Grapes Hill Community Garden Group

News and Events

Garden Opening Hours

Open to the public seven days a week, from 9.00am. Admission is free.

We close at the following times:
- May, June, July and August - 8pm
- March, April, September and October (to the end of BST) - 6pm
- End of October, November, December, January and February - 4.30pm (or dusk if earlier).

How to find the garden

Upcoming Events

The Plantation Garden holds events throughout the summer and is only five minutes' walk away, on Earlham Road. Why not visit both gardens in the same day?

Tuesday 6th March 2018 – Annual General Meeting

7pm to 8.30pm. The Chapel, Douro Place, Norwich, NR2 4BQ.

All welcome including non-members.

We hope to be electing some new members to the committee and give you the chance to renew or take out a membership for as little as £3 for the year.

Find out about what we have been up to in 2017 and listen our plans for 2018. We would encourage you to share your ideas and any feedback from your involvement or participation in 2017. Arrive 15 minutes early to enjoy a chat with your neighbours over a hot drink and some cake.

Garden Tasks: 2 - 4pm on Sundays.
Tasks re-start in March 2018.

All welcome. Meet your neighbours and make some new friends. Learn or share some gardening skills.

Fresh air, gentle exercise, good company, gardening get togethers! Gardening experience not essential, tools, tea and cake provided.

Children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

We can offer to pay for regular volunteers to attend courses or update qualifications such as food hygiene, first aid, or horticulture. In the summer there is often fruit and other produce to share.


Monday 8th January 2018 – Replacement raised beds completed

Seven new replacement raised beds were completed and installed for new 2018 tenants.

Funded by the Shelroy Charitable Trust and Little Acorns Community Fund. Constructed by Many thanks to Norfolk Community Foundation for facilitating this funding.

The original raised beds were rotting and overdue for a makeover. We trialed the new design by replacing the two most damaged raised beds last year; these have proved to be more solid and longer lasting.

Friday 5th January 2018 - Thank you for responding to our Survey

Our survey closed at midnight on 4th January 2018. Thanks to all who responded.

Monday 1st January 2018 – New business sponsor for the garden

Carnival ConsultingWe are grateful to Anne Francis of Carnival Consulting for agreeing to be our second business sponsor since we set up the scheme last year. Anne has previously sponsored the fig tree in the garden and is an occasional volunteer.

If you would like to know more about the business sponsorship scheme please contact our outreach officer:

Thursday 28th December 2017 - Please Respond to our Survey

We've enjoyed a packed year of workshops and events in the garden and we couldn't have done it without all of you being involved!

If you have 5 minutes would you let us know via this survey how our garden could serve the Norwich community better in 2018? Tell us what we are doing well, what needs improving and what activities or events you would like to see in the garden in 2018 and anything else you think is important to share.

Please inform us of your thoughts here.

Sunday 10th December 2017 – Volunteers' Christmas party

This was a chance for the community garden group to say thanks to all our volunteers this year including gatekeepers, gardening and events volunteers, cake bakers, leaflet posters etc. The Reindeer pub kindly provided the venue, participants brought some lovely food to share and the group was able to buy everyone a drink from the Reindeer bar. We look forward to working with our volunteers again and welcoming newcomers in 2018.

Wednesday 22nd November 2017 - Wildlife Gardening in the Urban Environment

We are grateful to the Natural History Museum for funding this talk given by Larissa Cooper, who is originally from Paragon Place and was involved in the setting up of the community garden in 2009 - 10. We are also grateful to the Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society for allowing us to use The Chapel which is a great venue in the heart of the community that we aim to serve. This was a joint event with the No Fear Gardening group and was advertised and aimed at the whole community but the group also spent some time encouraging the elderly within the community to join us by sending invitations to the various sheltered housing and retirement residences in the area.

Larissa is an Ecologist (GradCIEEM) and Wildlife Gardener with ten years’ experience. For the past five years she has worked at the Natural History Museum in London, helping to care for the Wildlife Garden; a living gallery of British lowland habitats, which covers just one acre and home to over 3,500 species in the 25 years since it was created.

Larissa gave a fascinating talk about her work at the museum and about the importance of wildlife gardening in urban environments followed by an interesting question and answer session. Many thanks to Ellen Mary Webster for organizing this community event.

Saturday 11th November 2017 – Armistice Day morning

This was another lottery-funded event which was open to everyone although we targeted the retired community by leaving publicity in the all the nearby retirement complexes, community centres and sheltered housing. It was a morning of poignant readings, histories, and poetry delivered by members of the local community including Simon Floyd of the Common Lot and his friend Owen Evans, who is better known as one of the Nimmo Twins. We respected the two minute silence at 11am, marked by the Last Post and Reveille played by local trumpeter Adam King. Neil Bignall (war historian) was on hand to answer questions in full WW1 military uniform and we put on a small exhibition of local war history. You can see photos of the event here.

Tuesday 31st October 2017 – Family Halloween Trick or Treat

Another lottery-funded event for families with small children who enjoyed hot chocolate, pumpkin soup, pumpkin carving and some safe trick or treating within the garden. Ellen dressed up as a pumpkin was not to be missed! All children went away with a goody bag containing seeds and sweets. We had lots of lovely feedback including this one: "Thanks very much for a charming event - spot on for a toddler who fell head-over-heels in love with the pumpkin lady".

Thursday 26th October 2017 - Please vote for us in the Aviva Community Awards

Please vote for us in the Aviva Community Fund Awards. This could secure £1000 to pay our part-time gardener in 2018 who would run some extra mid week volunteer sessions for those who cannot make our regular Sunday afternoon tasks. Follow this link to vote now!

Thursday 19th October 2017 - No Fear Gardening Live


We took our information stand to the No Fear Gardening TV event at Epic Studios in Norwich, and our Chairman Richard Bearman joined the garden experts on stage for this LIVE streamed gardening show from the studio. Richard discussed growing and cooking fruit and vegetables, no matter what shape or size, encouraging everyone to grow their own food. This event was arranged by the first year media students at City College Norwich with the help of Ellen Mary and Mr. Plant Geek (Michael Perry). The programme included gardening speakers, gardening films about using plants indoors and creating a jungle garden along with how gardening can benefit us all plus live music and much more! It was a great way to show gardening can be terrific fun. You can see some photos here.

Monday 16th October - Norfolk Community Learning Services visit

Patrick welcomed a small group of 5 adults and two staff from Norfolk Community Learning Services (NCLS), based at Wensum Lodge in Norwich, who are looking to plan their own community growing space. Their Growing Together tutor, Caroline Fernandez, told us they were particularly interested in apple trees and composting. They enjoyed an inspiring question and answer session and went away with some good ideas and a few cuttings!

Saturday 15th October 2017 - Celebration of International Culture

Our 'Celebration of International Culture in Norwich' event was part of our lottery-funded outreach to migrant communities in Norwich and was organised by Ellen Mary in collaboration with Roshan Dykes of New Routes.

The autumn weather was sublime, and the event was a great success with over 200 attending from all parts of the globe. With a full programme of music, entertainment from around the world, story-telling and lots of exciting stalls including the Missing Kind, The Feed, Malaysian Food, African Crafts and Henna Tattoos. The garden group served up teas and coffees and put on a language taster stall which was very popular.

A key attraction was the opportunity to sow some wildflower seed balls donated by Seedball a social enterprise, in our wildflower meadow area. We hope that all participants return in the spring to see the results. The afternoon was hugely enjoyable and seeing our diverse community all coming together to support each other and enjoy the garden was such a positive experience for everyone. Thanks to all who got involved in the preparation and on the day! There are plenty of colourful photos on our Facebook page posted by attendees and on our album here.

Sunday 8th October 2017 - UEA Students Join Garden Task

Eight students from the UEA School of International Development joined our volunteer afternoon and got stuck in despite the mud and rain helping to clear an overgrown area to the left of the lawn for new planting. In return for their help, our volunteers answered a short survey to help with their current research project. Photos of the afternoon and the new plants listed above can be seen here.

Friday 6th October 2017 - New Plant Purchases

Fran and Jo visited Urban Jungle nursery and plant centre in Old Costessey and purchased six plants for Sunday’s volunteer afternoon.

The new purchases were: Helenium 'Mardi Gras' (Sneezeweed), Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii (Black-eyed Susan), Ceratostigma willottianum (Chinese plumbago), Begonia 'Benitochiba' (Painted lead Begonia), Clerodendrum bungei (Glory flower) and Melianthus major (honey bush).

Monday 11th September 2017 - Little Growers

After a year's break we welcome back Little Growers, run by Sophie Betts from City and Eaton Children's centre, for fortnightly play sessions.

Sophie says, "It is such a great opportunity for our families to engage in physical activity and for children to learn about nature. As the setting is so perfect for our outdoors group, we have been able to organise mud play, water play, craft play and physical activities which are all beneficial to children’s development. The children love sowing our range of seeds, from onions to broccoli and sweet peas to cyclamens. And thank you to Richard, Fran and Ellen for all their help in advising me on what seeds to choose for the little ones to plant! Even though it’s early days, we are hoping our children will look after their plants, keep them watered and watch their food and flowers grow."

