Cultivation Street is a national gardening campaign that celebrates and supports both community and school gardening projects across the UK. Now in its fifth year, it culminates each summer with a massive competition where the lucky winners will win a share of £20,000 in National Garden Gift Vouchers! Gardening together changes lives, neighbourhoods, and the land itself, and it is utterly inspiring to see what all of these fantastic communities across the UK are accomplishing every year and to get to share it with you!
The Cultivation Street campaign has been bigger and better than ever this year, full of inspiring entries and exciting ideas. This week you can see the winners from our specialist categories: Small Spaces, Front Gardens, and Garden Centre Ambassadors.
The Small Spaces category is always a hotbed of ingenuity, where we celebrate people who have taken a small, and often difficult, area and made something marvellous out of it.
The Front Gardens category celebrates streets where the residents have not succumbed to the big temptation in modern life to pave over and forget about our front gardens, but have brought some pride back to their street with their beautiful gardens.
Our Garden Centre Ambassadors scheme is one of the key ways we provide support to school and community gardens across the UK, giving them a local point of call to provide them with expertise and advice, and also help them source any materials they may need. This category celebrates and rewards some of those fantastic Ambassadors.
FRONT GARDENS WINNER:
Water Front Gardens, Bristol
From derelict dockside to bright and wonderful walkway, the residents of 17 houses on the waterfront at Bristol Hotwells have managed an incredible transformation. As part of Bristol’s effort to regenerate this dock are these houses were built, but they were all brick and concrete with no gardens out front. The residents soon changed that, working together to turn the entire stretch into a blooming Eden.
“We love creating greenery and gardens together but we also want to contribute to our Local Community for everyone’s pleasure especially for the hundreds of passers-by.
We are just old-fashioned-over-the-garden-wall-neighbours consisting of 17 houses on the Habourside in Bristol.
Rownham Mead was Bristol City’s first experiment to build residential houses in a neglected harbour-side industrial wasteland. They were built all red brick on a bleak dockside walkway with no garden and no greenery. We wanted to change this!
The Harbourside walkway was opened up all round the docks as a new public amenity. From then on we had constant visitors and we were able to share our gardens with increasing numbers of passers-by.
Originally we just were proud of making something out of a derelict dockside.
Next we began to feel like a community of garden lovers and then we found our passers-by enjoyed our gardens so much that they also became part of our community.
Pedestrians and their families. Walkers with their dogs, even the cyclists and skate-boarders stop to enjoy. We love it – and so do they.
It’s no surprise that most of our visitors love to stop and chat to us whilst we’re busy at work.
Each mini garden has its own style but we’ve joined together to create something as a whole that is truly beautiful.”
John Bradfield, Bristol
SMALL SPACES WINNER:
Moss Side Urban Alley, Manchester
From mattrice spring lattices, to freezer planters and fruit trees in oil drums – the very creative residents of Moss Side are determined to turn their urban alley into a green paradise.
“A slightly unconventional garden where we use innovative recycled planting ideas.
Our main aim was to rejuvenate the area of Moss Side Urban Alley which was once a dumping ground!
I moved into Moss Side 6 years ago, which is when the project started. I set up a small group for residents so that we could all get to meet each other. It quickly became apparent to me that actually we all shared the same goal.
We wanted to brighten up the urban landscape with flowers, shrubs and possibly even grow some food.
We have long, narrow alleys which can be annoying and small gardens to the rear of the houses so we’re going to have to be creative!
We held community events and gave out free hanging baskets and plants whilst a few of us ran around the streets drilling for the brackets to go up. It is still apparent that our alley poses the greatest challenge.
Using our creative side, which normally lies dormant, got us really fired up to give up-cycling a go. Since, we’ve started to use of some of the dumped items and turned them into flower beds and we can happily say that things have improved a lot.
It’s still an on-going project, with lots of plans. So, onwards and upwards we go!”
Jo Campbell, Manchester
GARDEN CENTRE AMBASSADOR OF THE YEAR:
Matthew Lewis, Old Railway Line Garden Centre, Brecon
This is Matthew Lewis’s first year as an Ambassador, but he has had such an impact already. His work has focused mostly on young people, working with children on school visits and running activities throughout the holidays that get children excited about gardening.
“At the centre we run various events throughout the year for adults and children, encouraging customers to visit and to get involved in gardening.
We feel it is important to be actively involved in our local community; I work mainly with school projects or visits.
We have had visits from local primary children who come to the centre to learn about plants as part of their school work. We then also incorporate a planting activity so that the children have something to take back and watch grow.
‘Wild Wednesdays’ are pre-booked craft sessions which take place every Wednesday during school holidays, attendance is normally around 80-90 children with 90 being our full capacity, and we regularly see repeat visitors attending these sessions.
Taking on the role of ambassador for this year has been a great experience for me. I particularly enjoy the work we do with the local schools because I think that encouraging the younger generation to get involved in gardening is especially important in ensuring that our area and community will see the benefits of gardening for generations to come.”
Matthew Lewis, Brecon
RUNNER UP AMBASSADORS
We’d like to give special mention to our two runner up Ambassadors who each do fantastic work for their communities!