Category Archives: News from the Garden

Winter and Birthday

February 12, 2016

Hello everyone!

Happy New Year!  Yes yes new year was a while ago but I’ve not been in touch.  Where have I been?  Mostly squelching round in the mud with our wonderful team or hardcore volunteers, jumping in puddles with the tough tods who are still coming to our group througout winter, and I’ve also been tidying the shed. Oh and enjoying the garden in all it’s occasional days of wintery gloriousness!




It’s nearly February so it can mean only one thing…. IT’S OUR BIRTHDAY!  Yes next week the garden will be 4!  That’s right 4 years old and standing on it’s own two feet, walking tall and making whole sentences just like a 4 year old!  Who knew that in 4 years we’d still be going so strong!  So please come along and help us celebrate at our little Birthday party. Tomorrow!  Saturday 13th Feb 11am-2pm. 


There will be a lovely bonfire and delicious hot soup AND cake AND party food – crisps in bowls!! (note:please feel free to bring more party food and cake).  It’d be great to see all you lovely folks who’ve been involved over the years but who’s life/work means we don’t see you any more!  And if you’ve not made it down yet you’re really welcome to come say hello!
And just to say again what what an absolutely amazing bunch of volunteers we have here in the garden. Hats off to all the folk who’ve turned up through this long and soggy winter and cheerfully got on with what needs doing! At least 20 EVERY Wednesday! Heroes of the garden I salute you! 
Oh and has anyone got any experience building willow structures?  We’d love a hand with building a lovely one in the next month or so…. 
See you in the garden!

December 2, 2015

HI everyone

We’ll be in the garden this Saturday 5th December back with our ever popular Christmas wreath making workshop.  A cheerful day of making something lovely for a just a tenner!
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We’ll start at 10am and the last entry is 3pm.  We’ve got lots of gloves and secateurs but bring your own if you’d rather not share and we’ve loads of lovely greenery but please bring along any berried bits and pieces you might like to add or share. Children are welcome but will need help. See you there!
Or  come and say hello at the Glos Rd central Christmas Party tomorrow evening 3rd December 5:30-8 where we’ll be with a veg-box-and-wreath raffle AND ….. our 2016 calendars!  Diane and the photographers have excelled themselves and it’s gorgeous and only a £5!  Lovely photos to celebrate a great year in the garden. Come grab one or get in touch to order one
And we’re on our winter opening times – 10am-3pm for December and January AND we’ll be closed on the 23rd and the 30th December but enjoying pizza and cake and a bit of a sing on the 16th during the volunteer day.  Come along if you can!  AND while there’s festive chat going on see below this email for lovely Christmas gift ideas that benefit our pals our at the Federation of City Farms and Gardens.
AND here’s something juicy for those already sick of the incessant jollity and compulsory fun of the season, check these guys out…


Look tasty, eh? Just like shop mushrooms, eh? Found in the garden looking all innocent but they are… Destroying angels!  DEADLY!  So a timely reminder not to eat or touch ANY mushrooms you find in the garden!   Oh and the fierce wind blew down and smashed our beautiful sign!  Bah humbag! But let’s finish off with a pic of Pete about to show a pumpkin who’s boss.


See you in the (festive but occasionally poisonous) garden!
Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker

07506 905 394
Please note I work Part time usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays
P.S Buy A Seed, Grow A Community

The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens launches its Christmas appeal on December 1st (international Giving Tuesday), to support the charity’s work with volunteer groups in some of the UK’s most deprived areas. 

Twenty per cent of the price of special collections from seed suppliers Kings Seeds will go directly to the Federation’s work with community gardening groups and city farms which provide vital services to their local communities. 

These local groups allow people access to a bit of green space where they can grow their own food, get some exercise, learn skills, make new friends or just relax in peace. 

The Federation, which celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2015, supports hundreds of these groups – from small community gardens through to large city farms – meaning that thousands of volunteers and up to three million visitors a year reap the benefits.  

Chief executive of the Federation Jeremy Iles said: “We are calling on people to get their hands dirty by supporting our appeal this year. Their money will help us provide vital services and advice to grass roots groups, often in very deprived areas of the UK, which do so much to make their local communities better, healthier places to live.

“We thought what better way to do this than giving people the opportunity to buy some seeds and help build a community, with a oasis of green space right at the heart of it. It’s the perfect gift for gardeners among friends and family.”