Thursday 24th August 2017 - AVIVA Community work team (incorporating a pruning workshop)

Grapes Hill Community garden was host to five keen office workers from the Aviva office in Norwich who got stuck into some physical work for the day. The volunteers were led and instructed by Jon Darby, a pruning expert from Easton college, Jo Rice our part time gardener and ‘hands on’ chairman Richard.

Our thanks go to Calum, Sam, Peter, Wilson, and Paul from Aviva and to Janet Whitehead of Volunteering Matters, a registered charity that arranges volunteering opportunities for office workers.

Wednesday 23rd August 2017 - Summer Workshops

Our series of summer workshops is now finished for the year.

These lottery funded workshops were held in the garden, with free places for low income and unemployed.

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to the knowledgeable instructors.

Permaculture (Saturday 1st July 2017) - Ben Margolis from The Grange in West Norfolk, expertly talked a group of like-minded attendees, through the principles of Permaculture. It was an enjoyable day, and we received excellent feedback. It was a great taster day to get an insight into how we can enhance biodiversity and reduce our impact on the planet. If you are interested in permaculture, Ben runs a design course at The Grange:

Upcycling on an Urban Scale (Saturday 5th August) - An activity packed day run by Ed Harkness where everyone got stuck in making old items usable in the garden. From watering cans made from bottles and a fantastic pallet planter along with items to keep birds off the vegetable patch and terracotta pot hanging baskets, it was a hands-on day! We donated the pallet planter to Stepping Stones charity in Norwich. Take a look at their allotment where Ed is the Horticultural Tutor here:

Organic Food Growing (Saturday 8th July) - We strongly believe in organic gardening, so this workshop run by Ed Harkness captured the way we can use items from the household and garden to keep pests away, feed our plants and keep costs low. From Comfrey feed to garlic spray everyone left armed with new ideas to create an organic haven in their own gardens. Plus we ended up with a bucket full of comfrey ready to be diluted to feed the garden. A fun and educational workshop.

Introduction to Wildlife Gardening (Saturday 12th August) - Our gardens can be wildlife havens, so Jeremy Bartlett spent the day with attendees in the garden discussing how to create a garden with wildlife in mind. Topics included planting, providing homes and increasing overall biodiversity in the garden along with meadows and even recording wildlife. There will be many more wildlife friendly gardens out there now! To have read of Jeremy's blog, go to

Parent and Child Social - The community garden is the perfect place for children to enjoy being outside and with nature. We held an hour session each Thursday for four weeks during the Summer for children to enjoy watering the plants, learning about fruit and flowers plus some even got to taste gooseberries. Friends were made, and there are plans for a possible new schedule again in the future. We are hoping to get some funding for some garden friendly children’s toys as well.

Beginners' Gardening Course (Thursday 13th July to Thursday 3rd August) - From 13th July for four weeks, Ellen Mary ran a beginner gardening course on Thursday mornings in the garden. Attendees learned how important it is to understand soil and the benefits of composting. The group even propagated Lavender and Hydrangea cuttings along with helping each other with ideas for their own gardens. These friendly and informative few weeks allowed everyone to gain the confidence to get outside in the garden and give it a go.

See photos of the workshops on Facebook.

Monday 26th June 2017 - Goodgym Norwich visit

Thanks to Goodgym Norwich for choosing our community garden for their first venue this evening.

Fran said: "What a great bunch of people! They came, they weeded, they litter picked the surrounding area and shovelled compost, and then they ran off! We loaded them up with squash and cake to keep them going for the run back. We were still smiling one hour later. Wow. Flash mob gardening. I recommend it".

See photos on Facebook.

Sunday 25th June 2017 - Big Community Picnic

We held a 'Big Community Picnic' to provide some free entertainment and fun or the neighbourhood.

The Dulverton Trust funded the event with the aim of carrying out some community consultation to inform the GHCGG trustees on how the garden can better serve the needs of the local community after five years of relatively low engagement.

Nearly 500 addressed envelopes were hand-delivered to the neighbouring flats containing a short questionnaire to be exchanged for £10 of food and drink at this free event. The group advertised the event widely and it was well-attended. Visitors were able to bring a picnic or buy from the two food stalls and our licensed bar while enjoying music provided by The Dirigibles, The Baroness and the Bear and an excellent group of buskers who stood in last minute for a late cancellation.

This was an enjoyable event thanks to our team of wonderful volunteers who stuffed and addressed envelopes, door posted the questionnaire, baked cakes and helped set up and run the stalls.

Despite the large crowds, see photos on Facebook, only three questionnaires were returned and exchanged for goodies on the day. This was disappointing but also convinced the trustees to terminate a very active and long-standing campaign to engage with the residents of the nearby estate. The group will consider new target groups for outreach in the future including children and families and the refugee and migrant communities of Norwich.

Monday 12th June 2017 - Norwich Job Centre visit

Tom Adams from Norwich Job Centre brought ten young people to the garden to look around and consider some volunteering. Our lottery funded part-time gardener, Jo Rice, met them and talked to them about the plants that are growing.

Tom was pleased with the visit he said "Just the education and learning about edible fruit/veg was a learning curve for the group. They loved the tasting and smelling. I know some of them expressed an interest in returning, even if that means learning/exploring a bit more without any physical activity" We would be delighted to host such groups in the future.

Friday 19th May 2017 - Talk at Norwich City College

Ellen and Fran had a great morning at Norwich City College talking to ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) students about Grapes Hill Community Garden and the benefits of community gardening and volunteering. This was part of an initiative organised by Active Citizens Together.

Sunday 30th April 2017 - Nature in the Garden

Our 5th annual Nature Day in Grapes Hill Community Garden was a great success. Yet again we were blessed with dry weather and nearly 400 people attended throughout the day. The baby owls stole the show and all the nature themed stall holders tell us they had a good day.

We sold large quantities of tea and cake baked by several of our volunteers and combined with Susan’s bird game we made a surplus of just over £200. Lots of happy customers returned home with a free window sill salad growing kit funded by the Big Lottery. Thanks to all the volunteers who helped on or before the day to make it such a great success and everyone who donated plants and cakes.

Monday 6th March 2017 - Lottery Funded Job Vacancies Now Filled

We are pleased to announce that we have employed Ellen Mary of No Fear Gardening as our lottery funded part-time Outreach Officer and she will begin work at the end of this month.

We are also pleased to announce that Jo Rice is our new lottery funded part-time gardener. She will be in the garden on Sunday 19th March to lead volunteers and to help the new raised bed tenants with their vegetable growing plans for 2017. If you have rented a raised bed, we encourage you to come and talk to Jo.

Sunday 5th March 2017 - Indoor Spring Fete and community outreach

A big thank you to everyone who helped make today's fete such a success.

Despite the dreadful weather, which undoubtedly kept more people at home, we entertained a good crowd. Thanks to all the stallholders who joined us, to those of you who hand delivered leaflets to advertise the fete, cake bakers, and all the people who volunteered today on the GHCGG stalls or helped set up and pack away. This event could not have happened without this incredible team effort – so thanks again to everyone who took part!

This was not a fundraising event as the Big Lottery entirely funded it as the start of our 2017 community outreach. However, the various donation buckets, sales of tea and cake, cork competition, etc. raised an extra £198.21.

Saturday 21st January 2017 - Job Vacancies

Following our recent National Lottery bid, we are now able to advertise some paid roles. Full details are on the Job Vacancies page.

Monday 16th January 2017 - National Lottery Award

We are pleased to announce that the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group has been awarded National Lottery funding to expand our work.

We will be carrying out community consultations, putting on more events and workshops, improving our signage and employing some part time positions including a gardener, and an outreach officer / events organiser.

We are hoping to make the garden and the group work better for our immediate neighbours and other users of the garden. Look out for our posts in the next week or so.

If you are interested drop us a line so that we can send you the details direct. If you have any ideas for events that are not listed in our upcoming events section above, then again let us know! Contact us by email on or via our Facebook page or Twitter.

Sunday 27th November 2016 - Winter Pruning Workshop

We had another great pruning course, delivered by Jape Darby. Thanks to those who came and learnt some valuable skills.

We learnt how and why to prune the wisteria and also pruned six apple trees, the gooseberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, raspberries, loganberries, blackberries and lots of herbaceous shrubs. We shared some butternut squash soup and rolls to keep us warm and enjoyed some good company.

Photos on Facebook.

Monday 21st November 2016 - 2017 Raised Bed Applications

A reminder that the closing date to apply for a raised bed to grow your own vegetables in 2017 is 1st December 2016.

To apply, read the Tenancy Agreement and complete a Raised Bed Application form and send it to us by 1st December 2016.

You must be a member of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group to rent a raised bed - join using our Membership Application form.

Sunday 20th November 2016 - Another grant award

We've been awarded £1400 from the Dulverton Trust.

This is 'to cover food and drink and the printing of questionnaires for the Community Big Lunch in June 2017 and to pay for annual insurance.' We are hoping to carry out a community consultation at our community lunch next June to find out how the neighbourhood would like to use the garden and see it develop to better suit their needs. There will be free food and drink for those taking part in the consultation and we can even pay our entertainers this time! More details to follow early 2017. Many thanks to the Norfolk Community Foundation for facilitating this grant.

