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!
Spring is here and it’s a great time to get outdoors, enjoy the lighter evenings, and the returns of the greenery. This time of year in the garden every day another tree or bush comes into leaf, the polytunnel is full of new seedlings and the garden is full of birdsong. We’re especially chuffed this year as our new little pond is FULL of FROGSPAWN! The frogs stopped visiting the big pond and so last year we dug another pond hoping we could tempt them back and they came! Loads of them! It’s always joy to watch these little tiddlers develop and I hear there’s lots in St Andrews Park and up at Horfield common so get yourselves there if you can and get a front row seat for this marvelous metamorphosis.
This month in the garden we’ll be busy sowing THOUSANDS of all kinds of flower, veg and herb seeds in pots in the polytunnels and then outside as the soil warms up. Come and get involved any Wednesday for the usual chatting, weeding, planting, barrowing and drinking tea. If it’s your first time please aim to come along at 12:00 or 2:30 so we can show you around. You’re welcome to come for just a look around and a chat, or bring small folk along too explore the garden. You’ll find us behind Horfield Prison through the second allotment gates at the end of Monk Rd. No need to come every week or stay all day, we’ve got jobs to suit all energy levels. No experience or tools necessary and we’re a friendly bunch and you’ll get lovely harvests to take home every week.
This Easter we’re running our usual fab adventure days for children ages 5-12 Tuesday April 4th and Thursday April 13th 10-3:30.
This time they can expect baking, making, playing, climbing and building and also maybe being chased around by an angry egg. These often fill up very fast so if you’d like to go on the mailing list to find out when bookings open you can join HERE
. And our family adventure day for children with SEND and their siblings will be running Thursday 6th April 11-3 there’s more info HERE
Last month we were very happy and honoured that our friend Elaine chose our garden to put up a plaque for her husband Hugh Vickers. We were lucky that this kind and funny man chose the garden as a place to spend lots of his time and energy; bashing through the weeds and dropping all manner of conversational tidbits into our break times. He is missed and this lovely little memorial is perfect to bring him to mind.
AND finally please put our Big Spring Fair in your diaries! Saturday 13th May 1-4! We’ve been working really hard to make the garden look gorgeous and we’d love for you to come and enjoy it. We’ll have lots of plants to buy, wonderful choirs and a bands to enjoy, junk drumming to get involved with, cakes and pizza to munch on, loads of free kids’ activities and LOADS MORE!
Wreath making! We run this every year and we love it. We love running it and folks love coming to it. So snap up your place before we sell out! It’s 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. The booking site is HERE. It’s takes about an hour though it’s fine to take your time as long as you are done by 4. We are taking bookings in half hour waves, so we’ll be starting the process again every half hour.
These days are always lovely and full of good cheer and lovely people all enjoying the process of making something beautiful and chatting and chirping along the way. We’ve put our price up this year as we need to raise funds for the garden but I think we still are by far the cheapest wreath workshop in town! If you are low waged/in receipt of benefits then we have a lower cost option lower cost option. I think we’ll also be doing wreath kits again for folks who can’t make it to us but please get in touch closer to the time to check.
|Also we’ll have heaps of lovely winter foliage but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE if you have a garden with nice berry bits, or evergreen branches, or pretty twiddly ivy, or see any on your way that is available then please bring a bag along so it’ll just make the day more lovely for everyone OR if you can dehydrate an orange or two OR if you have a big tree with berries (holly or any red berries!) on in your garden or allotment that you could give a haircut too that’d be fantastic. Dogs on leads are welcome and so are children, and if younglings want to make their own wreath then it’s £12.50. Under 13 year olds need to come along with an adult.
And let you leave you with some cheerful boasting about about our excellent loofah harvest! It’s the second time we’ve managed to grow them to maturity in our polytunnels and they definitely benefitted from the heatwave over summer. When they grow they look like cucumbers and they are edible when young but leave them to get a mature as possible before the autumn damp rots them. As they mature the insides get tough and fibrous. The Wednesday volunteers peeled the skin, washed out the old flesh, saved the viable seeds and what were left with are these marvels! We’ll be using them to do the washing up until next years’ harvest 🙂
See you in the garden!
