The garden is maintained jointly by the County Council and a small  group of FRRL garden volunteers who meet regularly  – if you are an experienced gardener and would like to help, you will be most welcome. Just e-mail FRRL to express an interest!

FRRL are keen to share the apple crop with all Library users who may help themselves to the windfalls from the basket.  However, to ensure that the apples are not picked before they are ready, and to reserve some for Apple Day, only Library staff and FRRL Trustees should pick them from the tree.

Feline friend enjoying the sunshine, October 2014.

Garden_Cat_2_Oct_14 Garden_Cat_Oct_14

The garden to the rear of the library building has been transformed in recent years since the Friends decided to create a community garden behind the library building in 2009.

Library Back Garden 2013

Library Back Garden 2013

The garden had previously been an overgrown and unfriendly grass space, lacking security and any character.  The intention was to create an area which could be enjoyed by local residents and by users of the  Library.  Members of the community turned out in force to prepare the garden and to plant.  Green Man Landscapes in Whittlesford kindly donated 124 native hedge plants, a mixture of hawthorn, holly and wild rose.  The plants were chosen to create a haven for wildlife as well as improve security.

Big dig 2010

The Friends decided to further enhance the space by planting a heritage orchard.  The funds to purchase twelve trees were raised by subscriptions from members of the Friends group.  They were planted during National Tree Week 2009, as part of the BBC’s attempt to break the record for planting the most trees across the country in one hour.   The majority of the apple trees were specially chosen as varieties local to the Cambridge area, some dating from the late 1800’s.

planting apple trees 2

The trees first fruited in 2011 and a small basket of eating apples was placed in the library for people to help themselves.

Since these early days, the garden has been the focus of many community events.  Members of the Friends regularly get together for weeding mornings and watering the trees.  The local Beavers group helped by also doing some weeding and by planting a bed of sunflowers, cornflowers and Californian Poppies which brightened the garden during the summer months.  Story-time groups meet in the garden for reading sessions when the weather is fine.

In 2011, there was a children’s sunflower-growing competition; seeds were planted at a special event in March and judging took place in September.  Children were encouraged to check the progress of the plants over the spring and summer.  The prize for the tallest sunflower was a signed book by children’s author Martin Jenkins, who presented the prize in person.

winning sunflower

In October 2012, we held our first Apple Day with games and competitions, apple tasting, apple pressing and crafts.  It was a great success and well attended.

apple bobbing apple and spoon race rock road library photo 4

Our latest addition to the garden arrived in May 2013 – two benches for relaxing, reading and socialising followed in Summer 2014 by garden doors giving easy access to the garden from the new children’s room.

Library apple plan r1

Mary Lachlan-Cope’s Design, 2010 


  1. […] Informal Garden Group […]

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