Wreath making! Soup season! Bonfire pics and MORE!

November 18, 2019

Hi folks
It’s feeling VERY wintery and wreath making is just around the corner. We’ve been so popular in the past few years that we are running the day twice! 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.  We have secateurs and gloves so you don’t need to bring them, but you if you do some then bring them along so we don’t have you share as much.   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 that I could come and give a haircut then get in touch.   Dogs on leads are welcome and so are children, and if younglings want to make their own wreath then it’s just £5.  It should take about an hour and every wreath is unique and gorgeous.

Thanks to everyone who came to our bonfire!  After some absolutely atrocious weather somehow it all cleared up so Pete and co could get the fire built on the afternoon and then we could enjoy a dry and still evening of samosas, mulled drinks, cake and a great view of the amazing Bishop Roads Fireworks!  With over 300 folks and over £1000 taken it was a lovely event. Thanks as ever to the fab folks of the Bishop Rd PTFA – their event sold out and so we remain a happy but harmless parasite/fringe event.

AND soup season is here at last! Frank got us kicked off with a delicious spicy squash and lentil one.  Every week at our Wednesday volunteer day we harvest veg and soup it up into a lovely big pot of hearty warming soup to keep us all going with our winter work.  We don’t close in winter except for Christmas and New Year and we’ll be busy tidying, weeding, painting, harvesting and more and we welcome new volunteers – but it does get dark and cold so we do close at one hour early 3pm not 4pm for December and January.

And finally we’re starting a new Monday after school club!  The waiting lists for our current clubs have become ridiculously long like some uber trendy New York prep school. Wit the new club we’re hoping to make the wait shorter and have more happy children hooning round the garden in the dark, climbing trees, making dens, light fires, using tools, baking in the frog and toasting round the fire.  I’m opening it up to the waiting list first but let me know if you’d like to go on the list!

See you in the garden!
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)

Bonfire night!

November 4, 2019

Hi folks!

It’s our bonfire night on Saturday 9th December!  6-7:30

All welcome! Entry by donation!

We don’t put it on Facebook until the Bishop Rd Fireworks display tickets aren’t available.  The organisers know that we run our ‘fringe’ event next door and don’t mind as we make sure none of their fireworks set fire to any of the allotment sheds.

 

We’ll have a fire, hot drinks, cakes and delicious samosas!  Wrap up warm, bring a torch and a resuable cup would be great!  Please don’t bring sparklers.  We normally fill up by 6:30!

Cake donations are VERY welcome.

See you there!

Lucy

07506 905 394

October 21, 2019

Hi everyone!

Well autumn has very definitely arrived in our windswept, soggy and slightly flooded garden!  But we’re still enjoying the last hurrah of summer with all the colour from our polytunnels as we’re still picking tomatoes, chillies, aubergines, tomatillos, cape gooseberries and our weird but wonderful achocha. Achocha is from South America and in the cucumber family which you can eat raw or cook like a courgette and tastes a bit like a green pepper.  In previous years we’ve grown ‘fat baby’ which looked like little hedgehog but was bitter when bigger. This year we’ve growing ‘Bolivian Giant’ which looks like elf shoes and last week we made the happy discovery that these stop being bitter when big – so there lot’s of good eating on them and we’re letting them take over the polytunnel like a jungle as our cucumbers and melons finish and die off for the season.

 

THANK YOU to everyone who came along to the fair!  Despite a morning of AWFUL weather, after a week of rain and an iffy forecast somehow the weather gods smiled upon our event and it was dry between 1-4 so we could enjoy apple bobbing, apple pressing, rat batting, pizza munching, drumming, veg monster sculpting, willow weaving, wood carving and MORE.  One child fell in the pond but was hoiked out still mostly smiling and one gazebo nearly blew away so thank you to the members of the public who held it down til we could dismantle it.  The punk badger – Badgertrap – was back with a vengence and rocked out on the Tower of Power stage, entertaining and confusing in equal measure as always     It was a lovely day and a special heart felt thank you to our fabulous volunteers who go above and beyond to make these days extra special.

  

Our next event will be our bonfire  6-7:30pm Saturday 9th November, where we’ll have a fab view of Bishop Rd Fireworks. As ever we don’t advertise this slightly cheeky fringe event but you are all very welcome! They will be samosas and cakes and hot drinks and a FIRE!

And I’ll leave you with some pictures of our after school clubs that help fund the garden. These run on Tuesday and Thursday and as we are a small club with loyal bunch of long time attendees we’ve ended up with a waiting list a bit like an exclusive New York prep school.  It’s been a great opportunity to get to spend so long (our longest serving members have been here since we started in 2016!) with such a great bunch of kids that make us laugh and every week impress us with their creativity, ingenuity, kindness and teamwork.  We’re currently making the most of the last of our light sessions as after half term we’ll be here as its gets dark. Though this hardly lot are seemingly undeterred by the cold and the dark.  So here’s to our fab Golden Clubbers! here shown reviving the art of conker playing and using a mallet to make a mallets.