Friday 18th November 2016 - Pumpkin carving

Thanks to everyone who came and took part it was a lovely afternoon and evening. Photos on Facebook.

Wednesday 12th October 2016 - Some fantastic news!

Many thanks to the Paul Bassham Charitable Trust for donating £1000 to the community garden. We will use this to pay 2017 public liability and assets insurance plus make some essential repairs to some of the raised beds this winter. Thanks also to Wyn Hurst our volunteer funding officer who has spent hours this year researching, writing letters and filing in forms to find much needed funds to keep this voluntary group and beautiful urbanoasis running.

Sunday 18th September 2016 - Thanks for the tools

Many thanks to Norwich Community Green Gym for donating some garden tools to the Grapes Hill Community Garden that are surplus to requirement at their NCGG Woodlands allotment. These included hand forks and trowels, secateurs, buckets, gloves and a much-needed wheelbarrow.

Saturday 20th August 2016 - Peter and the Wolf

'Gone with the Wind', a local wind quintet, performed Prokofiev's 'Peter and the Wolf' in the garden. This was a free event with afternoon tea. Thanks to Kate and the quintet for organising this and all the volunteers who baked scones and cakes and helped on the day. The event went well, and we took in £108.94 in donations for refreshments.

See the photo gallery for this event.

Sunday 7th August 2016 - No Fear Gardening Group help out

Thanks to No Fear Gardening Group for sending us more volunteers to help on Sunday 7th August. This was really appreciated and enjoyed by all. The garden relies on volunteers particular at this busy time of year. Find out more about this new Norwich group on

Sunday 19th June 2016 - Big Lunch

Our Big Lunch was a great success.

Saturday 11th June 2016 - Herbal Talk and Workshop

This was a great success with several places funded or subsidised thanks to the East of England Co-operative green tokens scheme. #cooptokens.

We learnt about growing and using medicinal herbs with medical herbalist Alex Hobbs.

The workshop included a tour of the garden and surrounding area to discuss a range of medicinal plants and herbs that were either growing wild or had been planted by the garden volunteers.

The talk included the top 10 commonly cultivated and top 10 wild medicinal herbs and their uses. Attendees potted up their own miniature herb garden. Sandwiches and afternoon tea were included.

Let us know what other courses you would like the Garden Group to host. We have more funds from the Co-op.

Sunday 1st May 2016 - Nature in the Garden

Norfolk Wild Encounters returned with their amazing display of Hawks and Owls. Other stalls included: The RSPB, Loke Herbs, Norfolk Master Composters, Friends of Train Wood, The Sustainable Living Initiative, Woodland Crafts, Organic wine tasting with Tom Loudon of the Greenhouse. Plant sales. Seed swap. Tea and cake stall.

Saturday 2nd April 2016 - Wild Flower Seeds

We have just received several boxes of wildflower seeds from Kew Royal Botanic Garden’s Grow Wild scheme. Most of these we are donating to the Dingles Project which is part of the same community. Plus we plan to do some Guerrilla Gardening in the Grapes Hill area!

Friday 1st April 2016 - New Member of Events Team

We have a new member of the events team: Danni Chadwick – welcome aboard! Danni’s experience includes organising events when she was an Assistant Beaver leader in York and she currently works in customer relations. Let us know if you would like to take on a leading role within the community garden group.

Friday 11th March 2016 - A Sponsor for the 'Vega' Cherry

We have a sponsor for the 'Vega' Cherry. Many thanks to Jane Sayers and Anthony Preston, two of our long-standing committee members and trustees, for sponsoring the Vega Cherry which was planted in January 2011 and grown as a fan. This variety comes from Canada. It produces large, sweet, juicy, creamy-white cherries with a red flush if you can catch them before the resident blackbirds!

Saturday 6th February 2016 - Winter Pruning Course

Not put off by a forecast for heavy rain and 40 mile an hour winds, a small group gathered on Saturday 6th February to learn and then try out some winter pruning knowledge and skills. The rain stayed away, the wind was tolerable and everyone went away eager to try out what they had learnt in their own gardens.

Thanks to Jon Darby for another excellent training session. Look out for more courses to be funded by our most recent £200 award from the East of England Co-op #cooptokens.

See Facebook for pictures.

Sunday 31st January 2016 - Raised Bed Tenants' Get Together

Our year got off to a cheery start despite the persistent drizzle on Sunday. The new raised bed tenants met each other and swapped ideas before getting down to digging in some horse manure collected by Patrick from the Keswick Riding Stables in return for a £20 donation. See Facebook for pictures of the big dig in!

We were joined by some 2nd year International Development students from the UEA who took the opportunity to interview the tenants and volunteers for their research on alternative food networks within Norwich. In return they were very wiling to help dig in the manure and compost. Copious amounts of tea and cake were consumed as both calories and warmth were in big demand!

Thursday 26th November 2015 - Anglia In Bloom

Richard and Kev attended the Anglia in Bloom/RHS ITS YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD certificate presentation at Brook Hotel in Norwich and received on behalf the group an 'Anglia in Bloom' RHS It's Your Neighbourhood award - level 3 developing.

Photos of the event can be seen here.

Wednesday 18th November 2015 - Norwich Soup

Norwich Soup is a community dinner where different groups from across the city can share ideas and a small project can gain seed money.

Richard and Wyn represented the group and presented our proposal for a £500 grant towards a future community event celebrating the neighbourhood.

We didn't win but a good time and meal was shared by all. The award was won by Trade School Norwich. You can see a short video of the event here.

Saturday 24th October 2015 - A Sponsor for our Fig Tree

Thanks to Carnival Consulting for sponsoring our 'White Marseilles' fig tree.

Carnival Consulting is run by award winning business coach Anne Francis and provides mentoring, training and consultancy to help people start or develop their own socially-motivated businesses.

Interested in sponsoring a tree? See our full list of fruit trees and their sponsors for details of trees that are still available.

Saturday 3rd October and Sunday 4th October 2015 - Partial Replanting

Thanks to Janet Bearman, the brains behind some major replanting, the first since the garden was planted out in 2011. Under Janet’s direction, a small group of volunteers dug up some of the older woody sage and lavender, plus a lot of weeds before replanting and mulching. A new lavender border will be planted in the spring. A list of the new plants can be seen here.

We advertised this event as part of Norwich City Council’s Get involved Week and managed to recruit one new volunteer while keeping our small gang of regulars enthused! Thanks to everyone involved for all the hard work!

September 2015 - Anglia in Bloom

In September Mancroft ward was awarded the Best Urban Community trophy at the recent Anglia in Bloom awards. The Grapes Hill Community Garden and the Golding Place plum orchard (also managed by the group) were two of several areas of Mancroft visited by the judges during the summer.

Saturday 19th September 2015 - Norwich Veggie Fayre

We promoted the community garden at the Norwich Veggie Fayre and raised a grand total of £57.26 from the raffle, donations and sale of wild flower seeds, chutneys and books. Thanks to everyone who helped to run the stall.

Wednesday 5th August 2015 - Britain In Bloom

Today Britain in Bloom judges visited the garden.

Saturday 1st August 2015 - Thanks to the Co-op

We are grateful to the East of England Cooperative Society for contributing a six month supply of 480 teabags to Grapes Hill Community Garden for use at our meetings and fundraising events.

Sunday 7th June 2015 - The Big Lunch

This year's Big Lunch was a great success. We were blessed with good weather and a very cheery and relaxed crowd of friends and neighbours. Thanks to everyone who helped make this such a great day: our own volunteers, the musicians, Totem for looking after the BBQ and Samantha Maguire for the face painting.

View photos on Facebook.

Sunday 3rd May 2015 - Nature in the Grapes Hill Community Garden

This year's Nature in the Garden event was a great success despite a very rainy start. The birds of prey were the stars of the day with the homemade cakes coming a close second! Thanks to Norfolk Wild Encounters, Loke herbs, Strangers Coffee House and Tom Loudon for the organic wine-tasting. There are lots of photos on our Facebook page.

Sunday 19th April 2015 - Pruning and gardening course

Our pruning course in the garden was a great success.

Jon Darby gave us a short educational talk and then we all had a go at pruning and tying back a variety of fruit trees, fans, cordons and bushes as well as some of the other climbing plants. This course was well-attended and the feedback has been positive.

See Facebook for some photos of the event.

Saturday 14th March 2015 - Sculpture Unveiled

Brian Hannah, Chair of Norfolk County Council unveiled our new cherry tree sculpture today. (See EDP report.)

An appreciative crowd enjoyed a warming cuppa and were amazed by the added surprise of a solar powered water pump which propelled harvested rainwater up the middle of this giant sculpture only to cascade over the top creating a silvery veil of its own. The sun shone just long enough to provide the power.

Thanks to Patrick Goodall and his assistants and to all who came to help set up this event, serve teas and clear away. We had the chance to invite all our volunteers, facilitators and sponsors past and present to a drinks reception where we enjoyed a glass of British sparkling wine. Thanks to Jo and his team at the Reindeer Pub and Kitchen for their friendly service and delicious canapés.

The sculpture has been funded by The Greater Norfolk Development Partnership, Norfolk County Council’s The Arts Project Fund and Norwich City Council’s Small Community Grants.

