get ideas on how to start. 

vertical gardenWe had lots of discussions about the use of flowers and leaves in salads, and there was even some debate.  One keen gardener and herbalist was keen to point out that violas should be used with caution for people with heart conditions, and whether begonias were really edible (editors note - only tuberous begonia petals are edible - check out a list of edible flowers here).

As the day progressed, the team was really impressed with the general interest in the philosophy behind Incredible Edible and positive comments from local people who had seen the planters at the station.

On the Sunday, we dismantled the display, and gave away the plants to local families to take away and grow in their own gardens, window sills or patios.  We easily gave away our herb filled wellies and our flower filled boy & girl, but for some unknown reason Sam’s 80’s upcycled light shades were left behind …… so instead they were installed in her own garden and have done well in keeping the snails off the squash plants. 

vertical gardenWe look forward to meeting our new volunteers; over 40 people signed up to either help with the station planters, our planned planter in Abbey Gardens, or simply to find out more about Incredible Edible or WinACC.