The Fair! It approaches! 1-4 Saturday!

May 5, 2016

Hi everyone!


The Fair!  It’s nearly here! I know you’re all coming but maybe someone you know is umming and ahhing about attending with their entire family and all their friends. If so please feel free to use this list of reasons to convince them
1. Festival circuit favourite Pip’s Jukebox will be playing and singing YOUR requests…for 20p!  Under the Sea from The Little Mermaid to Dr Dre and everything in between.
2. Pizza from the frog, Best Pizza in Bristol. Fact.
3. Ever admired the veg on our posters? Garlic Tony our designer will draw you… as a vegetable or fruit OF YOUR CHOICE! Get thinking.. what vegetable are you???


4. Plants to buy!  Fruit bushes for a fiver!  Delicious heritage salad packs!  Purple mange tout!  Everlasting flowers! Bargains to be had!
5. Make origami!  Sculpt clay!  Weave a beautiful willow crown! Find a newt!
6. A choir!  Soul harmonies! Sing along classics! Beautiful folk! ….. THE PUNK BADGER!!!
7. The joy of being in the sunshine garden humming with life and laughter.
8. AND best of the best….. SPLAT THE RAT!! Yes. It’s true and quoits and giant jenga but…. SPLAT THE RAT! Woooooo!  
pond fair 2015 small

You make our events lovely so please come we’d love to see you. Also there is still time to volunteer!  Donate plants or bake cakes or give some time on the day! Go waaaaan! We need you!
See you at the fair!

Spring! Golden Club! Art!

March 17, 2016

Hi everyone

Hooray for spring and the things of spring!  Each day new green seedling poke there heads and announce themselves to the world!  We’ve got lettuce, beetroot, cabbage, chillies, melons, tomatoes, peas and all sort of flowers showing their green faces in the polytunnels this week.  We’ve had some miserable Wednesdays of frost and floods and freezing winds this March but yesterday at last it was warm enough to start planting some stuff in the ground! Here’s to our fifth growing season and it’s a great time to get involved.



Other exciting news is that we are now taking bookings for our latest venture the Golden Club. An afterschool club for year 1 to year 6 every Tuesday in term time!  It’ll run from 3:30 – 5:45 cost £8.75 and we’ll be picking up from Bishop Rd School.  It’ll be a joyous mix of outdoor fun –den building, nature exploring, veg growing, making, crafting, fire starting, and generally hooning around playing silly games.  Kids LOVE our adventure days and here’s a chance for them to come every week!  We’ll be running free tasters 12th, 19th and 26th April get in touch to book your place!  And we’ve just got our last couple of spots left for the adventure days in Easter 29th March and 5th April so get in touch to snaffle them up.
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But that’s not all!  On the 30th of March we’ll be starting a fab ceramics project with a wonderful local artist. Happening every Wednesday 1:30-2:30 in the Balehouse for get in touch or just come along if you’d like to find out more!  
AND a date for your diary – our lovely Spring Fair will be on the 7th May – write it on calendars now!  In pen!  And we’ll be happy to accept any and all donations for plants for our plant sale if you’ve over sow anything. In fact, why not chuck a couple of extra seeds in with us in mind!
See you in the garden!

Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker

07506 905 394

Frogs, frogs, fun, tods, and frogs

February 29, 2016

Hi everyone

There’s lots and lots going in the garden at the moment- mainly…. SPRING!! Whooop!  and THE FROGS ARE BACK!



There’s. So. Many. It honestly feels like a wonder of nature and I half expect David Attenborough to pop out from the undergrowth.  But they won’t hang around for ever! they’re here to mate before they head back to their allotment homes. So get yourself down here in the next couple of weeks and bask in the gentle and soothing sound of the croaking of hundreds of happy frogs.
Coming up as well in the Easter holiday we’ll be running our next Golden Adventure days 29th March and 5th April. It’s pirate themed but salty seadogs and landlubbers welcomed equally!  More of the usual games, crafts, games, pizza and silliness but with added ARRRRRRRs and maybe a parrot, and definitely a plank!  5-12 year olds £25 each and £20 for additional siblings including snacks and lunch.  Booking essential!  
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AND coming up next term we’re pleased to announce our newest venture!  a brand spanking new and exciting after school club – Golden Club!   Running every Tuesday picking up form Bishop Rd School and drop off for other schools. For Year 1 to year 6.  Loads more info to follow but we’ll be running 3 free taster sessions 12th, 19th, 26th April so get in touch to get names down for that! 
I’d like to give a special mention to the parents and toddlers of the Golden Buds toddler group who have carried on coming ALL winter through winds and rain and are now all officially ‘Tough Buds’!  Now it’ll just get warmer and more lovely!  We’re changing the times of our sessions so they’ll now run 9:30-11 and a new lunch time picnic session 11:30-1 with all the same fun activities but with more harvesting and eating!  Get in touch to get your name on the list or come to a free taster!


Now it’s onwards and upwards to the warmer weather, seed sowing and growing, biscuit munching and chatting.  It’s a great time to get involved! And we’re back to our summer opening times 10-4 every Wednesday
See you in the garden!
Lucy Mitchell
Community Project Worker
07506 905 394
Please note I work Part time usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays

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!

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​ 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