Author Archives: GHCG

Wreath making! 27th November Starting from 10..

November 16, 2021

Hi everyone
It’s time to get ready for our next event…the ever popular
Wreath Making Saturday 27th November!
We’re taking bookings again so we can limit the number of folks in the garden at any time and you can book your places HERE.
  

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 but please bring your own if you have some.  Also we’ll have heaps and 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

Dogs on leads are welcome and so are children, and if under 16s want to make their own wreath then it’s just £7.50 but they need to be booked on.  It should take about an hour and every wreath is unique and gorgeous. The session is a week earlier than normal (because of my bro getting married) but by the end of the workshop you’ll be confident in adding extra bits of greenery if you needed them to keep your wreath looking lovely for weeks.

Last year we made up wreath kits for folks who couldn’t make it to a session – i.e all the willow, foliage, ribbon and bits and bobs you need to make a wreath at home. I’ll do this again for £10 if we’ve got enough willow and there’s enough interest so let me know if that would work better for you.

  
Thanks to everyone who came to the bonfire! It was a lovely event with a gurt big fire and the Bish Rd fireworks were spectacular and it was wonderful to see everyone enjoying themselves AND as I keep getting told THE SAMOSAS WERE DELCIOUS. We can’t take credit for them they are from the  mighty Jeevan’s Sweets down on Stapleton Rd and I strongly recommend a visit!  We had a great team of volunteers on the night ensuring that our first event in 2 years ran smoothly.  We took over £1500 which is fantastic and it’s going  go to with a donation from our dear old friend Hugh to pay for the new timber we need to build our new accessible beds on the old decking area and pay for the all the planks we need to fix all the broken or crumbling veg beds in the garden.
See you in the garden!

Lucy

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

We’ve got a Facebook page if you’d like more regular updates and pics

BONFIRE NIGHT 6TH NOV – TICKETS AVAILABLE HERE

October 25, 2021

Hi folks

I’ve got some exciting garden news – we are going ahead with our first event in aaaaggees!  We’ll  be having our ….

Bonfire and Fundraiser on Saturday 6th November 6-7:30pm!

And it’d would be great if you could come along!  We’ll be selling scrumptious cake and delicious samosas as well as mulled apple juice and cider.  And we will of course be in the perfect place to watch Bishop Rd School’s amazing firework display.  (Don’t worry, the lovely people over there  know that we run this little event alongside theirs and they don’t mind – in fact one of the organisers said they like knowing that we’re here over the hedge loving it!) 

 

This year will are selling tickets in advance and you can buy them HERE

This is so we can make sure we limit the number and give people plenty of space and also to answer concerns of parents who’ve  been turned away in previous years when we’ve filled up very quickly.  The tickets cost £1, 3, or  £5.  We really need to raise some money as we haven’t been able to have any events for so long!   so please dig deep and  buy the more expensive ticket if you can!  but we don’t want to turn anyone away due to lack of funds so ther are still £1 tickets available.

We’ll be selling hot drinks, mulled cider, samosas and cakes please bring cash as we can’t take cards.

If we haven’t sold out we will be selling tickets on the gate but check here on or facebook to make sure before you come along.

See you by the bonfire, under the night sky:)

 

Lucy

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

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)

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

 

 

 

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)