Thursday 12th March 2015 - Annual General Meeting

We held our AGM at the Seven Cs Community Project, 5 St. Benedict's View, Norwich.

This included a review of the year, a financial report, a discussion of upcoming events and the election of new and existing committee members.

Sunday 14th December 2014 - Christmas Party

Great fun and frivolity were had at our annual Christmas party for volunteers and members, held in the garden.

Richard provided coppiced firewood and we enjoyed Fran's Mulled wine and mince pies, Jane and Anthony's curried parsnip soup, Shamima's lemon chicken rice and Margherita's crostini. We had lots of help setting up and clearing up and even the weather was kind!

Sunday 30th November 2014 - Work Starts On Foundations For New Sculture

Patrick has been busy this week preparing the base for the new sculpture.

For photos see our Patrick's Sculpture gallery and Facebook page.

Thursday 13th November 2014 - Grant Awarded For installation of Sculpture

We are very grateful to Norfolk County Council for awarding us £350 towards the installation in the garden of a sculpture created by Patrick Goodall.

The money has been awarded from the Arts Project Fund.

Saturday 20th September 2014 - Edible Gardens Open Day

We showcased some of our volunteer activities and gave tours of the garden this afternoon as part of the Edible Gardens Open Day. This was part of The Big Dig network co-ordinated by Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming.

We raised £47.52 by selling tea and homemade cakes and memberships as well as offering tours of the garden and explaining a bit about what we do and how people can apply to rent a raised bed for 2015.

You can hear Fran being interviewed about the garden in advance of the event on BBC Radio Norfolk’s garden party programme – about 30 minutes into this link for Saturday 20th September.

Sunday 21st August 2014 - Visit by NANSA

Rhiannon Bennet from NANSA brought a group of autistic young men to the garden as part of NANSA's 18+ Work Skills Programme, which they run during the school holidays.

Thanks to Jo Rice for supporting the group by giving them a tour of the garden during which they enjoyed tasting the raspberries and smelling the herbs. They did a bit of weeding and watering and enjoyed looking at some interesting insects! We hope to welcome them back again in the future.

Sunday 17th August 2014 - Shakespeare in the Garden

About twenty people attended Norwich Poetry Group's 'Shakespeare in the Garden' event despite an unfavourable weather forecast.

They raised £46 from their auction of items, which they kindly donated to the garden group.

Thanks to GHCGG volunteers who attended to help tidy the garden before the event and help the poetry group set up and clear up.

Sunday 6th July 2014 - St Giles Street Fair

We made a total profit of £67 from the sale of plants, produce and jams etc. at the St Giles Street Fair, which after a soggy start turned out to be a great event with sun, a certain tennis final, and a carnival atmosphere. Ieuan's homemade jams were a best seller!

Thanks to everyone who donated items for us to sell.

Thursday 3rd July 2014 - Crude Apache Theatre Company presents 'Gammer Gurton’s Needle'

Crude Apache Theatre Company presented their ribald and farcical play following the misadventures of a group of larger-than-life rustic characters as they unravelled the mystery of the title character’s missing sewing needle. There was also a licensed bar to raise funds for the community garden, which raised £35 for our funds.

View photos in our 2014 gallery.

Sunday 29th June 2014 - Garden Task Cancelled

Today's garden task was cancelled due to heavy rain, and has been replaced by an evening garden task on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.

Saturday 14th June 2014 - RSA East of England Conference at the Julian Study Centre, UEA

Richard and Fran represented the group at the RSA East of England Conference at the Julian Study Centre, UEA.

RSA members had been asked to recommend organisations in the East of England that they considered particularly innovative, exciting and socially minded. The Grapes Hill Community Garden was one of many groups invited and we enjoyed networking with other groups such as Visions for Change, the Common Room, Trade School Norwich, The Friends of Train Wood and many more from across the region. The RSA lectures and discussion groups were particularly inspiring and left us feeling both encouraged and wanting to do more.

The Keynote speech by Matthew Taylor, Chief executive of the RSA was entitled "The Power to Create". He spoke about the need value every human individual and to help instil that sense of value. He explained that the RSA was about "unleashing potential and building a better society".

The RSA stands for The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. It describes itself as "an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges". Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.

Tuesday 4th June 2014 - Volunteers Fair / Working Better Together

We took part in the Norwich Volunteers Fair at St Andrew's Hall in Norwich, hosting an information table. All our flyers and plenty of postcards were taken away which we hope is a good sign! Fran also led a discussion group in Blackfriars Hall for the Norwich City Council's Working Better Together event.

This was an amazing networking opportunity with scores of local volunteer groups represented. Fran gave a brief summary of our group's experiences, the process of taking over the land that is now the community garden, what we learned, the challenges and how we worked with Norwich City Council who owns the land and other organisations.

Sunday 1st June 2014 - The Big Lunch

We hosted our second Big Lunch, part of a national event that brings neighbours together.

See Facebook for some photos of the event.

Saturday 31st May 2014 - Another Tree Sponsored

Thanks to Susan Lockley for sponsoring our 'Adam's Pearmain' apple tree, in memory of Muriel Grace Oakes 1911 - 2014.

If you'd like to help us by sponsoring a tree (or offering other help) please contact us.

Sunday 4th May 2014 - Nature In The Garden

Today we brought a little more of the natural world into the heart of the city, at our event 'Nature in the Grapes Hill Community Garden'.

There was a great atmosphere with the right number of people coming and going throughout the day. Susan’s bird game was a great success as was the tea and homemade cake stall.

Thanks to Loke Herbs, Strangers Café, Tom and Ben Loudon (organic wine tasting), Norwich Community Choir and the RSPB for joining us. And a big thank you to Simon and the gang from Norfolk Owl Charity for bringing their amazing birds of prey and delighting so many people.

See Facebook for some photos of the event.

Thursday 1st May 2014 - Garden Receives £1000 Grant

We are pleased to announce that the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group has been awarded £1000 of community cash from this year’s Sport Relief fund.

We are very grateful to Norfolk Community Foundation for facilitating this award for the second year running.

The money will be used to pay for the materials and labour needed to construct a new wooden trellis and gate at the far end of the garden on the East side. This will enhance the beauty of the garden. It will also add extra security at night-time, a necessity that has arisen from the recent unexpected property development adjoining the garden.

Thursday 10th April 2014 - We Are Now A Registered Charity

Grapes Hill Community Garden Group has been granted charitable status and has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1156616.

Sunday 30th March - Another Garden Task

We had a successful garden task afternoon, many thanks to Tish for leading this.

A visitor to the garden had kindly donated some primulas which were planted behind the compost bins. A cornfield annual mix of wildflower seeds was sown in the semicircles prepared at the last garden task within each side of the mini-orchard / wild flower meadow. An area was prepared for the new trellis and any plants removed were replanted elsewhere in the garden. Some of the weeds were tackled and Patrick mowed the lawn.

Weeding will be the mainfocus of our next task day on the 13th April. All welcome experience not essential.

Sunday 16th March 2014 - First Spring Garden Task

We held our first garden task of spring 2014 and started the annual spring clear up / cut back of hardy perennials.

It was a lovely sunny afternoon. See photos on Facebook.

Thursday 6th March 2014 - Annual General Meeting

We held our AGM at The Reindeer Pub and Kitchen on Dereham Road.

This included a review of the year, a financial report, a discussion of upcoming events and the election of new and existing committee members.

We welcomed several new committee members, including our new Chairman, Richard Bearman. Richard replaces Jeremy Bartlett, who stood down after being Chairman for two years.

Many thanks to Jeremy for all his hard work over the past few years and for his central role in planting up the garden and leading garden tasks.

Sunday 9th February 2014 - Building a shed (part two)

Volunteers finished putting together the shed today, planted some wild flower plugs in the meadow on east side of garden and had a good tidy up.

Thanks to Kate, Fred, Marta and Patrick. Special thanks to Kate for taking a lead with the instruction manual and for making delicious stout and chocolate cake containing Fred's home brewed stout.

See photos on Facebook.

Sunday 2nd February 2014 - Building a shed (part one)

Today we put together a flat pack metal shed in the south-west corner of the garden. Some finishing touches will be made next Sunday.

Many thanks to Richard Bearman, who led the task, and to Kev, Kate, Fred, Peter and Anne. We enjoyed the winter sunshine, the camaraderie, carrot cake, pea soup and lashings of tea and coffee! Once the door is fitted next week we will bless the shed with a celebratory bottle of fizz.

See photos on Facebook.

Wednesday 23rd October 2013 - 2014 Raised Bed Applications

The closing date to apply for a raised bed to grow your own vegetables in 2014 is 1st December 2013.

To apply, read the Tenancy Agreement and complete a Raised Bed Application form and send it to us by 1st December 2013.

You must be a member of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group to rent a raised bed - join using our Membership Application form.

Tuesday 15th October 2013 - Garden Shortlisted for Design Award

Representatives from the garden group attended the 2013 Norwich Society Design Awards on Tuesday 15th October in the Noverre Room of the Assembly House, Norwich, in the presence of the Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Norwich.

These biennial awards recognise the owners, contractors, designers and/or architects of various new buildings in Norwich.

