In June 2008 volunteers from the Ham United Group (HUG), led by Mary Pitteway and Jean Loveland, completed the first stage of Ham Library’s Community Garden – the Bee and Butterfly bed – with plants which attracted these essential pollinators. A mini-orchard and herb bed followed and a competition was held early in 2014 for a design to transform the Ham Street side of the library grounds. The ‘Shady Garden’ was chosen as the winning design by local resident, Zoe Varnava, and this part of the garden was completed in the Spring of 2015 with an Open Day held on the 27 June.

The garden maintains its green credentials by having a log-pile and a custom-made leaf composter. The local insect population, it seems, loves the garden. This summer there were more ladybirds on one of the apple trees than had been seen before, including it’s very varied larval form; how many reading this know that the ladybird has a beetle-like stage? “We certainly didn’t before this summer”, said Pauline Grover, the library’s Customer Service Manager.

The garden is well used by people too! This year, local school children visited and took part in a nature trail, while other visitors come to sit and enjoy the sun, eat a packed lunch or just watch the birds and wildlife.

This year the HUG Garden Team were awarded a well-deserved Level 5 – Outstanding ‘Britain in Bloom’ Neighbourhood Award. Well done to them and a HUGe thank you from library staff and customers for all their hard work.

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