Three discount seed collections are available as part of the appeal: 

•    The Stocking Filler Collection – a small salad-based collection of seed packs, normally £9.25 but available for just £5. Click here to order. Catalogue number: 19009

•    The Festive Flavour Collection – A herb collection, which would normally cost £14.25, but is on offer at just £8. Click here to order. Catalogue number: 19010

•    The Sleigh Full Of Veg Collection – A bumper crop of vegetables and salad items that would usually cost £25.25, but is on offer at £15. Click here to order. Catalogue number: 19011

Kings Seeds, which was established 125 years ago and is the UK’s oldest independent wholesale seed merchant, has issued special codes for the appeal to use when ordering the seeds. Go to the website at to make an order.  

Autumn, adventure… and fireworks!

October 26, 2015

Hi everyone,

Well the nights are drawing in and the trees are glorious explosions of colour and we’re loving autumn in the garden.  In the last week we welcomed little 10 day old Mabel along with her big sister Merryn to the toddler group as well as 99 year old Bert along to the Wednesday volunteer day.  So now NO ONE could possibly use age as an excuse not to get involved! (this is Merryn in the picture with a marrow that’s MUCH bigger than her sister)



So aside from drinking tea and munching tasty sea buckthorn jam AND reading about ourselves in a juicy 5 page spread in Kitchen Garden magazine we’ve been busy enjoying the sunshine, braving the rain and still bringing in loads of tasty harvest AND saying a fond farewell to the fabulous volunteer Sue who’s been a steadfast member of the Wednesday crew and joy to have in the garden.  Enjoy Dorset Sue – we miss you already!
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Sooo coming up in the garden… we’re running adventure days tomorrow AND Thursday, we’ve got a new term of Golden Buds starting next week. The morning is full but there’s space in the afternoon 1:30-3 group and we’re offering FREE TASTER SESSIONS. Though most excitingly on the 7th of November is our Bonfire Night 6-7:30.  It coincides nicely with the fabulous fireworks put on by the amazing Bishop Rd School PTFA next door and is much less hectic for little folks who can’t manage a crowd.  They’ll be soup and cake for sale and a gurt big bonfire.   We don’t advertise this publicly or shout about it too loudly as that would be a bit cheeky but all our friends and their friends are invited into the garden to enjoy our warm welcome (and other people’s fireworks).  Bring a torch and cake donations very welcome!

fireworks and bonfire


Hopefully see you in the garden!

Good stuff and a trophy

October 12, 2015

Hi everyone

So!  The Harvest Fair! What. An. Amazing. Day!
Here are the stats*
People through the gate: 400
Total monies taken: £973!
Minutes of glorious sunshine: Only the whole flipping day!
Number of facepainters going like the clappers: 3 
Faces painted: 64
Magicians on site. 1 fabulous one
Number of cakes donated: LOADS and we sold out!
Number of pinecone/apple bird feeders made with the Growing for Gold Crew: 37
Veg monsters created: 33
Apples bobbed to comic effect: countless
Number of children falling in the pond. 0 (an all time low/personal best)
Number of people hurt: 0 (except me who got stung on the face by a wasp)
Number of musical acts rocking it on the solar powered Tower of Power stage: 6!
Number of punk badgers: 1.  Which is the right amount.
P1010064  harvestfair2015-10
All in all a lovely event made possible by our fabulous teams of volunteers at each station. Hats off to the folks doing the pizza, cake, pond, crowns, soup, bobbing, painting, gating and the rest!  We always need more people helping at our lovely events and helping to put on them on. So if you’d fancy joining the fab folks on ourevents committee then let me know.  It’s a few chatty meetings to spread out all the jobs so it’s all pretty painless and definitely mostly fun.

And then we only went and won a massive cup! The RHS Britain in Britain in Bloom folks gave us The Gordon Ford Trophy for being the best entry in the It’s Your Neighbour catergory in the South West.  Out of 600 entries! Whoop!
trophy compressedThe Golden Buds sessions are a joy and we’d love to have some more volunteers so if you’d like to come help out on Tuesday mornings with digging, dipping, singing and crafting then let me know AND we’ve still space in our afternoon group and are offering free taster sessions.  
AND …remember our cosy Bale House is available to hire from £10 an hour and I’m about to start taking bookings for the Golden Adventure days running in the half term Tuesday AND Thursday! More info on them here   but let me know if you’re interested to get first dibs on those places.
Happy autumn and see you in the garden!


The Fair!

September 18, 2015


Come to our fair tomorrow for magic and music!  Pizza and pond dipping!  Cake and community!  Crafts and crowns! Bike and bird feeders and bobbing! Sunshine, soup and the last weekend of summer!

 harvest fair2015

Adventure, sunshine, pizza and social exclusion

July 2, 2015

Hi everyone,

Hooray for June!  Everything is growing! especially the weeds (though not the beans that seem to only be grudgingly inching up their poles whilst some have even surrendered to the slugs – cowards!).  High summer is just round so that means tomatoes and melons and tasty treats as well as our tried, tested and loved summer adventure days!