The garden had been nominated and made the shortlist for an award in the "Civic" category alongside the Bowthorpe Community Garden and the Jarrold Bridge, Whitefriars. Both gardens were awarded a commendation.

For more information see The Norwich Society website.

Saturday 5th October 2013 - Organic Wine Tasting

Our Organic Wine Tasting, organised in conjunction with The Greenhouse, raised £98.36 for the garden.

Thanks to the 27 people who came along, to our host Tom, to Pye Baker for the delicious breads and to The Greenhouse for providing the tasting wines at cost and for donating 10% of the sales of each bottle to the garden.

The event took place at at St. Thomas' Church Hall on Earlham Road. Those who took part sampled five different varieties of organic and biodynamic wine - two whites and three reds.

Sunday 4th August 2013 - Shakespeare In The Garden

Following on from last year's successful Poetry In The Garden event, we had an afternoon of Shakespeare readings in the garden, organised by Poetry at Olive's. Thanks to everyone who bought raffle tickets, raising £26 for the garden.

We had a great afternoon and the garden proved once again to be a great venue for outdoor events.

Patrick also took the opportunity to give the wildflower meadow its annual cut.

See the photos on Facebook.

Sunday 28th July 2013 - Two Norwich Community Gardens

Grapes Hill Community Garden and the garden at The Belvedere Centre opened jointly as part of the National Gardens Scheme.

The event raised £210 for the NGS's nursing, caring and gardening charities.

Saturday 13th July 2013 - Norwich Veggie Fayre

We had a fundraising stall at this event at the Quaker Meeting House on Upper Goat Lane in Norwich, promoting ethical and delicious vegetarian food, and raised £31.60 for group funds.

Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June 2013 - Glorious Gardens

Our garden was one of 24 gardens taking part in the "Glorious Gardens" event organised by The Plantation Garden.

In spite of some rain showers the weekend was very successful and enjoyable for everyone taking part. The event added a little over £8,000 to The Plantation Garden Trust’s funds.

Thursday 13th June 2013 - Public Meeting at The Belvedere Centre

On Thursday 13th June we held a public meeting at The Belvedere Centre.

Richard Bearman gave an interesting talk on how to control slugs and snails organically and after the meeting, several of us looked round the Belvedere Centre Garden.

Sunday 2nd June 2013 - The Big Lunch

We held a very successful bring and share Big Lunch in the garden, with free entertainment and The Reindeer pub supplying tapas, wine and real ales.

The event was covered in the local press.

Sunday 12th May 2013 - Another Tree Sponsored

Thanks to Caroline and Peter Brimblecombe for sponsoring another of our fruit trees - the 'Discovery' apple tree.

If you'd like to help us by sponsoring a tree (or offering other help) please contact us.

Sunday 17th March 2013 - First Spring Garden Task

We held our first garden task of spring 2013 and started the annual spring clear up / cut back of hardy perennials. The white Anemone blanda are starting to flower and the daffodils are in bud. In spite of the cold weather, spring is coming...

Sunday 10th March 2013 - Neighbourhood Litter Pick

Volunteers met in the Community Garden at 2pm for a Health and Safety briefing, followed by a litter pick of the West Pottergate area, including Paragon, Douro and Golding Places. Tea and cake were served back in the garden at the end of the task.

See our Late Winter and Spring 2013 album or Facebook for photos.

Thursday 7th March 2013 - Annual General Meting

Our AGM at The Belvedere Centre was well attended, the existing committee were re-elected and we discussed forthcoming events in the garden.

Sunday 24th February 2013 - Tree Planting at Golding Place

We spent the afternoon planting four plum trees on an area of grass on the corner of Golding Place and Valentine Street.

See our Late Winter and Spring 2013 album or Facebook for photos.

Sunday 3rd February 2013 - Raised Beds Ready For Planting

We topped up the raised beds with garden compost and well-rotted manure and they're ready for their tenants to plant up for the new growing season.

We also pruned the soft fruit and Wisteria.

Wednesday 30th January 2013 - Visit by Access To Nature Ipswich

Jeremy showed members of the Access To Nature Ipswich project around the garden.

Tuesday 29th January 2013 - Golding Place Mini-Orchard

We have been given permission to plant some fruit trees on a piece of grass owned by Norwich City Council in Golding Place, on the right at the top of Valentine Street.

We plan to plant four different varieties of plum trees. Fruit from the trees will be free to residents and passers by - though it'll be a couple of years before the trees produce any!

We have put up notices on the site to let people know about our plans.

Monday 10th December 2012 - Raised Beds Allocated

The Committee met to allocate raised beds and to plan activities for next year.

Sunday 9th December 2012 - Last Garden Task Of The Year

We held our last garden task of the year. We cleared away frosted nasturtiums, tobacco, Cosmos and achocha and finished tidying the garden for the winter.

Monday 19th November 2012 - 2013 Raised Bed Applications

A reminder that the closing date to apply for a raised bed to grow your own vegetables in 2013 is 1st December 2012.

To apply, read the Tenancy Agreement and complete a Raised Bed Application form and send it to us by 1st December 2012.

You must be a member of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group to rent a raised bed - join using our Membership Application form.

Saturday 10th November 2012 - The Dirigibles

The Dirigibles played at our fundraising gig at The Belvedere Centre. It was a great evening!

See some pictures of the event on Facebook.

Sunday 4th November 2012 - Garden Task Cancelled

Today's garden task has been cancelled due to heavy rain.

We will have one last task on Sunday 9th December to clear away the nasturtiums once they've been frosted and do any other end of season tasks, such as sweeping up the last leaves.

Sunday 21st October 2012 - A New Path

We spent the afternoon working in the garden and, as well as tidying up and potting up spare Golden Lemon Balm, Marjoram and Chinese Chives plants, we put in a new stepping stone path by the bottom ash tree.

Friday 19th October 2012 - Friends of Norwich In Bloom Presentation Evening

Jo and Jeremy went to the Friends of Norwich In Bloom Presentation Evening at The Assembly House and received a big pile of awards, including an RHS 'It's Your Neighbourhood' award (Level 5 Outstanding), a certificate and carved wooden bowl as prizes for Anglia In Bloom's 'Best Community Project' and individual certificates for several GHCGG members, for help on judging days. We also received certificates to mark Norwich's success in both the Anglia In Bloom and Britain In Bloom competitions, in which our garden played its part.

See pictures of the awards on our Facebook page.

Our members Rosemary and Peter Salt were also at the awards and Rosemary won several certificates for their lovely garden on Connaught Road.

Tuesday 9th October 2012 - 2013 Raised Bed Applications

The closing date to apply for a raised bed to grow your own vegetables in 2013 is 1st December 2012.

To apply, read the Tenancy Agreement and complete a Raised Bed Application form and send it to us by 1st December 2012.

You must be a member of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group to rent a raised bed - join using our Membership Application form.

Sunday 7th October 2012 - Autumn Sunshine

We had an enjoyable and productive afternoon in the garden, with several new volunteers. We widened the Chamomile Path, potted up Garlic Chives seedlings, transplanted Golden Lemon Balm and Chives, weeded the meadow and trimmed the lavender hedge. It was a beautifully sunny autumn day.

Monday 17th September 2012 - Public Meeting

In the evening we held a public meeting at The Belvedere Centre.

Tuesday 11th September 2012 - Anglia In Bloom Best Community Project Award

Today we were awarded the prize for Best Community Project at the Anglia In Bloom Awards 2012 in St. Ives in Cambridgeshire.

See the Eastern Daily Press for details of the awards, which also included Mancroft Ward, of which we are part (Urban Community and Most Improved categories) and Norwich (City category).

Sunday 19th August 2012 - Almost Too Hot To Garden

Today we managed to do some gardening in spite of the heat (26°C). We sowed Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) seeds in the meadow, weeded, removed docks from the meadow, pruned the Wisteria - and watered for the first time this year. Many plants are flagging in the current hot, dry weather as the ash trees take lots of water from the soil.

Sunday 12th August 2012 - Poetry In The Garden

We had a day of glorious sunshine for our Poetry In The Garden event featuring Norwich Poetry Group and wildlife poet Richard Bonfield. We also enjoyed music by Lucy & Dee (and a friend).

Thanks to The Reindeer pub for letting visitors use their toliets and to everyone who helped at the event.

View some photos on Facebook - more will be posted soon.

Read Susan's Grapes Hill Poem

Saturday 11th August 2012 - Three Men Went To Mow...

It's that time of year again - time for the annual cut of the wildflower meadow. Patrick, Richard and Jeremy spent the morning cutting the meadow. We removed the cuttings as this will reduce the fertility of the soil and reduce competition between grasses and less vigorous wildflowers.

Thursday 2nd August 2012 - Britain In Bloom

This morning judges from Britain In Bloom visited our garden as part of their route around Norwich and received a warm welcome from members of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group.

Wednesday 25th July 2012 - Garden Wins Biodiversity Award

Last night Grapes Hill Community Garden won the Group Award at the Norfolk Biodiversity Partnership Awards, which were held at the Abbey Conference Centre at Carrow in Norwich.

The garden was described as a "visionary project to create a community garden from a tarmac area in the heart of Norwich".