Lucy Mitchell (she/her)
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394
Come one come all to our Harvest Fair! There will be apple pressing so bring apples if you have them and a 2l container to take juice away! We have the fabulous Geoff demonstarting wood turning and selling his gorgeous wares.
We’ll have veg monster creation and pond dipping and giant games and the digging bed and a quiet sensory space and clay crafts for kids and MORE!!
As well as music from What the Folk?! Jez on guitar and singing from Heartwood Chorus.
And pizza fresh from the oven and tea and cake and all this while supporting our community garden!
I hope you’re all having a great summer and have coped with the high temperatures and drought. We’ve definitely been feeling the heat in the garden and some Wednesdays have been too hot for our volunteers to get much done apart from sit in the shade and chat and try and stay hydrated! The garden is far too big for us to keep it all watered some lots of veg are smaller or later than normal but the volunteers have done heroic work keeping things looking great. A special shout out goes to weekend watering warriors who have kept our polytunnels watered and our seedlings alive. Our melons, loofahs, cucumbers and tomatoes have been loving the weather! And our new little pond has been both a joy to us it’s always full of life and a frequent drinking spot for birds, insects and -joy of joys!- we’ve even had a couple of frogs sheltering in the shade there.
Last winter we built replacement beds over in the old decking area (thanks Patrick!) and decided that a good use for them would be to grow food for Family Food Action at the Ardagh. FFA is an innovative North Bristol charity working to mitigate and raise awareness of family food poverty. They collect donated food through a network of neighbourhood collectors (covering more than 50 streets). FFA volunteers then sort and deliver donations to 4 community organisations who work directly with families and children in areas of high deprivation. If you’re local and don’t know about them then definitely look them up and see if your street is involved! We now collect surplus vegetables from the plotholders on our allotment site and we have had a really great response with piles of spuds, beans, green leaves and of course many many courgettes and marrows. It’s not something that we’ve done before as their collection day is not on our volunteer day but with the current cost of living crisis it’s definitely feels like a time when if we can do more to help support folks who need it then we definitely should.
AND a date for your diaries! We’ll be having our first Harvest Fair since 2019 on
SATURDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER 1PM-4PM
Please come along for live music and pizza, there’ll be wood turning and apple pressing and drumming and vegetable monster making and a quieter sensory space and the usual delicious cakes! And hopefully YOU! We’d love some help! Helping out at one of our events is a lovely way to get involved and help support the garden if you’re busy on a Wednesday – children are welcome to help out as well! Please get in touch if you’re available to help for a couple of hours on the day or bake us a cake and especially if you are in a choir or band and could come and make some beautiful music for us!
We’ll also be open as part of the city wide Get Growing Trail on Sunday 17th September 11-1. If you’d like to pop in and have a look around and a chat with our volunteers about what we get up to! And finally a pic of some blackberry stained happy children 🙂
See you in the garden
07560 905 394
THE SPRING FAIR!!! IT’S HERE!!! You’re no doubt already planning to come but if you need a bit of convincing let me what we have going on and the many many reasons that you should come and bring everyone you know. And if you’re busy…. send along your friends and family and why not give next door a knock to make sure they’re coming as well?!
You can expect live music from not one but TWO choirs AND and morris dancing from the excellent Pigsty Morris AND music from the epic What the Folks?! As well as spellbinding tales told by our storyteller. We’ve got helps of plants to sell at great prices including veg, flowers, herbs and house plants and our fabulous volunteers on hand to give some advice about how to grow them!
We’ve got heaps going on for kids (and the young at heart!) including pond dipping, origami, face painting, crown making and a massive junk drumming work shop – ALL FREE!! And also grown ups who fancy a bit of creativity you’ve not been forgotten – you can weave willow to make yourself a May crown or get involved with the ever fabulous Sheena Vallely’s art workshop to transform our shed!
Our site is wheelchair accessible, including the toilet and we’ll have a play worker in our lovely cool straw bale building making sure that there is a quiet space and sensory haven for anyone that would like it.
The entry price is tiered adults £4/£2, children £2/£1 or so dig deep if you can or just come along and pay what you can! And we don’t have a card machines so please bring cash and if you brought your own cup as well that’d be grand.
See you at the fair
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394 email@example.com