Welcome to the SRT blog No. 106

1st July 2022 – Welcome to our blog post No. 106

Meet Claire: a new member of the horticultural team who joined Sunnyside in June.

On the 6th June 2022 I was delighted to start work at Sunnyside, launching into a new career in horticulture.  It was exciting as the role was just what I was looking for and the vision and values of the organisation are an ethos to which I subscribe.  I am spending time at each site getting to know people and familiarising myself with routines and some of the activities that take place each day. I was promised variety at interview and everyday has, indeed been different.  My main role will be working on outside contracts, and I feel that I have already had a good taste of what is to come. Claire’s been out with the AC team this week – see below.

As a secondary school Art teacher for over 20 years, I was ready to do something new.

I developed a love for gardening through the re-design of my own garden and soon added an allotment, which I have been working for about 14 years.  The Allotments Group in Chesham represents allotment holders and we organise social events during the year, enjoying a close working relationship with Chesham Town Council.

Life is slowly starting up again after COVID and I love to dance.  I used to travel during the school holidays and my last big trip was to Costa Rica.  It was an amazing experience of bio-diversity and we saw so many different animals from monkeys to stick insects and everything in between. I also love a road trip and took off for Scotland in May, making it to Aberdeen to see my cousins.

I look forward to meeting and working alongside trainees and Sunnyside staff in future weeks, who have made me feel very welcome already, so many thanks.             Claire Malan

Sunnyside will be at Bella Stuart-Smiths Open Garden through the NGS ( National Garden Scheme) this Sunday selling our fantastic ‘drought tolerant & pollinator friendly perennial plants and Sunnyside produce. A lovely garden to spend  Sunday afternoon in . Tickets still available from their website. Find a Garden | National Garden Scheme (ngs.org.uk)


Great teamwork by Northchurch at a private garden contract in Great Kimble. Cutting the hedges with the brush cutter, tidying up after and weeding. All in a days work.

















Lee working on the ‘duck project’, taking down the old chicken shed to recycle into a duck shed. They will arrive soon.









James cutting the grass at the regular St. Mary’s primary school visit.








Zoe showing everyone the differences between UV stain and no UV stain. This is for some notice boards being produced for the council team and as much wood protector is going on as these can take.









Birch tree drying out for something special. Oh, wonder what they have planned for these?








The goats on the wrong side of the fence, they are naughty!








The perennial bed, planted 2 years ago is starting to come into its own and the colourful flowers are starting to show up well.










Ellie spending some quality time with ‘Cricket’. What a lovely way to say goodbye at the end of the day.











A team tending to the Dens house garden next to Hemel Food Garden – weeding around the perennials which are settling in nicely.








Creating more planting space in the pallet garden.


















Some of the rhubarb was harvested and crumble made in the bakery this week for the team!
























The Kings Langley Union bedding plant flags have come on a treat! Photos of them when first planted and this week.








Russell helping with the chickens.










Rebecca podding freshly picked peas and Gemma helping with the washing up.










Tidying and weeding around and behind the retail area….nice work team. Then there was a fire drill.









New trainee at Hemel Food garden….








At the Activity Centre Dan & Becca, Aisha & Colleen litter picking in Bovingdon.








Claire & Noreen, Riz & Becca working away on a private garden outside contract in Berkhamsted. Riz, Suvi, Noreen and Becca with the finished planting.











Team AC – Noreen, Becca, Tim, Claire, Simon, Keith and Michael all with jobs at St. Peter’s on Berkhamsted High Street. Keeps it looking great!
























Picking raspberries in the fruit cage for the Thursday market
















Jacob with his one to one on the market stall this week with lots of fruit for sale.







A staff team from each of the sites went to The Beth Chatto gardens in Essex this week to join a symposium of like-minded plant companies to talk ‘peat free’ and swap ideas. Here, being shown trials of cuttings in different peat free substrates.








And two trainees, Edward Barratt and James Kenyon, took part in the special Olympics golf tournament, held on 25 June. Well done!

Have a great weekend….

…until next week.