20Jul 2012 by David AjsoseWhen Ray Simpson joined the Exeid Group as Facilities Manager, he didn’t expect the creation of a micro, organic garden to be in his job description. “When I met the CEO of Exeid, David Ajose, at my initial interview, he explained how he had always intended to convert the car park at Stanford house, a beautiful, Georgian, listed mansion, back into a garden in order to re-introduce a small piece of the countryside to the heart of the city” “Unfortunately, this idea had been put on the back burner whilst he focused on growing the business with MD Richard Priestley. The idea struck a chord with Ray and he decided to take action. With help from Exeid Maintenance Apprentice Lee Sanders, Ray built a plant trough that would be both large enough to accommodate permanent plants like the three Pyracantha, but also appropriate for a range of edible fruits and vegetables. Ray explained, “The strawberries are an absolute triumph. I’ve used an organic compost/topsoil mix and this has produced the most delicious and prolific strawberries I’ve ever seen. We had our first harvest and taste test a couple of days ago – the whole office got involved! In addition to the juicy strawberries, the runner beans and sugar snap peas are coming on a treat and are a great addition to our edible garden. Ray chose to incorporate Pyracantha shrubs, as over time they will create a low privacy screen between us and the neighbouring property but will allow both properties to look out of the window and see a beautiful, green space. In addition, the Pyracantha have beautiful white flowers in the spring which attract bees, followed by vibrant red berries in the autumn through to winter that provide vital food for song birds. Eventually, the Pyracantha will provide a safe environment for nesting native birds and we are hoping to see blackbirds, hedge sparrows and other birds nest here, sometime in the future. Ray went on to explain that he had also planted Wisteria and a Peach Tree against the south-west wall, which should bear fruit next summer. So what do you think? “Exeid Organic Fruits” could be coming to a Farmer’s Market near you! We’ll keep you posted with updates throughout the year and let you know how the Micro-Garden is coming along! Keep tuning in or subscribe using the form on the right, we’ll send postings and breaking property news direct to your inbox.