 

See you in the garden!
Lucy

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394

ghcgarden@gmail.com

Please note I work part time usually on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and some Thursdays. 

We’ve got a Facebook page if you’re into that AND we’re on Twitter @ghcgarden

 

 

 

 

Summer! Melons! Potatoes with faces and More!

August 22, 2019

Hi everyone!
After a turbulent summer of hot heat and wet wet rain the garden is looking ABSOLUTELY great and the harvest has gone WILD! A dedicated team of weekend waterers have ensured the polytunnels are full of tomatoes, chillies, aubergines, cucumbers as well as laden with our best grape harvest. And it looks like our best year for melons since our fluky first attempt 2013 (which led me to think they were ‘easy’) so now we can start the tasty speculation of ‘Is the melon ready?’.  With a solemn series of taps and sniffs and probes we attempt to determine the right time for one of the precious beauties to be picked, sliced and shared so all the Wednesday volunteers can enjoy a magic melon moment of maximum sweetness.  We’ve also been enjoying that we’ve grown lots of potatoes that look like little people wearing balaclavas.

We’ve also had a BRILLIANT summer of kids activities at the holiday club. Jam packed with woodwork, silliness, singing, tree climbing, ridiculous costumes, elaborate cakes, new friendships, hobbits, elves and giant spiders.  We love running these days and are really happy to see children coming back again and again even as they get older and still haven’t decided that are too cool for all our happy, wholesome nonsense.

And the SEN family adenture days have been great and one parent was kind enough to say this – “What a wonderful day! Thank you so so much – we loved every minute! It was all so thoughtfully planned and prepared with so many exciting things to try in such a beautiful environment.  On the way home Poppy said:  “I learned a lot today! That nature can tell you something: it helped me feel happy and calm! I liked picking vegetables for lunch and then eating them together. Alice was so kind and made potions with me – I’d like her to be my friend forever! The hammock was cool and the den and the Wendy house. It’s quite a magical place with lots to explore. Everyone was kind and helped me.” Thank you Lucy and your wonderful team – what an amazing place you have created!” We are VERY proud of these days and we have our last one next week with lots of fun planned and still a few places left if you know anyone who might like to come let them know and you can book HERE

Have you followed the saga of the plucky sunflowers that self seed and thrive each year in the hardstanding path in the area of heavy foot fall by our shelter? Well I have news….Back in the spring they germinated again and we felt much joy!…then someone pulled them out in a weeding accident and we were gutted, honestly, truly, sincerely upset! BUT undaunted we had some saved seed that we’d already planted so transplanted them into a pot with a hope to start the cycle again. They just started flowering! Will they drop their seed on the hard ground and grow from gravel again? Time will tell. All I know is sometimes miracles need a little help

And
IT’S The HARVEST FAIR on the 28th September!  1-4!
AND we’ve got space on our 11:30 Golden Buds toddler group so come and get involved in digging, munching, singing, stories, crafts and MORE – free tasters sessions 5th Sept!

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)

NEXT OPEN DAY SATURDAY 22ND JUNE 12-3. COME EAT PIZZA :)

June 10, 2019

Hi everyone!

Ahhhhh June!  The garden looks more lush everyday and the volunteers have been working their socks off to get everything in the ground and get the tunnels planted up.  And now we’re got sweetcorn, aubergines, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, swedes, cabbage, courgettes, squash, tomatillos, melons, achocha, celeriac, peas, mange tout, strawberries and more merrily growing away.  It’s our eighth growing season and with our new sign, cleared new areas and the riot of colour from our flower beds I honestly think the garden is looking the best it ever has.  The willow ood is going great guns and trees in the edible forest are maturing,  this year it looks like we might have out first mulberries- yum!

Would you like to come and see it in person??? You can!  We’ll be open again as part of the city wide Get Growing Trail and the Bristol Food Connections Festival on

Saturday 22nd June   12-3pm

when can munch a pizza, do some pond dipping, play in the digging bed and enjoy the garden. More info about the whole month is here https://www.bristolfoodnetwork.org/get-growing-garden-trail-2019/ and here https://www.bristolfoodconnections.com/ and we’d love to see you!

