Welcome to Golden Hill Community Garden

Welcome to our website!  We are a community garden in Horfield, Bristol (map here).  We are open every Wednesday 10-4 and welcome anyone and everyone to come and get involved, get growing, drink tea and share the harvest.  Our site is accessible including our toilet.

If you’d like to come for a look around  and maybe get involved please come at either 12 or 2:30 on your first session on ANY Wednesday and after that you can drop in when you like. No need  to let us know you are coming – come in by the second gate  down the lane behind Horfield the prison wallls.

We also run a toddler group, kids’ playscheme, an afterschool club, community events, rent out raised beds to community groups and more!  Have a read of our latest news below.

See you in the garden!

Mushrooms and more

August 23, 2021

Hi everyone

How are you doing? Things are ticking along here just fine here.  Some exciting news from the garden is that we have grown our first wine cap mushrooms! After inoculating a bed of woodchip 4 months ago (with spawn from fab local business Upcycled Mushrooms) and keeping it damp with the run off from our sink the first fungal wonders popped up last week. The woodlice are very much enjoying them as well but I can confirm the one I took home was delicious and tasted nutty and potato-ey.  Now as long as we keep feeding the mushroom mycelium more woodchip it should keep fruiting every year also we can just take a shovel load of the colonised woodchip and start new beds –  until we have delicious mushrooms everywhere! AND as the fungus breaks down the woodchips they release their nutrients and feed the soil. WOW!  Gardening is a thing you can do for years and years and there’s always new and exciting stuff to try and grow.

Summer in the garden has also been the usual whirlwind of kids’ activities as we run our holiday clubs as and family adventure days with children with SEN and their siblings.  We’ve had some brilliant sessions making pea shooters, hammering, drilling, baking, making jam, juicing, climbing, creating, singing, dancing, engineering,  harvesting., cooking and hanging out in homemade hammocks  in the shade. The garden is quite overgrown in places and quite wild in places which is perfect for adventure.  Also the edible forest trees are so mature enough that the children can cheerfully disappear into the green and make dens and munch berries. Lush..
It’s been great to have new volunteers joining and new faces round the table on a Wednesday.  If you’d like to come along – please do!!  No experience is necessary and no need to bring anything except yourself. You don’t need to come every week or stay all day so you can fit volunteering around your energy levels and other commitments.  And if you someone you know is looking for something lovely to do on a Wednesday please let them know!  New folks are welcome to drop in 12 or 2:30 when you can have a tour and quick induction and after that it’s drop in between 10-4..

AND finally I’m sad (but also a bit relieved) to say we are cancelling our Harvest Fair but very much hope to be back with a bang for our annual Bonfire Night TBC

See you in the garden, hopefully sometime soon!

Lucy

07506 905 394
ghcgarden@gmail.com

Spring and a plant sale 8th May

April 20, 2021

Hi everyone!
How are you all doing? This is always one of my favourite times of year, I’m always ready to see the back of winter and after the year we’ve had this year the green shoots and leaves of spring feel especially hopeful. The warmer weather and the longer days are lovely and this year I’ve more grateful than ever for the garden and all the folks that make it possible. So if that means you THANK YOU and a special thank you to the parents of our children groups who were able to be hugely patient with us waiting for refunds and have been fantastically generous with their support and really helped keep us going in a year when we lost nearly all our income.

The garden is busy bursting back into life, the birds are singing and the polytunnel is filling up with little seedlings. This is usually there time of year I start shouting about our Spring Fair.  We aren’t having one this year of course BUT we are aiming to have a socially distanced plant sale on Saturday 8th May (time to be confirmed but most likely 12-3).  We’ll have a lovely range of vegetable and flower seedlings  as well as herbs and lots of tough slug proof perennial flowers.  So if you haven’t got space at home or a sunny windowsill to get seeds going then don’t worry we’ve got you covered.  And if you haven’t got any growing space a plant is a lovely thing to give to a pal to have in a pot

All our kids’ things were cancelled over the winter lockdown but we’ll start back out toddler group tomorrow!  Our afterschool clubs opened when the school went back and it was GREAT to have the kids back.  We’ve had some really beautiful golden evenings full of hooning around screaming, laughing, finding newts, falling in the stream, baking cake, building a tree house, light fires and just having all the space and freedom and nooks and crannies of the garden for general good times.  I think I’ve enjoyed it as much as the kids.  And thank you to the lovely plotholders of the Horfield and District Allotments Association who’ve tolerate us shattering the peace three times a week, especially our extremely wonderful and tolerant nearby neighbours! And if you’ve got any overgrown kids tools, toys or dinosaurs with some life left in them  that you could donate for the toddler then please get in touch!