We’re calling all explorers, dare devils and dinosaur hunters! We invite you to come with us as we try and find the ancient and lost Amazonian Golden Garden to find out if the rumours are true and … DO DINOSAURS STILL ROAM THE EARTH?!? 

Adventures run 10am-4pm Tuesdays from 28th July until 25th August.  Places are limited to just 16 and are filling up fast, it’s still £25 including pizza and snacks. So please pass the message onto any 5 -12 year olds you know with a sense of adventure, big imaginations and an appetite for danger.  It’s a great chance to discover a lost cilvilisation! Be amazed by the strange creatures! Hunt for ancient treasure! and try not to get eaten by a T-Rex!

It’s also time for our seond annual Friends of the Garden pizza night. Wednesday 22nd July 6pm-7:30pm. So if you’ve got a spare £2 burning a hole in your pocket at the end of each month why not donate it to us and become a fabulous Friend of the Garden!  Get a heartfelt thanks on the website and a froggy pizza and the fuzzy feeling of joy that comes with giving. You can join up on the night but please let me know if you plan to come.

And I’m happy to annouce a new partnership with Growing Support who’ll be workiing with the us to spread the word to local older peple with dementia and older people suffering from social exclusion.  They’ll be supporting individuals to get involved and helping us to be more accessible.  This can only be a good thing and Dale is running a free training event for us in our Bale House Thursday 2nd July 6:00-8:30pm.  This is open to anyone though places are limited.  Please let me know if you’d like to come along and I’ll make everyone some tasty soup.
Also, do you remember the spring fair? hmmm? Do you remember how great it was?? Imagine how proud you’d have been if you’d helped organise it!!  Well it’s your lucky day. The wonderful events commitee is recruiting new members – minimal meetings and maximum fun! Get in touch for more details.
See you in the garden!

Epic fair! Epic month! Epic update…

May 18, 2015

Hi everyone

So… the Big Spring Fair! What? you weren’t there!?  Well basically… we smashed it!



Here are the stats.
People through the gate: Official count on the gate 647 (but add to that volunteers and folks who came in other gates then we def had over 700 people!)
Money taken. £1970.50. Pardon?  yes  £1970.50
Number of homemade cakes left over: 0 – we sold out!
Number of vegan cake options: 8 (you guys are ace)
Plants sold: £654 worth!
Badges made: 64
Bespoke made songs written in honour of the bale house: 1
 (Thanks Dave ‘Lennon’ Taylor and Pete ‘McCartney’ Clee)
Number of minutes Pete sat chatting to folks about Bale House: 95
Number of people falling in the pond: 0!  An all time low
Number of musical acts: 6!  It was like Glastonbury!!
Number of vols (including musicans and cake bakers): Well over 100 – angels one and all!



The sun shone and the garden was full of happy people. Joy! But that’s not all we’ve been up to.  The last month was a epic month for the garden and we had another 300+ people using the garden including two groups from Ashley Down Primary, Magic Dragon Nursery and King’s Weston Special School, visits from our golden groups Bishop Rd Primary Environment Club, Beanstalks Nursery, the Bishopston Beavers AND I worked with some fab NEET young people on the CYN Creative Careers course who spent 4 weeks learning woodwork, gardening and upcycled pallets into planters! AND our two toddler groups AND up to 40 folks coming on a Wednesdays (and Saturdays) including new work experience students with LD from Ashley Down College.
A brilliant busy bustling buzzing month of people in the garden.  Thanks to everyone who helps to make this possible.  We currently have one spare raised bed for a community group to use so get in touch if you know a group to could benefit.  And now’s a good time to join our ‘Friend of Golden Hill’ because we’ve just starting thinking about a date for our fabulous friends of the garden exclusive pizza evening!

 2015-05-08 12.56.03   2015-04-17 13.50.58


​ Also we’ve got a FREE TASTER session of our Golden Buds next week Tuesday 26th 1:30-3, let anyone you knnow you might be interested.  We’ll be running Golden Adventure Days for 5-12 year old Tuesdays 28th July- 25th August.  The theme hasn’t been set yet but I had heard murmurings about dragons spotted in the Bishopston area….

And finally get in touch if you’re interested in hiring the Bale House for a well behaved shindig, knitting circle, book group, choir practice etc and to find out about availibilty and themes for kids’ parties.
See you in the garden!