And we had a BRILLIANT time with our half term activities holiday club and adventure day for children with SEN and there siblings. There were rafts and perfumes and hammering and pizzas and swords and rhubarb crumble and more!  Booking is now open for the middle earth themed siummer Tuesday holiday club HERE ( we’re still fixing the dates for the SEN days that should be sorted soon)

Thank you everyone who came to the fair, it was our biggest yet! We counted nearly 900 people through the gate though the folks with the clicker send they could click fast enough so it was probably more!  The pizza king sold all his pizzas, the plants flew off the the tables, the cake stand was left with only crumbs and we were very chuffed to take nearly £3000.  Stick friends were made, newts were found, crowns were worn and the garden was full of smiling people and gorgeous music. Bliss. ..

 

And I’ll leave you with a picture of….. a leech! Like a hungry baggy shape-shifting constant wriggling angry sock the length of my finger. Found by 8 year old Remy and like nothing else we’ve ever seen in the pond before. I’m almost completely sure it couldn’t get through human skin but it definitely looked like it would try!

See you in the garden!

Lucy

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

The Fair! the sign! the veg! and half term stuff!

May 3, 2019

Hi everyone!

Just 8 days until…. THE FAIR!  Saturday 11th Mat 1pm- 4pm. They’ll be lots of wonderful plants for sale, drumming, the Gert Lush Choir (!), the wonderful What the Folk? and pizzas, crafts for children AND grown ups, cake and indoor sensory space and MORE!  And even you you can’t make it please tell your friends!

We’ve been very busy planting, pricking out and potting on so have a wide range of lovely plants ready for sale and the volunteers have worked really hard making the site look GREAT.  The blueberries are blossoming their socks off, and even as we finish off our winter harvest the first spring veg are ready – that’s right!  It’s the magical time when you can take a leek AND have a pea in the garden

  

AND…….. some big news ………….  we’ve FINALLY put up a new sign and it is GORGEOUS!  and only 4 years or so since the last one blew down.  Hats off to Diane for drawing it out, George for the posts and chisel tutors and all the folks in the carving crew who did a letter each.

And coming up at the end of the month we’ll be back in the garden for childrens’ activities over half term.  We’ll be setting sail on the Good Ship Golden Hill for faraway shore, losing limbs and trying not to get eaten by sharks on Tuesday 28th May – 10am -4pm aimed at 5-12 year olds booking HERE  . And on the 30th May we’ll be back with our family adventure for any families with a child/ren with SEN and their siblings which will be a usual mix of building, cooking, harvesting, munching, crafting, singing and sensory play.  Sounds great?? Of course and here’s a picture of a recently made egg catapult to convince you!  There’s more info on both the children’s pages  and book HERE.

See you in the garden!

Lucy

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

Spring News from a Greening Garden!

April 8, 2019

Hi everyone!

This month is one of our busiest times in the garden. The volunteers have planted a heroic amount of seeds and they are all growing happily away in the tunnels and popping up in the soil outside.  We’re planning our usual big plant sale in May so for the next month the polytunnels will be PACKED with little plants being looked after with love before we send them off into the world.  Also in the past couple of months there has been epic clearance work done by the wonderful Wednesday volunteers.  About five years ago we were defeated by brambles and we surrended a large corner of the edible forest to them but this year it has been reclaimed, cleared and we’ve planted a little willow wood ready for winter wreaths in the future.  The clearing work also uncovered our little stream which we kind of knew was there but have mostly forgotten about but now the garden feels transformed in a subtle but exciting way…

It’s my favourite time of year as every starts turning green and we’ve got an abundance of green leaves to munch and get that green inside of us.  We’ve got spinach, chard, kale, mustards, and more coming out of our ears – it’s great! Also it was great to see the first little purple nose of asparagus poke it’s way into the world. We first planted asparagus in 2013 but were over confident and didn’t prepare the bed properly and then ignored it for the first year. It grew but never big enough for a proper harvest and despite giving it piles of manure and apologies in years to come it never bounced back and so last year we started again. This time  we prepped the bed carefully, mulched it, watered it, kept a close eye on it’s progress and it looks like it’s paid off AND we now only have to wait until NEXT spring before we can try it. It’ll be worth the wait.

It’s the Easter holidays so we’ll be busy with our holiday club on Tuesday and an adventure for a families with a child with SEN this Thursday 11th.  There’s still some spaces left on Thursday and next week and you can book HERE  and there’s more info on the website.  Then next term we’ll have our toddlers and afterschoolers back for more garden fun, singing, hooning round, planting, making and all that.  We’ve got some spots in our 11:30 Tuesday toddler group so get in touch if you’d like to come along for a free taster.