Fran and Jeremy attended the awards, along with Rev. Philip Young, who nominated us. Earlier in the day Radio Norfolk visited the garden and Fran and Jeremy were interviewed in the garden.

Saturday 21st July 2012 - Garden Donates Plants For Home-Start Family Fun Day

One of our neighbours in the St. Benedict's View Business Units is Home-Start Norwich, a charity supporting families in the Norwich area who are struggling with issues such as social isolation, mental or physical health problems, bereavement or just the usual stresses and strains of bringing up a young family.

Home-Start are holding a Family Fun Day on Wednesday 1st August at The Forum, which will include children’s games, cakes and a lucky dip.

We have donated some spare herb plants from the garden to sell at the event.

Tuesday 17th July 2012 - Garden Receives Green Flag Award

We are pleased to announce that the garden has been awarded a Green Flag Award today.

The award recognises well-managed, high-quality green spaces. Any green space in the UK is eligible to win this award providing it is freely accessible to the public. Previous winners include parks managed by local authorities as well as those run by community groups and trusts. The scheme was set up in 1996. For more details see

Monday 16th July 2012 - More Photos on Facebook

You can see more photos of our First Birthday Party on Facebook here.

Tuesday 10th July 2012 - Anglia In Bloom and Birthday Photos

This morning judges from Anglia In Bloom visited our garden as part of their route around Norwich.

And this afternoon we put some photos of our First Birthday Party on this website and on Facebook.

Sunday 8th July 2012 - First Birthday Party

We celebrated the garden's first year of being open to the public with a party in the garden from 3pm - 9pm.

Food and drink were provided by The Green Grocers, storytelling was by Sarah and Barrie and the music was from The Dirigibles, Tom Conway, The Proposition and 'Joe Tozer & Nick Zuppardi' and many others.

The weather improved steadily through the afternoon, after a start when we were glad of the shelter provided by our gazebos and tarpaulins. Star of the show was, as always, the garden, which is looking great.

We will post photos on this website and on Facebook soon.

Tuesday 12th June 2012 - Grapes Hill Goes To Sandringham

Two GHCGG members, Ieuan and Jeremy, went to went to Sandringham yesterday, representing Grapes Hill Community Garden Group, to see Her Majesty at the Diamond Jubilee Garden Party.

It was a great afternoon, with tea, sandwiches and cake, a look around the gardens, a chance to people watch and even a brief glimpse of the Queen. And the sun shone, which was even more unusual...

See coverage of the event in the Eastern Daily Press.

Saturday 9th June 2012 - Strangers' Hall Garden

Members of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group had an interesting and enjoyable tour of the garden at Strangers' Hall in Norwich, complete with tea and biscuits in the garden. Many thanks to our hosts for arranging the visit for us. See the photos on Facebook.

Wednesday 6th June 2012 - Latest Photos and Plant List

The latest photos of the garden are on Facebook.

We've also planted a few new things in the garden, such as a Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum) and this year's Achocha plants, one of which we hope will grow up the pergola in the space occupied last year by a Cobaea scandens.

See our updated list of plants in the garden.

Sunday 3rd June 2012 - Garden Task Cancelled Due To Rain

This afternoon's garden task has been cancelled due to rain. This is the first task we've ever had to cancel in the year and a half that we've been working in the garden.

Sunday 20th May 2012 - Afternoon In The Garden

On our garden task we planted sunflowers, Caucasian spinach (Hablitzia tamnoides) and Swiss chard plants, weeded and mowed the lawn.

Thursday 10th May 2012 - Public Meeting

In the evening we held a public meeting at The Belvedere Centre.

Monday 7th May 2012 - Norfolk Gardens and Green Spaces Festival

Grapes Hill Community Garden events are listed on the Norfolk Gardens and Green Spaces Festival website.

The Norfolk Gardens and Green Spaces Festival runs from 18th May to 27th July 2012 and brings together events being held in gardens and green spaces throughout Norfolk during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations and run up to the Olympics.

Sunday 6th May 2012 - How Does Your Garden Grow

We had a stall at the 'How Does Your Garden Grow' event at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse and spread the word about the garden to visitors.

Meanwhile, back in Norwich, we also had a garden task in the afternoon.

Saturday 28th April 2012 - Plantation Garden and Narthex Garden

Members of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group braved the cold and damp for a very interesting and enjoyable tour of The Plantation Garden, followed by a visit to the Cathedral Garden behind The Narthex at St. John's RC Cathedral. We finished off the tour with tea and cakes inside The Narthex. Many thanks to our guides, Janet and Zanna. See the photos on Facebook.

Our next GHCGG Members' Tour will be on Saturday 9th June at Strangers' Hall garden. To take part, you must be a member of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group - join using our Membership Application form.

Wednesday 25th April 2012 - Spring Photo Gallery

View our Spring 2012 photo gallery.

Sunday 22nd April 2012 - Sunshine and Showers

April showers didn't dampen our spirits as we weeded, planted and sowed seeds on our afternoon garden task.

See the photos on Facebook.

Sunday 25th March 2012 - Gardening In The Sunshine

We enjoyed a sunny afternoon in the garden, where we continued the spring weeding and tidying.

We also worked on the meadow, removing over-vigorous plants to create bare patches for sowing cornfield annuals. It's good to see some of the perennial wildflowers we sowed last spring have established themselves, including Sorrel, Yarrow, Bladder Campion and Oxeye Daisies.

Wednesday 21st March 2012 - Another Tree Sponsored

Thanks to Aran Services Ltd for sponsoring our "Stella" cherry.

Friday 16th March 2012 - Norwich 1850 - 1950

In the evening Peter and Rosemary Salt gave a very enjoyable and well attended talk at The Belvedere Centre, featuring old photographs of Norwich.

It was also a chance for people to discover more about the garden, by looking at our display boards and chatting with members of the Garden Group.

Sunday 11th March 2012 - First Spring Garden Task

We held our first spring garden task today, on a beautifully warm and sunny afternoon. The recent rain, followed by sun, has caused plants to start growing and the garden is changing every day. Daffodils, Spring Squills, Tulips and the first Anemone blanda are in flower.

We cut back a lot of our herbaceous perennials and herbs, to make way for new spring growth. We also weeded and turned the compost. Garden Group members also worked on their raised beds, preparing the soil and planting the first seeds. And there was tea and cake...

See the photos on Facebook.

Thursday 1st March 2012 - Norwich Eco Awards

Last night three members of the group went to the Norwich Eco Awards ceremony at Norwich City Hall. Chris Higgins, the Sheriff of Norwich, presented the awards.

Grapes Hill Community Garden Group was a commended entry in the Eco Community Group category and our Chairman, Jeremy Bartlett, was awarded the Eco Hero award for his work in the garden and also at The Belvedere Centre. Read the Evening News article here.

Sunday 26th February 2012 - We Put Up Nestboxes

This afternoon we put up four of the nestboxes built last Sunday at 'Look Forward To Spring', one on each ash tree. See photos on Facebook.

We also have a second photo album from 'Look Forward To Spring'.

Sunday 19th February 2012 - Look Forward To Spring

We had a lovely sunny day for our 'Look Forward To Spring' event. Lots of people visited the garden and enjoyed lovely homemade soup and cakes and warming cups of tea.

We built nestboxes, had a seed swap and there were opportunities to learn about the garden, the RSPB, Norfolk Master Gardeners and Norfolk Master Composters.

And we also raised £59.21 for the garden. Thanks to everyone who came along, and to everyone who helped run the event.

See the photos on Facebook.

Sunday 29th January 2012 - Fruit pruning and winter tidy up

Over twenty people came along to our garden task, the first of 2012. We pruned fruit trees and soft fruit, swept the paths, planted Oxeye Daisies in the meadow and had tea and cake.

Most of our new raised bed tenants came along and were given a Master Gardeners growing pack, with a free packet of seeds. They will receive help and advice on growing vegetables during the coming year.

Sunday 15th January 2012 - Floranova Donates Vegetable Seeds

Thanks to Nick Belfield-Smith of Floranova for supplying us with free vegetable seeds.

Thursday 12th January 2012 - Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meeting at The Belvedere Centre was well attended. We reviewed the last year, decided on dates for events and garden tasks and elected new committee members.

Sunday 11th December 2011 - Last Garden Task Of The Year

We held our last garden task of the year and cleared away nasturtiums and achocha (both nipped by frost) and finished tidying the garden for winter. It was also a chance for some of our raised bed tenants to meet one another and talk about what they'd like to grow next year.

Wednesday 7th December 2011 - The Creation Of A Garden

We now have a short film of the creation of the garden, accompanied by 'Urban Oasis' by Dave Sturgess. It's on the home page - hope you like it!

Friday 2nd December 2011 - We Have Allocated Our Raised Beds

At last night's committee meeting we sifted through the applications for deep beds and decided who will rent one next year.

We chose local people and families without gardens of their own and they will each be given the support of a Norfolk Master Gardener.

Sunday 27th November 2011 - Pruning, Clearing, Planting, Weeding

We had another afternoon in the garden, where we pruned the grapevines, swept up the last of the ash leaves, cleared out the runner beans, planted our last daffodil bulbs and did some tidying. See the photos on Facebook.

