Community Gardening | Spring Update

Our community gardens are slowly returning to life after a wet, cold start to the year. Despite the weather, it’s been heartening to see people coming out to all our sessions, no matter what the elements have thrown at us! It demonstrates how important gardening and being outside is to the people we work with.

With warmer weather on the horizon (please!), we have lots in the pipeline – read about it and what we’ve been up to so far this year below.

Blaise Weston Court, Lawrence Weston

The LW group were lucky enough to go on a trip to Blaise Plant Nursery when it reopened this spring and bought plants to renovate our large entrance planters and for participants’ gardens and balconies. We have been joining and hosting events as part of Lawrence Weston’s “Grow, Cook, Eat” initiative and signposting participants and volunteers to other local groups and services. We also welcomed children from Avon Youth Club to sessions to learn about sowing veg and flower seeds in homemade pots and planted trees for the next generation.

Wellspring Settlement Community Garden

The Alive Wellspring Settlement group have been busy planting crops such as chayote, ginger, turmeric and callaloo. We’ll be working with some of the Food Club’s community chefs to learn how to cook these in the months ahead. We also spent an afternoon sprucing up the Wellspring surgery garden with plants Ashton Court Estate’s head gardener, Tom, donated to us. The beds surrounding the community centre are now a riot of colour, brightening the neighbourhood. We’ve also been having community conversations for Friends of the Earth in partnership with Tay Aziz from Avon Wildlife Trust about urban greening, which has been illuminating.

Dementia-Friendly Allotment

We’re now back to two Bristol sessions a week at the allotment, which is great, as there’s lots to do! As of March, we’ve also been running a Monday morning session for people who live in South Glos.

We have a few extra sessions and open days at the allotment coming up soon:

15th May, 13.30 – 15.30: The site will be open for Cuppa for a Cure – a fundraiser for BRACE, the dementia research charity. It’ll be an opportunity to experience a session, see the site, drink tea and eat cake with us!

22nd May, 10.00 – 12:00: We’re also running an open event for people interested in our South Glos session. Feel free to drop by for any or all of the session. This session is aimed at prospective new participants and health/social care practitioners.

2nd June, 14.00 – 16.00: Happy Days Memory Cafe is back at the allotment for the first of this year’s biannual trips. We’ll be doing clay-based green craft activities and hosting a cream tea. Do get in touch with Bristol Dementia Action Alliance if you’d like to join us.

4th June, 14.00 – 16.00: The allotment will be part of this year’s Get Growing Trail – a citywide opportunity to explore secret growing spaces. Join us as the allotment’s gates open for tours, tea, coffee and a chance to learn about our work.

The Hoppiness Project

We recently launched the latest project to come out of the brains of our Social and Therapeutic Horticulture team – The Hoppiness Project. The idea is that we’ll join forces with care homes to grow hops which a local brewery will make a green-hopped beer with in autumn. Our first session was a reminiscence and sensory session, which went down very well with residents at Deerhurst. Read all about it here.

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