    

And coming up next month….. OUR BIG SPRING FAIR!  Saturday 11th May 1pm-4pm.  They’ll be loads of plants for sale, choirs singing, musician playing, pond dipping, pizza eating, face painting, junk drumming, making and crafting and caking and MORE.  AND still at 2012 prices!  It’s YOU the lovely supporters of the garden that make these events so lovely and help us raise money for the garden. So if you can help on the day or bake a cake or spread the word on facebook or just come along and bring everyone you know!  ALSO we need T-shirts!  Any size or quality for a craft we doing on the day – so if you have any spare please come and drop them off in the garden any Wednesday 10-4

And finally a massive thank you to all the good folks who pop blue tokens in the boxes at north Bristol Tescos. In Jan/Feb we had the most blue tokens we get a whopping £4000 so it means our activities for families with special educational needs or a disability will be fully funded for the year and we can get lots of lovely resources!  THANK YOU!!

See you in the garden!

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker

07506 905 394
 
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST!  CLICK HERE
 
Please note I work part time usually on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and some Thursdays. 
 
We’ve got a Facebook page with lots of updates and pictures AND we’re on Twitter @ghcgarden

News from a wintery garden

March 7, 2019

Hi everyone!

It’s definitely past the time for happy new year but happy February 2019!  We’re having a great year so far. We were straight back in the garden on the 2nd Jan weeding and clearing and building and cooking and carving and painting and souping and sowing (only sweetpeas so far).  We’re still harvesting leeks, parsnips, celeriac, coriander, jerusalem artichokes, beetroots, chard and kale and the polytunnels are full of winter salads and the balehouse stacked with stored squashes,  Tasty times! The crocuses and pink noses of rhubarb pushing up through the soil all sing “Spring is coming!”.

Last month we finally made a proper start in making our new sign for the entrance and only 3 years or since the last one blew down and fell apart. This time we’re carving our name into a piece of western red hemlock, under the watchful eye of George our woodwork guru.

We also started back with our toddler groups and after school clubs.  The new Thursday group are great and totally mostly unfazed by the cold and dark!  It’s about this time we remember that the light is creeping back and the days of hooning round in a night garden playing games in the dark are numbered and precious.  Here’s pics of the tods giving the little house a fresh lick of (mud) paint and Tuesday fun with boxes

   

And more news!  One of FAB toddler group parents wrote a lovely article for Bristol Food Connections read it HERE.

Also if are someone or you are someone who knows someone who does their shopping at Tescos please make it known to them that the north Bristol shops are all raising money for us to be able to run our adventure days for children with SEND and their families this year.  So please put your little blue tokens in our slot!

AND this week was our 7th birthday in a few weeks so yesterday we fired up the frog for a pizzas. 7 years old! The internet says “Most 7yearolds display an unending thirst for knowledge and will have an innate curiosity and excitement about things in the world. … At this age, they also take great pride in sharing their knowledge about things” Sounds about right 🙂

Let me leave you with the knowledge that the date of our spring fair is Saturday 11th May. So pop that in your diaries/calendars/phones!

See you in the garden

Lucy
07509 905 309
ghcgarden@gmail.com

Wreath Making! Saturday 1st December

November 15, 2018

We’re running our CHRISTMAS WREATH MAKING WORKSHOP

SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER 10am-4pm,

….and it’s still just £10!!

There’s no need to book and you are welcome to drop in throughout the day.  Making a wreath takes about an hour so please arrive by 3pm. It’s a really fun, friendly and informal session, we’ll provide willow, foliage, advice and encouragement. If you want to bring your own secateurs, gloves and pretty things winter foliage then that’s fine. You’ll weave a willow ring, decorate it and we guarantee you’ll walk away with something ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL.  Children are welcome and it’s a great start to the festive season!

 

Remember, remember the 10TH of November

November 8, 2018

Hi everyone!

Come one come all to our bonfire! THIS SATURDAY 10th November 6-7:30! The guy is built and Pete has amassed a huge pile of wood and is totally undaunted by the fact a lot of it is very soggy! There will be samosas and sausage rolls, delicious cake, posh hot chocolate with whipped cream and marsh mallows, AND hot spicy apple juice and cider to warm you even the coldest of cockles!

Our pals over at Bishop Rd will be setting off their AMAZING display at 6:45 but if the weather is fine we’ve been very busy in the past so get here early to avoid disappointment!

BUT WHAT IF THE WEATHER IS BAAAAAAAAD??? Well! The delicious samosas and whatnot are already ordered so there will folks will be here WHATEVER even it is just sheltering from the storms whilst guzzling delicious treats and setting your minds towards the colder darker days ahead of us and you’re very very welcome to grab your waterproofs and come along! Pete will get a fire going (size depending wind speed and direction!) and please come and gather, and be reminded that the warmth of community, friends and hot beverages is what has always gotten us through the winter!

No sparklers! Thanks!

See you in the garden!*

Lucy

*Due to a diary mishap I’m sadly away and won’t see you in the garden this time! But have a great one! AND if someone is good at taking pictures in the dark PLEASE PLEASE take some corkers and send them on to me!

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394

ghcgarden@gmail.com