Cultivation Street is a national campaign to promote and support Britain’s community gardeners, schools and neighbourhood gardens. The campaign was launched five years ago and has now grown to include a database of over a thousand of the UK’s garden projects. It includes a range of strong communities who are encouraging, talking and sharing their advice and guidance. Cultivation Street aims to reward passionate and dedicated gardeners.
There are lots of different garden designs and spaces all over the country. Maybe your struggling with the design of your garden or are you looking at starting a garden project. Here are five great stories taken from a range of different 2017 entries, that will help inspire you.
Stanford and Cleveland Community Garden
Meet some of our passionate garden volunteers:
Alan Wares, Debbie and John Pryer, Chris Dauncey, Terry Poutney, Lynn Mackenzie and Pat Dauncey.
Stanford and Cleveland Community Garden was created in 2013 when the council decided to narrow Cleveland Road at the junction with Stanford Avenue. Local residents said NO to a wide pavement and asked for a community garden instead. The council put in a large raised bed, two tons of compost and a triangular section with heavy clay soil. It was then up to us to plant and maintain it!
We held a launch party and formed a committee to design a more workable area in the large raised bed. The garden now has two inner raised beds surrounded by paths around the sides of the garden. We grow a large variety of fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers. The triangular plot is now home to a beautiful maple tree, two small olive trees, perennials and lots of wild flowers. We have also created a lovely mosaic sign. The garden is maintained by a group of volunteers and we are partnered with the adjacent Montessori school. The children use the garden as part of their curriculum and we are helping them in return with their own raised beds in the school garden. The garden is admired by the local community! We have great fun working in the garden and social events are enjoyed by other local residents even the Mayor who is very supportive of community schemes came to our Harvest Tea Party.
Shades of Black – The home-based educational facilities garden project
Meet Mrs Eunince McGhie Belgrave. She’s 82 and loves her home based garden, it keeps her exercising and very healthy. Her mission is to teach future generations about the importance of the garden and growing your own.
We are a community garden based in Birmingham. Our garden has had many locations but we are now firmly set in my back garden. This is great, not having to go far at all. I am 82 and I still love digging, it keeps me very fit and healthy. One of the main reasons I run my garden is to continue to teach the younger generation about growing your own vegetables, herbs and fruits. I have kids from all different local schools come down to the garden to learn from me and they love it!
We entered Cultivation Street last year and was very surprised and thankful when we won £2000 worth of National Garden Gift Vouchers. Since winning, we have used the money to replace the fencing around the garden to ensure it is now extra safe.
We have got our hands on some hooks which we intend to use for hanging baskets making our fence a feature. We have built a summer house/shed for the children to work from. I can now keep an eye on what they are getting up to, so no mischief!
Tinsley Community Allotment
Meet Jess, she’s one of the hardworking volunteers that help to keep the garden blooming with colour, personality and fresh produce all year round. Tinsley Community Allotment was created in 2003. We are just a hundred metres from the busy M1, but once inside the allotment gate you feel a world away. We have raised beds for vegetables and flowers, a forest garden area, a poly-tunnel and an orchard with apples, pears, plums, damsons and cherries.
Our regular volunteers keep an eye on things in the week and then on Fridays we are open to everyone. In the morning, children from the local primary school come for fun and fresh air outside the classroom. In the afternoon, we are here for anyone who wants to help us do some gardening. If you prefer you can just sit with a cuppa, listen to the birds and relax with nature. What a great start to the weekend!
Sandown Castle Community Garden
From an overgrown and unkempt jungle we have transformed our space into a spectacular tiered Community garden. This only took an amazing five months by our small group of volunteers who spent over 1800 hours of work at Sandown Castle Community Garden Group in Deal, Kent.
Southcote GrowAllot Community Allotment
Southcote GrowAllot Community Allotment revitalised a patch of wasteland behind some Garden flats in Southcote into a community space where local people can grow organic crops, exercise and socialise. The garden is ran entirely by our volunteers and managed by a committee.
The plot has several beds, an orchard, polytunnel, tool shed, log cabin, pond, compost heaps and rain water butts. The project brings together different parts of the local community and this diversity works towards producing cheap, healthy, fresh food via a common love of gardening!
The enormous variety of crops grown here is testament to the commitment and imagination of the volunteers, who regularly experiment with different techniques embracing permaculture principles [a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature] as well as traditional methods like the pond, the no-dig beds and the Hugelkultur bed, which require very little maintenance in term of weeding and watering. We also keep seeds and promote seed swaps with other allotments, minimising the need to purchase new seeds. People of all ages and background are welcome and valued, whether for their experience or their youthful enthusiasm.
The planting plan for the year has been drawn, more no-dig beds have been set up, pruning of fruit trees has been completed, seeds have been dried and stored, and the group of volunteers are now looking forward to resuming the open sessions in March 2017. We are very proud to have transformed what was a waste ground full of fly-tipped rubble into an oasis-like, peaceful garden!
Do you have a fantastic garden project? Submit your story and photos by emailing : firstname.lastname@example.org
Enter Cultivation Street 2017 to be in with the chance of winning a share of £20,000 worth of National Garden Gift Vouchers.