Author Archives: GHCG

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

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


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)


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 and here 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 Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394

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 Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394

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
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

07509 905 309

Wreath Making! Saturday 1st December

November 15, 2018



….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!*


*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

Harvest Fair! Summer!… and a mircale!

September 10, 2018

Hi everyone

The school term has started, the leaves are beginning to turn and fall, and the skies are full of autumn drama…. it must mean… THE HARVEST FAIR IS ON IT’S WAY!

SATURDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER 1PM-4PM!! Just £1 – kids free!

If you haven’t been to one of our events before you can expect live music, delicious cake, pizza fresh from the frog, apple bobbing, vegetable monster creation, pond dipping, giant games, a garden wide treasure hunt, a chance to make a clay pot with fab local artict Bex Hill, story telling, drumming and Pete’s going to get the apple press out and we’re going to be pressing apples – so come along and let’s get juicy!

There will also be an indoor quiet space with sensory activities and a sensory trail.  Our garden is wheelchair accessible including the compost toilet.

AND YOU CAN HELP!! YOU are what makes these events so special and these special events help keep the garden going!  Please bake us a cake, or volunteer on the day, or help spread the word on your strret or share our event on Facebook – or just come along on the day and bring everyone you know!

We’ve had a brilliant summer of kids’ activities in the garden. Our adventure days were a blur of dinosaur madness and we’ll be back in October half term for our ever popular Harry Potter themed days on Tuesday 20th and Friday 2nd November.  Booking will open in the next couple of weeks.

Also our family adventure days for families with a child with SEN were just lovely!  Epic salads were harvested and munched with freshly baked pizza! Creation were hammered together! Slime was sat in! We sang, chatted, lounged in hammocks, and laughed and as one parent said, their day was “one of the best days of the summer!” – we LOVE running these days and we’ll be back in half term Thursday 2nd Nov!

We’ve still got LOTS of spaces in our 11:30 Golden Buds Toddler group described as”definitely the best thing you can do with a pre-schooler” and “every week without exception has been amazing”!  Get in touch!

And let me leave you with the story of the miracle sunflowers!  Self seeded from last year we’ve watched in amazement as these plucky little lovelies germinated and sprouted in the unyielding stone of the hardstanding path just by our shelter. They’ve been kicked, knocked about, trod on and bashed by chairs by accident. A well meaning splint on their early days wasn’t removed and one of them needed surgery to remove the string cutting into it’s bleeding stem and then it started being eaten by wasps but regardless the miracle sunflowers have grown on and now loom over us cheerfully each week as we drink tea and marvel at them happily

See you in the garden!

Lucy Mitchell

07506 905 394

Summer Update

July 20, 2018

Hi everyone

Wowow what a summer! I’ve never know such a long HOT dry spell in my time as a grower. We’ve got wrinkled blueberries and wilted bolting lettuce, and some seeds that daren’t even poke through the hot dry soil.  It is only thanks to the tireless effort of Pete and the volunteers that much of the garden isn’t a wasteland!  We generally don’t do that much watering out of the polytunnels but it’s been all hands to the pump this year. We had managed so far from our well which usually supplies the whole site but now from today we’re on the mains. Eeeeek! Still it should be a good year for aubergines and melons!


The summer holidays are here and as usual we’re running loads of great activities for kids in the garden!  We’ve got adventure days running every Tuesday and there’s currently spaces left on 24th July, 21st August and 28th August so get in quick and spread the word if you know any 5-12 yr old adventurers who’d like a journey through time and garden!  It’s 10am-4pm £26 (£21 siblings) and you can book directly here

We’re also happy to be running more of our family adventure days aimed at families with a child/ren with SEN and their siblings!  These days are a lovely mix of silliness, sensory play, pond dipping and nature exploration and we’ll enjoy a freshly picked salad from the garden and pizza that we’ll prepare together cooked in the clay frog.  Just £5 per child as we’re funded by the Quartet foundation.  11am-3pm Thursday July 26th and Thursdays 16th and 30th August.  To book on click here   

And we’ll have the last two Sunday Clubs for families with children with SEN on Sunday August 5th and Sunday 2nd September. 2pm-4pm!  Come along for more of the above, no need to book.  

And finally we have cast the runes and peered longs and hard into the auspicious hummus pot of wisdom and decreed that the Saturday 29th September is the best date for ourharvest fair this year.  So save the date/cancel other plans and if you know any fab musicians or choirs or jugglers or sword swallowers or story tellers or anyone who can help make the day special that start working on them now

See you in the garden!

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker

07506 905 394


May 4, 2018

Hi everyone!

The Spring Fair!! It’s coming!!!
Saturday 12th May 1pm-4pm!


If you’ve already been to one of our fairs then you’ll know these are lovely family friendly events, sunshine or rain with lots of old school fun and lots of free kids’ activities.

If you haven’t been before here’s 15 reasons why you should come.
1. Scoff delicious pizza made by Simon the Pizza king straight out the clay oven
2. Buy lovely healthy organic flower and veg seedlings from out plant Ssall
3. Hunt for the gnomes hidden round the garden
4. Pond dipping!  Find a newt… then put it back 🙂
5. Sing along with live music from the fabulous ‘What the Folk’ who put in an heroic performance during the rains of the harvest fair (on at 2:45)
6. Make a beautiful may crown
7. Play giant games
8. Chill out in our quiet area with sensory play
9. Eat lovely homemade cakes
10. Get involved and make some noise with the junk orchestra (running 1pm-4pm)
11. Enjoy our clockwork train 
12. Get your face painted
13. Make merry with the Pigsty Morris Dancers (on at 2:15)
14. Win a mini allotment starter kit in our raffle
15 Come and support a lovely local community garden.

Great so that’s decided. you’re all coming. Now tell all your friends, neighbours and family! If you’re on facebook find us, like us and share the post!

And what’s that? What else can you do you ask?? LOTS!  We need cakes please! We also happily accept misshapen biscuits, simple flapjacks and anything sweet you might like to cook – and eat! and we need more volunteers on the day! Have you got a couple of hours spare you could spare to help us set up from 11am or tidy up, or help on a stall?  Let me know!  And be rewarded with the warm glow of knowing you’ve made a good thing a little bit better.
And see you in the garden on the 12th!
All the best
Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394