We aren’t yet back to running like we did before.  Our Wednesday volunteer days have been a couple of small groups of volunteers coming in and doing a fab job of getting all the essential work done..  Last week a volunteer told me “It’s really kept me going and even when I feel awful I’m always glad I came” .  And when will be able to open ‘properly’ again? I’m not sure.  We’ll take it slowly like we’ve done all year.  But if you’d like to volunteer please let me know your email address we’ll have new volunteers starting one or two at a time. This way we can keep an eye on our numbers and make sure it’s not too overwhelming and everyone still feels safe.

It’s been really hard operating behind locked gates and turning away people who’ve been off work/struggling/bored/lonely and lots of people who might have really benefitted from some garden time.  And if you are reading this and suffering the effects of long covid then please know we’ve always welcomed people with varying health and energy levels.  You don’t have to be fit and well or to be able to lug around a wheelbarrow to come here.  If you think you would like to get involved but would only be able to only come for short while and do a short and gentle sitting down job and then have a cup of tea then that’s fine! You wouldn’t have to commit to coming every week or staying all day and you could just come along when your health/energy levels and schedule allow it.  If you’re not sure just get in touch and I can tell you more about what we do.

See you in the garden, hopefully sometime soon!

Lucy

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394
ghcgarden@gmail.com

Current Status

February 9, 2021

Hi folks

We are still closed due to the pandemic. Currently our toddler group and afterschool clubs are not running.  Within the guidelines we are able to carry on running our volunteer Wednesdays to support small groups of existing volunteers and to keep the garden ticking over but we can’t take any new volunteers at the moment.  If you’d like to get involved please get in touch and let me know your email address or phone number so I can let you know when we are able to open up more.

All the best

Lucy

07506 905 394

November 12, 2020

Hi folks

Another lockdown!?!  Until December 2nd?? Well maybe it’d be nice to have something outdoors and creative and wholesome to look forward to….how about Wreath making??  A friend told me that making plans this year was an act of hope so in that spirit we are planning two wreath making days on the 5th and 12th December!  No they might not happen but it’s nice to plan as if they will, and then accept it when they don’t.

These days are always some off my favourite of the year and I’ve thought long and hard about how to make sure it is safe to run them.  It’s been soooo popular in the past few years and over the years become a part of local families Christmas tradition… but 2020 is not the year for the usual merry scrum of folks so this year we will taking bookings and small groups of folks will be very spaced out.   The garden is huge so we can easily social distance and our ‘indoor’ spaces couldn’t be more well ventilated if we tried!  It will still be a fun and informal session and you’ll be shown how to weave a hoop out of willow and then decorate it with glorious winter foliage.  It should take about an hour (you will be booted out after 90 mins) and every wreath is unique and gorgeous.

Book HERE and come make something beautiful (hopefully)

If you have your own gloves, secateurs and scissors BRING THEM.   Dogs on leads are welcome and so are children.  We have put the price up to £15 this year -£10 was a bonkers cheap price!. Also as we are extremely limited on numbers on the day we are charging for extra people that are coming in.  Sorry!  This is the only event we’ve been able to run and so it’s an important fundraising activity for the garden.

And if lockdown continues all is not lost!  You can come and get your materials in a safe and distanced manner in the time slot that you book and then there will be an online tutorial.

 

And what about the rest of the garden?  Our parent and toddler group will be cancelled for the next four weeks but we’ve been lucky with some glorious Tuesday morning for our fab sessions last term.  Our afterschool club is OFSTED registered childcare so we’ll be continuing to provide that throughout lockdown as long as the schools are open.  This is the term when it gets dark whilst the children are in the garden, it’ll be cold but BRILLIANT and if I was 8 there would be nothing I’d like to be doing more than running round shrieking in the dark then having a hot chocolate by a fire.

And the Wednesday group volunteering sessions will carry on as a formally organised support group providing mutual support and so we’re all pretty relieved about that. We’ve got good at sitting in our big socially distanced circle for tea breaks and the session mean a lot to people.  We’ve still got plenty that needs harvesting and there’s always more things that need, fixing and cleaning, beds that need weeding or plants to propagate ready for next year.

 

 

 

 

See you in the garden (sometime)!
Lucy

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394 ghcgarden@gmail.com

Please note I work part time usually on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday, but only do admin on Mondays and Thursdays 

We’ve got a Facebook page with lots of pics and info on so come and be our FRIEND AND we’re on Twitter @ghcgarden (though we’re a little more quiet there)