Once we have a sharp frost we will have one more garden work task (date to be decided, but probably Sunday 11th December), to clear away nasturtiums.

Wednesday 23rd November 2011 - We have Black Bamboos!

We now have two hefty black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra) plants in the garden. They're very easy to spot - the tallest plants in the garden apart from the ash trees and climbers, and they're in the north-east corner by the business units.

Thanks to Ros Newman and Chris Wade for donating the plants.

Sunday 20th November 2011 - Successful Fundraising Gig

Yesterday's fundraising gig at The Belvedere Centre was a great success. It featured Saxobility plus support from Dave Sturgess, Norwich Ukulele Society and Norwich Accordion Band. We made a profit of £314.40, which includes £80 for the raffle.

Thanks to everyone who played and helped out.

View photos of the gig here.

Wednesday 16th November 2011 - Visit by Rob Hopkins

Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition movement, visited the garden, which is still looking good in its autumn colours.

View the Autumn 2011 photo gallery.

Tuesday 15th November 2011 - Three Years of Transition Norwich

We had a stall at today's celebration of three years of Transition Norwich.

Rob Hopkins, the founder of the Transition movement, gave a talk about the latest ideas and developments in the Transition movement.

Sunday 13th November 2011 - More Photos of the Garden

The latest pictures of the garden are now on Facebook.

Sunday 6th November 2011 - Reminder: Raised Bed Applications

Don't forget that the closing date to apply for a raised bed to grow your own vegetables in 2012 is 1st December.

To apply, read the Tenancy Agreement and complete a Raised Bed Application form and send it to us by 1st December 2011.

You must be a member of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group to rent a raised bed - join using our Membership Application form.

Friday 4th November 2011 - GHCG at Norfolk Pro Help Annual Breakfast

This morning James Cleaver from Andrew Morton Associates and our Treasurer Peter Ellington gave a presentation to the Norfolk Pro Help annual breakfast meeting at Park Farm Hotel, Hethersett.

Business In The Community ProHelp organises support from professional organisations, Accountants, Architects, Lawyers, Marketing companies and the like to charities and voluntary organisations. Peter made a 15 minute presentation showing a picture history of the garden and thanking Clare Wilson from Birketts LLP who helped us back in 2008 with our contract for the land with Norwich City Council, James Cleaver from Andrew Morton Associates who gave invaluable help as quantity surveyors, tendering and managing N D Willan during the building phase and Mark Ashurst from ASquared Architects who charged reduced rates for formalising the garden designs.

The presentation was well received and congratulated as a great example of a successful community project. The event was covered "The Business" in the Norwich Evening News.

Wednesday 2nd November 2011 - Visit from Strangers Hall Garden Group

On another sunny and mild afternoon Strangers Hall Garden Group had a tour of the garden, led by Jeremy Bartlett.

Monday 31st October 2011 - Latest Pictures of Garden

The latest pictures of the garden are now on Facebook.

Wednesday 26th October 2011 - 'Like' us on Facebook

The garden now has 150 followers on Facebook.

Our Facebook page includes galleries of extra photographs that aren't on this website and you don't need a Facebook account to view it.

Click on the Facebook link on the top left of every page - or here.

Sunday 23rd October 2011 - Another Garden Task

Thanks to everyone who came along to yesterday's garden task.

It was another fine and sunny afternoon and we weeded, tied in the tummelberry, made leafmould, mowed the lawn and planted wildflower seeds in the meadow: pignut, crosswort, bird's foot trefoil and lesser knapweed.

The big water tank is now connected up to the gutter by the business units, giving us another source of water for the garden.

Sunday 16th October 2011 - Deadline for Raised Bed Applications is 1st December

The closing date to apply for a raised bed to grow your own vegetables in 2012 is 1st December.

To apply, read the Tenancy Agreement and complete a Raised Bed Application form and send it to us by 1st December 2011.

You must be a member of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group to rent a raised bed - join using our Membership Application form.

Monday 10th October 2011 - Work To Be Done In The Garden

Yesterday volunteers planted daffodil bulbs, weeded and swept leaves in the garden.

A list of outstanding garden jobs is now on Facebook - please contact us if you complete any of the tasks.

Thursday 29th September 2011 - Visit from Great Yarmouth Library Community Garden

Visitors from the Great Yarmouth Library Community Garden had a tour of the garden, led by Richard Bearman.

Thursday 22nd September 2011 - Latest Pictures of Garden

The latest pictures of the garden are now on Facebook.

Sunday 11th September 2011 - Bulb Planting and More

We had more new visitors to the garden, as a small group of volunteers planted squill, cyclamen and Anemone blanda bulbs and did some clearing up and weeding. We didn't have time to do all the work that is needed, so please come along and help out on the next task, on Sunday 25th September.

Dates for October and November tasks will be decided at our Public Meeting on Thursday 15th September.

Saturday 10th September 2011 - We Have Worms

We added some worms to the compost bins to help speed up composting. Worms usually arrive by themselves but the compost bins are on rather stony ground so we thought we had better give nature a hand.

Thanks to Jo Parlar for donating the worms from her compost heap.

Sunday 28th August 2011 - Herb Cuttings and Migrant Hawkers

Runner Bean 'Painted Lady'

We had another afternoon in the garden and took cuttings from the Lemon Verbena and Blackcurrant Sage. Neither plant is particularly hardy, so we will overwinter the cuttings in a frost-free place in case the original plant is killed by the cold and damp of winter.

We also harvested vegetables (including 'Painted Lady' runner beans, pictured left), shared them out and did some weeding.

Migrant Hawker dragonflies sunned themselves on the trellis and Comma and Red Admiral butterflies came to visit the Buddleia flowers on the northern edge of the garden.

Saturday 20th August 2011 - Latest Pictures of Garden

The latest pictures of the garden are now on Facebook.

Sunday 14th August 2011 - Making Hay While The Sun Shines

Grapes Hill Community Garden Group members spent the afternoon in the garden and cut the wildlife meadow, except for two patches of cornfield annuals that are still in flower.

We also put extra wires on top of the pergola to support our fast growing grapevines, weeded, watered and removed bay suckers from our bay trees.

We sampled fruits from our Achocha plants, which we decided taste like pea pods and cucumber!

See photos on Facebook.

Thursday 11th August - More Grand Opening Day Photos

We've added more photos of the Grand Opening to this website and our Facebook page. Thanks to Jo and Dave for the pictures.

Sunday 7th August 2011 - Grand Opening Day

We celebrated the completion of the garden with a Grand Opening Day.

The Hellesdon and Sprowston Brass Band played outside the gates to welcome visitors from 10am, then Will Giles from Norwich's Exotic Garden officially opened the garden at 11am.

There followed a really enjoyable day, with music provided by a variety of musicians, food and drink supplied by The Green Grocers, icecream from Ronaldo's, plants supplied by the Plant-Me plant centre at Snetterton, face painting and sales of greetings cards, hand made jewellery, second-hand gardening and cookery books.

Grapes Hill Community Garden Group members were on hand to provide information on the garden to visitors and we had an information stand with photos showing the garden's development.

We also had a competition with prizes that included champagne, wine, chocolates, a box of garden produce and an original watercolour painting by Vanna Bartlett.

The Grand Opening Day was featured in the Eastern Daily Press.

View photos of the event in our latest gallery.

Saturday 6th August 2011 - Wildlife in the Garden

List of wildlife seen in the garden (100 kb PDF file) added to site. Please let us know of any more sightings.

Thursday 4th August 2011 - Evening Planting Task

On a rather damp evening six of us planted up the border by the Business Units with shade loving plants such as Woodrush (Luzula), Pachysandra and Epimedium. See our updated plant list for details (100 kb PDF file).

Monday 25th July 2011 - Latest Pictures of Garden

The latest pictures of the garden are now on Facebook.

Saturday 23rd July 2011 - Another Garden Task

We spent Thursday evening in the garden, weeding and tying back plants. The vegetation is very lush after all the rain.

And on Friday night we had a 'thank you' barbecue for GHCGG members and people who've helped to plant up and look after the garden. View photos on Facebook.

Tuesday 19th July 2011 - Heart and Leaf Sculpture Added to Garden

Patrick Goodall has now installed his 'Heart and Leaf' sculpture in the garden, opposite the entrance. The design is based on the group's logo, originally designed by Danny. See photos on Facebook.

Saturday 16th July 2011 - Follow Us on Facebook

Don't forget that we have a Facebook page, which includes galleries of extra photographs that aren't on this website. Click on the Facebook link on the top left of every page - or here.

Wednesday 13th July 2011 - Photos Added For Sunday Evening's Event

See here and on Facebook.

Sunday 10th July 2011 - St. Benedict's Street Fair and Evening in the Garden

Our stall at the St. Benedict's Street Fair was a great success. This was followed by a very enjoyable evening of music, food and drink in the garden. Thanks to the bands, The Green Grocers for doing the catering, to all the volunteers who helped out and to everyone who came along.

See photos of the Street Fair in our latest gallery and on Facebook.

Photos of the evening in the garden will be added soon.

Saturday 2nd July 2011 - Garden Open to the public

The garden is open to the public daily from today. Summer opening hours are 9am - 6pm.

