The Community Garden

Thanks to funding from the Tesco Bags For Life (through Groundwork UK) and the Veolia Landfill Communities Fund (through the Veolia Environmental Trust), the Friends of Handsworth Park were able to arrange the building and launch of the Handsworth Park Community Garden in 2017.

Opened by Parks Manager, Lee Southall, from Birmingham City Council, on Sunday 30th July 2017, the garden has already started to mature and produce food in the local community due to planting sessions led by local gardener, Eleanor Hoad, through the year of opening.

The Friends of Handsworth Park were allocated a small, unused corner of the park by the City Council to turn into a community garden.

 

The project has been made possible through funding from the Veolia Environmental Trust Landfill Community Fund, Tesco Bags of Help and Birmingham City Council. Our thanks go to them for support. We are fundraising for entrance archways and fencing to be designed by Tim Tolkein. Well done and thank you to everyone involved, from all of us who love the park.

 

The two grants totalled over £25,000 which was enough to complete the project. 

We carried out some consultation with local people and the preference was for an easy to maintain sensory garden with year round colour. We asked the Council's design team to draw up some designs & cost it for us.

The sensory garden is a calm area where people can take a moment to look at & smell the flowers and watch the insects. It is accessible for people who use wheelchairs.

Local people have been involved in planting and maintaining the garden.

 

We also want to increase wildflowers and fruit into the park.

We have 3 aims:

To encourage people to get involved in growing and caring for plants so that they will have the confidence to plant their own gardens and appreciate the natural environment and the park more.

To make this area of the park useable as it between the park goods depot and the park railings and so is not used at all. It is beside one of the main gates to the park and so will be seen and used when it is the sensory garden.

To provide a places for bees and insects to thrive as we will plant native species and wildflowers too.

Last Gardening Session of 2017

Last Gardening Session of 2017

In our last session we were very grateful recipients of a kind donation from The Rotary Club of Handsworth - 120 purple crocus bulbs! We planted these as part of the bears flower garden so they should look beautiful in the spring. We also decided to help out our feathered friends in the garden and made bird feeders using pine cones, warmed up coconut oil mixed with peanut butter and seeds.

November 2017 planting sessions

November 2017 planting sessions

Fun in the garden over the last couple of weeks with some fabulous black Spanish radishes and almost the last of the salad picked. We've enjoyed working with our families that have recently joined us, getting stuck in weeding, digging and having fun working hard! Some fantastic chutney made by Ruth from our green tomatoes and we have made yarrow herbal tea with fresh yarrow from the garden.

October 2017 Planting

October 2017 Planting

We decided to have a mint tea tasting session. We tried strawberry mint, chocolate mint and grapefruit mint freshly picked to make tea. We also had a visit from Felipe Molina from Food Forest Brum who kindly brought us some very interesting perennial edibles. We have joined his Mother Gardens project so will be able to access and share more of these kinds of plants. Shared Babbingtons leek-a perennial allium, skirret-an edible root & a Jostaberry- a cross between a gooseberry and a blackcurrant

Salads and more

Salads and more

Rain held off long enough for us to sow some wild flower seeds around our bear, plant out more donated raspberry canes, tidy up our salads and make a pile of what might look like a load of old rubbish at the end of the garden. The bin bags are actually bagged up leaves. These will slowly rot down in the bags into leaf mulch that we can use next year to enrich our soil. Try it at home just fill a bag with leaves, tie it up, make a few holes in it with a fork then forget about it until next year!

Opening of Community Garden

Opening of Community Garden

The Community Garden was opened by Lee Southall at a launch event on 30th July 2017. Lee has helped the park in so many ways as part of his role, including much organisational and physical work as part of this project.

Launch Day

Launch Day

Local families came along for the launch event, with Parklives activities, a Bear Hunt and a plant swap all going on. From the Chair's Report 2017: Our thanks must go to Mat Barber, artist for the Sun Guardian and to Eleanor Hoad, gardener and community artist as well as Lizzie Jordan who has managed the garden project and organised both the family fun day in July and the Halloween event in October.

Sun Guardian Bear

Sun Guardian Bear

Guarding the Garden. It was finished in time to host the Sun Guardian Bear, one of the bears on The Big Sleuth trail, designed by Mat Barber. For more information on the bear, head to our Arts Trail page. From the Chair's report 2017: Our thanks must go to Mat Barber, artist for the Sun Guardian and to Eleanor Hoad, gardener and community artist as well as Lizzie Jordan who has managed the garden project and organised both the family fun day in July and the Halloween event in October.

Community Planting Sessions

Community Planting Sessions

Later on in 2017, community planting sessions were led by local gardener, Eleanor Hoad, working with local residents to establish fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers in the garden.

Community Planting Sessions

Community Planting Sessions

Early sessions were led by Park Ranger Jim, to get the beds ready for planting.

Building The Garden

Building The Garden

It was cold and muddy work in the early months of 2017.

Building The Garden

Building The Garden

It was cold and muddy work in the early months of 2017.

Early Landscaping

Early Landscaping

Volunteers from Eversheds did some early landscaping to establish a path in the garden space on 12th August 2015.

Early Landscaping

Early Landscaping

Volunteers from Eversheds did some early landscaping to establish a path in the garden space on 12th August 2015.

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