Library Update

Bungay’s library courtyard is positively blooming this summer as its beautiful, new wildlife garden comes into its own with a great burst of activity.

Colourful chamomile, cornflowers, poppies and foxgloves catch the eye, not only of library visitors but bumble bees and many other insects. And there are plenty of feathered visitors too, including a pair of blue tits who have successfully reared a family of youngsters in one of the new bird-boxes.

To celebrate the success of this flourishing community project and to boost the ongoing Save Bungay Library campaign, a Midsummer Evening is being staged at the library courtyard on Friday, 24 June, from 7-10pm.

All library supporters and well-wishers are invited to come along. Drinks and nibbles are provided and local musicians will add to the atmosphere, playing acoustic instruments.

Over the past year, this underused courtyard space has been transformed into a hive of activity. This spring pupils from Bungay Primary School saw the bulbs they had planted last Autumn emerge from the earth and burst into bloom. On May Day Sustainable Bungay held a second Give and Grow Day, exchanging seedlings, seeds, flowers and veg (and growing tips!) and establishing a permanent plant and produce corner.

During the drought, the library staff and volunteers have been kept busy watering the assorted herbs, wildflowers and young fruit trees, relying on tap water when the rainwater butts ran dry. The busy staff are seeking someone who is willing to spend a few minutes each week, sweeping the courtyard to keep it looking spick and span. Dustpan and broom will be provided! A shed with tools and compost for garden maintenance is now in situ.

Sara Johnson, who redesigned the courtyard garden with the project’s working party, is really pleased with its progress. “I’m delighted – after the freezing conditions of the winter and now a prolonged drought – that it’s established and positively thriving.”

For more details about the midsummer evening, or if you would like to contribute any refreshments, please contact the library staff or email:

Addendum,  Notes from Library Courtyard subgroup meeting, 13/7/11. Sara, Paul, Richard and Nick met to clarify some issues relating to this project.

Maintenance. Richard is doing a lot of day-to-day maintenance and is happy to continue. Sara, Paul (and Jenni) have also been chipping-in and will continue to do so, with some assistance from library staff. Paul suggested that we should begin to put together some information so that whatever circumstances arise we ensure that maintenance might be handed over to others. He will put together a sheet about pruning & care of the fruit trees. Nick will get a ring-binder to leave in the library to collate this information with other pertinent material. Richard noted that the waterbutt along the side passage is not filling efficiently and Nick said he’d speak to Paul Coleman to try to get it fixed. We agreed that the birdbox housing the camera should be moved to the back wall where it will be tucked in behind the ivy and provide a more sheltered space. Nick wondered whether it would be worth reapplying to ACCF funding for a retractable awning in view of the future of the library apparently becoming secure.

Wooden Commemorative Plaque. Nick has had some contact with Mark Goldsworthy about this but the cost and questions of layout & wording have held back progress. The consensus here was that something simple and inexpensive would be best, and that an attempt to acknowledge sponsors in this way would lead to a situation “where do we stop?” and that it isn’t sensible to do so. Paul felt that acknowledging the permaculture course which sparked off the project is important, and that educational benefits – central to Amanda’s motivation – need to be acknowledged. Paul can supply the wood. Simple lettering using pyrography might be effective: does anyone know someone who might do this? If a large area of the plaque is left blank then we could attach laminated notices to it, such as before and after photographs; maybe create a booklet describing the project and thanking sponsors which could be made available here…

Public Information. Josiah has stressed the importance of providing information to visitors about the ethos behind the garden (using the noticeboard area above?) and plants within it. People felt that plant labels should be inobtrusive – a simple plastic tie with the latin name printed on would suffice, and anyone who wanted to know more could do so in the library! Nick agreed to source some plastic labels and fine markers.

Annual theme for 2012. Medicinal plants is the planned theme. Nick will ask Mark Watson if he is happy to lead on this.

Autumn produce exchange. The last SB meeting proposed an autumn event to compliment the Give & Grow in Spring where people get together to exchange produce. The suggested dates are Sunday 25th September or 2nd October.