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.

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!

**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.**

And while you’re here.  It’s been a difficuly year for everyone. We haven’t managed to run our fundraising events it still not clear when we can start back.  If you are in a position where you are able to donate some money to help keep the garden going then that would be amazing!


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)

Finally! An update about everything

August 27, 2020

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while! How are YOU?!? and us? Well the garden is still here and as I look out the open door the rain pours down of the self seeded sunflowers that survived the storm are bobbing around, the damsons are ripe, the kale is gorgeous and everything is very green and a little bit wild.  We were closed all through lockdown and I was furloughed but the rules allowed me to do essential maintenance (like emptying the compost loo!). One volunteer came in at a time on a rota and got things planted and watered and kept everything ticking over.   Folks often came in stressed and left feeling better and with some peas,carrots and a bunch of flowers.  We all felt very lucky to have the garden as a small but important life raft in turbulent world.

   

Now we have opened up a little more. I became partially unfurloughed at the end of July and though the gates are still closed our existing volunteers can come in small groups, again on a rota and just for a morning or afternoon.  So in August for the first time since March we could sit round the table in the shelter and be together.  This month we have been enjoying melon moments with our fantastic high summer harvest.  It may have been a terrible year for lots of things but it has been a great year for  our veg with some especially  lush harvests of carrots, onions, grapes, chilli, melons, toms, cukes and more and our flowers have been fantastic.  We’re not yet able to welcome everyone in again on a drop in basis on a Wednesday or run events but we are able to take small, sensible and safe steps in that direction.

  

This summer we were also able to run our holiday club for 5-12 year olds again. We put a lot of thought into how we could follow the government guidelines whilst still offering a space to be wild and spontaneous.  Luckily the garden is big enough for the groups to spread out, and with some jiggling round how we do things  and lots of hand washing they went really well. It was brilliant to have the garden full of noise and nonsense again, we’ve had waterfights and whittling and all sorts of silliness going on.

And now suddenly it’s September next week and we’ll be running our after school clubs and they’ve booked up nicely for the new term.  We’re only able to run one toddler group for the moment on Tuesday at 10 and that’s all booked up as well.

What does the future hold? Who knows but we plan to still be here for the foreseeable, and as soon as it’s manageable in a safe way we’ll open up our Wednesdays to new people again.  I very much doubt we’ll have a bonfire night in November but I think we’ll manage a much-more-spaced-out-than usual  wreath making day/s in December

And I’ll leave you with the personal tale of a surprisingly joyous lock down afternoon I spent emptying the compost loo . It was the original chamber so while everything in there was at least four years old some of the  ‘solids’ were from way back in 2012 – when we were young and the garden was a baby.   I’d always imagined we’d have some sort of party the day we emptied it but instead it was just me, a mask and a specially shaped spade.  It smelt fine and was a lovely rich colour and none of it recognisable as poo as it had rooted down with the added saw dust.   As I dug out the layers.  It made me think about all the people who’c all played a part in making with beautiful place.  Is there better example of a how a collective effort combines produces beautiful results? Or how with some effort some problems can become the solutions and how we all need to deal with our own shit.  Anyhow it’s gone on to our flowerbeds and our sweet peas are all the sweeter for it.  Many thanks you to everyone who has contributed to the garden in any way over the years!

See you in the garden (sometime!)

Lucy

ucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker

07506 905 394
ghcgarden@gmail.com
 
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An update about C19 closures and cancellations… but also tadpoles!

March 24, 2020

Hi everyone!

Well it shouldn’t be a surprise that the garden is closed, the Spring Fair is off and we have cancelled all our children’s activities for the unforseeable future which is really sad but we’ll survive.

As we’ve got no plans in the pipeline coming up I’ll tell you all about what’s already happened….

The sunny weather is surreal and almost unbelievable after what has been a soggy and wet winter. It was definitely the wettest season we’ve had with the pond path under water for weeks and weeks and much of the garden deeply squelchy under foot.  I always try to use the really wet times to remind myself that if we the ground wasn’t so wet here we couldn’t have a well and in fact there wouldn’t be a community garden as the site wouldn’t have been left to go derelict… so hooray for the bog!(?)!

  

And then the wind came. And such wind! For those who haven’t been to the site or don’t see our facebook page the big news is from winter… THE TOWER OF POWER BLEW OVER!  It was Storm Ciara what did it, but mainly the thick wooden supports had been sat in our wet ground for seven years and had rotted.   But while not a ‘good thing’  it means they we (by which I mean Pete) could look at setting up a system from scratch which actually properly fits the needs of the garden and the allotment site.  The tower panels were enough to power the our needs but didn’t have enough oomph to get the pump going and the water going up the hill so we’d been relying on a cable coming from a house for that for some time.  So plans are afoot for a whole new system and it’s farewell to our lovely tower.

And finally tadpoles!  Back after we first redug the pond 8 years ago we had huge numbers of frogs that came, and each year we’d know it was truly spring when a seething mass of piggy backing frogs filled writhed in the pond and the air was full of their sounds like a giant purring cat.  We loved it! Anyone who saw it can attest that it was incredible.  But over 8 years the frog numbers have been going down. And each year we stand on the side of the pond and speculate to why. As the numbers of frogs went down I’m sure the number of fish when up so I have always blamed them but each year it is very clear that as soon as the frogspawn is laid the newts come and eat it.  And they just get there faces right in and munch away and just keep munching.  Frogs come back to spawn where they were spawned and each year less and less have made it to frog hood.  Well this was the year I only saw three frogs in the pond and so we finally decided to really try and do something about it.  We hoiked out a big load of spawn, Lizzy and Ollie painstakingly removed any potential predators and then placed them in a lovely big bath full of pond water, and thats where they are now.  We have taken out spawn before and put them back as tadpoles which immediately totally disappeared, but this time we’re hoping to bring them on to little froglets – which means getting them past the carnivorous stage! Anyway for now they wriggling away without a care in the world.  And I find it cheering to think about them 🙂

I hope everyone is well, and taking care and staying safe and as sane as can be expected.

See you in the garden once the crisis is over!

Lucy

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394

ghcgarden@gmail.com