P.S AND in all the excitement I nearly forgot our very own Mr Fruggles the pizza frog featuring in this month’s BBC Good Food Magazine, p. 42. He’s a celebrity! …  but the fame won’t change him.
Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker

07506 905 394

Sunshine times

April 10, 2015

Hi folks,

We’ve still got spaces on the raised bed workshop tomorrow morning!  Just a fiver, pick up some woodwork skills, help out the garden AND get a tasty lunch thrown in!  Send me a quick text if you fancy it. 
AND it’s just four weeks to the BIG SPRING FAIR and launch of our beautifulBishopston Bale House and WE NEED YOU! Every year our lovely spring fair provides a lovely afternoon for 400+ local folks and raises us loads of money.  And who make it happen?  An fabulous army of smiling volunteers!  They get cake!  You could be one of them!  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get in touch if you’ve got an hour to spare or plants to donate (or just pop them in the polytunnel), or can bake us a tasty cake!  


ON the day we needed dough kneaders, pizza cookers, gate keepers,cake sellers, pond dipping supervisors, kids’ activity helpers, plant stall lookers after and MORE!!  So why not just be amazing and get in touch now so I can start filling in my spreadsheet now. Hmmmm?
AND finally yes the weather is glorious and we had fab days with our golden adventurers!  Shipwrecks and treasure maps, dens and rafts, fires and facepaint and friends. The two days were booked out but don’t worry we’ll come up with some even more fun plans for the Tuesday in summer holidays but make sure you get in early!


Good times.  Golden Buds starts again next Tuesday and we’ve still got the last few spaces free in the afternoon group and if you’d like to volunteer with the kids on Tuesdays, it’s lovely and let me know.  And in the garden we’re still busy planting many many seeds and soaking up the sunshine. Happy plants and happy people, like Ben with this gurt big mustard. 


See you in the garden,

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker

07506 905 394

Beds, Buds and the Bishopston Bale House

March 27, 2015

We have -at last!- a name for our beautiful strawbale building…. The Bishopston Bale House, or just the Bale House to friends (maybe even Baley!).  Yes I know I said we’d put it to the vote but we had so many suggestions and had dithered for so long that we ignored the full democratic process and went with this. Snappy, informative, and easy to say  (and yours for just £10 an hour!)   



We’ll be having the Big Grand Opening at our Big Spring Fair Saturday May 9th. Expect ribbon cutting, cake, morris dancing, plants for sale, brass band music, pizza, a human jukebox, kids stuff galore and a chance to celebrate and appreciate all the hard work and love it took to build (and carry on building – thanks Pete and Bob! and thanks Garlic Tony for our fab poster) 

Also we’ve gotten our muddy hands on some Green Capital money to build a new raised bed area for volunteers without gardens to take on individually. We’ll be building a couple at a workshop 10am-1pm Saturday 11th April.  It’ll be a lovely and relaxed morning and a great place to pick up some basic wood working skills.  Spread the the word. It’s only a fiver! – including lunch!! Bargain!!! (thanks Green Capital and the Neighbourhood Partnership!)

And we’ve had a great term at Golden Buds- the new wheel barrows went down a storm, the sun shone and we even had the fire wok out for toasting snacks.  The morning group is full for next term but we’ve gotspace in the afternoon group 1:30-3, so get in touch (and thanks to Lindsey, Nikki, Pauline, Caroline, Christopher, Joe and co who sing, dig, dip, and keep everyone safe). 



We’re all ready for the Golden Adventure days starting next week – and if you’d like to volunteer for a day or games, pizza cooking and general silliness in the garden Tuesday 31st or Tuesday 7th then get in touch.  It’s a castaway theme, we’ve got loads of kids coming along and we’d love some more hands on deck.
And in the midst of all this spring has sprung and the Wednesday volunteers have had their noses to the grindstones planting, planting, planting soooooo many seeds and the polytunnels are filling up nicely (thanks Sue!).  It’s a great time to come and get involved.  Especially if you like planting seeds.
See you in the garden

​p.s erm …. also it’d be great if you could like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter (@ghcgarden), sharing our posters online helps us reach loads more people, get more people involved and is Good For the Garden


Golden Adventure – Easter castaways

March 6, 2015

Ahoy there! Calling all 5-12 year olds looking for a spring time adventure!

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Hop aboard the Good Ship Golden Hill with Captain Clare and the Able Seabadger, but uh-oh … hope we don’t get shipwrecked and washed up on Garden Island. We’d have to build shelters, forage for pizza, hunt for treasure and try not to get eaten by sharks!  Eeeek!! 
Places are already filling up and are limited to just 16.  I’ve attached the forms below but give me a quick ring/text/email to check our availability. Tuesday 31st March and Tuesday 7th April 10am-4pm £25 including pizza and snacks. 
Looking forward to seeing your castaways in the garden for maps, obstacle courses, frogs and general silliness,