Yesterday we prepared the garden for opening, weeding, cutting the lawn and installing Patrick Goodall's benches. See photos here - and there are more on Facebook.

Friday 1st July 2011 - Visit from Green Party Councillors

A group of Green Party councillors from different parts of England and Wales had a tour of the garden, led by Jeremy Bartlett.

Thursday 23rd June 2011 - Garden Tour

We had a good turnout for an evening tour of the garden led by Jeremy, including weed identification and tastings of some of the edible plants.

Thursday 16th June 2011 - Plant List Updated

See the latest list of plants in the garden, which we've just updated.

Sunday 12th June 2011- View Latest Photos

See our latest photos of the garden on Facebook.

Thursday 9th June 2011 - In the Garden and On the Radio

We had another evening's garden task, with some new visitors, including an EDP photographer. We did some weeding and practised putting up gazebos for our upcoming events.

Earlier in the day the garden was featured in Future Radio's Community Chest programme.

Saturday 28th May 2011 - Old Photographs of Grapes Hill

We've added a gallery of old photographs of Grapes Hill to the site. Thanks to Peter Salt for providing the pictures.

Friday 27th May 2011 - Mulched and Watered

Yesterday saw our first proper rain for weeks and we experienced some of it as we finished mulching the garden on our second evening task. We also dug up the daffodils in the deep bed (to be dried prior to replanting in autumn) and tasted some salad leaves.

Earlier in the day Martin and Patrick built the compost heap.

Wednesday 25th May 2011 - Bumblebees in the Garden

Our ornamental sage with violet-purple flower spikes, Salvia 'Mainacht', is proving a great hit with bumblebees. These include the beautiful Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum, which only arrived in the UK ten years ago, and is spreading north. See Facebook for a photo and the BWARS website for more information on bumblebees.

Saturday 21st May 2011 - Another Shopping Trip For Plants

We went to Taverham Garden Centre and bought three trolley loads of plants for the garden. These included some small shrubs, a fourth grape vine and a range of herbaceous perennials. See our plant list for the new additions.

Many thanks to Stuart Clancy at Taverham Garden Centre for giving us a generous discount on our purchases.

This is our last major purchase of plants for now - but of course a garden is always evolving...

Sunday 15th May 2011 - Weeding, planting, watering and mulching

We weeded, planted more perennials from Robin Tacchi Plants, watered and mulched with compost from Shrubbs Farm, Edgefield. See the photos on this website and on Facebook.

Wednesday 4th May 2011 - Our first evening task

We held our first evening task in the garden, weeding watering and harvesting our first crop of radishes, which were shared amongst the volunteers.

Monday 25th April 2011 - Planting herbs

We planted over 200 plants, supplied by Norfolk Herbs.

We also weeded the wildflower meadow, prepared more deep beds, sowed seeds - and watered. See the photos here.

Saturday 23rd April 2011 - Latest Pictures on Facebook

See photos of our new bay trees (planted 20th April) and other pictures of the garden on Facebook - here.

Sunday 17th April 2011 - More Perennials Planted

On a beautifully sunny day we planted some lovely perennials from Howard Nurseries, including some day lilies (Hemerocallis), ornamental grasses, hostas, Rudbeckia, heucheras and bronze fennel. We also replanted daffodils from one of the deep beds and weeded out the bindweed growing in it. See the photos on this website and on Facebook.

Sunday 10th April 2011 - Chamomile Path

Today we planted our chamomile path, using plants donated to us by the Sustainable Living Initiative. Thanks to Mahesh Pant for providing the plants.

Wednesday 6th April 2011 - Evenings in the garden

Now the evenings are lighter, every fortnight from Wednesday 4th May 2011 we're going to have an evening task. From 6pm to 8pm we will be doing a variety of jobs in the garden, including weeding, sowing seeds and planting out our last plants, such as tomatoes and courgettes. Come and join us - dates are listed above.

Wednesday 6th April 2011 - Garden featured in Eastern Daily Press

We are featured in Wednesday's EDP2 section in an article by Stacia Briggs entitled 'How communities are creating their own green spaces'.

Sunday 3rd April 2011 - Another Successful Planting Day

Today we planted herbaceous perennials, shrubs and climbers from Robin Tacchi Plants at Garboldisham. These included several lovely clematises, hardy geraniums, bamboo, flowering quinces (Chaenomeles) and two chocolate vines (Akebia). The plum tree is now in blossom and the 'Ice Follies' daffodils we planted in December are in full flower.

See photos on this website and on Facebook.

Sunday 27th March 2011 - Planting Woodland Wildflowers

Today we planted woodland wildflower plants under the ash trees, including primroses, wild garlic, wild strawberries and bluebells. The plants came from British Wildflower Plants at North Burlingham. See the photos on this website and Facebook.

Thursday 24th March 2011 - We Have a Lawn

We spent yesterday and today laying turf on our lawn area and watering it in. Patrick's log structure is also complete.

We will have to wait a couple of months for the lawn to establish before it can be used, but it should be nicely settled in by our garden opening on Saturday 2nd July 2011.

View the photos on this website and on Facebook

Thursday 17th March 2011 - More Planting

This morning four members of the group sowed a wildflower meadow beneath the apple trees and a couple of patches of cornfield annuals. We also planted the Rosa Mundi rose near the entrance to the garden. See the photos.

Wednesday 16th March 2011 - See our Planting List

We now have a complete list of the plants in the garden. This will be updated as we add further plants to the garden during the spring.

Monday 14th March 2011 - Public Meeting at Belvedere Centre

At last night's public meeting at The Belvedere Centre we agreed the format of our update newsletter and publicity postcard, planned more Garden Work Days and welcomed a new committee member.

Sunday 13th March 2011 - Garden Work Day

Over twenty people, including volunteers from Norwich Community Green Gym helped weed, move soil and plant fruit (Japanese wineberries and blue honeysuckles), shrubs and our first vegetable seeds. Thanks to everyone who helped, provided tea, soup and cake and donated seeds (and a tree!).

View the photos on this website and on Facebook: gallery 1 gallery 2.

Sunday 27th February 2011 - Garden Work Day

We enjoyed a sunny day at the garden and spread about 20 tonnes of soil, did more weeding, laid slabs, put up wires to train fruit and planted more shrubs. And we sampled some very fine beetroot and chocolate cake from The Greenhouse.

View photos. Thanks to everyone who came along.

Wednesday 23rd February 2011 - Soil Delivery

Two truckloads of soil have been delivered to the garden and will be used to top up soil levels, especially at the north (bottom) end of the garden, after which we can finish planting.

Sunday 20th February 2011 - Master Gardeners visit garden

Norfolk Master Gardeners visited the garden on Sunday, as part of their training day at The Belvedere Centre.

Monday 14th February 2011 - Dates announced for garden opening

We will be opening the garden to the general public from Saturday 2nd July 2011 and will celebrate the opening a month later with a Grand Opening Day, provisionally arranged for Sunday 7th August 2011.

There's a lot to do before opening. We need to plant up the garden, build compost bins, lay turf, sow a wildflower meadow and then allow time for plants to establish before opening up the garden.

Come and help us on one of our Garden Work Days.

Sunday 13th February 2011 - Garden Work Day

We had another successful work day in the garden, planting rhubarb, weeding and putting soil in the five smaller deep beds. View photos.

Friday 11th February 2011 - Water Tanks Connected

The water tanks at the back of 12 Valentine Street are now connected up and starting to collect rainwater from the roof.

Friday 4th February 2011 - Garden Construction is Complete

The sealed gravel surface of the sitting out area was laid yesterday and the water tanks are in place at the back of 12 Valentine Street (though they still need to be connected up). The hard landscaping phase of garden construction is now complete.

View the latest pictures in our Garden Construction gallery.

Wednesday 26th January 2011 - Now on Facebook

GHCGG on Facebook We are now on Facebook - visit our page here or by clicking on the Facebook logo at the top of any page.

Sunday 23rd January 2011 - Tree Planting Day

We planted fruit trees and bushes in the garden. Thanks to Norfolk County Council for a Landscape Conservation Grant which has paid for our fruit trees.

View the latest pictures in our Tree Planting gallery.

Monday 17th January 2011 - Annual General Meeting

We held our A.G.M. at The Belvedere Centre.

One of the actions from the meeting was to draw up a set of rules for those individuals and groups wishing to rent one of our raised beds. More details will follow soon.

Saturday 15th January and Sunday 16th January 2011 - Bindweed Removal Weekend

Thanks to everyone who took part, including volunteers from Norwich Community Green Gym, who joined us on the Sunday. The garden is now ready for our Tree Planting Day on Sunday 23rd January 2011.

View photos from the weekend's tasks in our Bindweed Removal gallery.

Friday 14th January 2011 - Transition Norwich Blog and visit to Reads Nursery

Three members of the garden's Planting Sub-committee visited Reads Nursery at Hales Hall, near Loddon, to choose fruit trees for the garden. We will return to buy the trees next week, nearer to our Tree Planting Day. Our 'shopping list' includes apples (including some Norfolk varieties), pears, cherries, a fig, a medlar and a quince. The trees will be a mixture of standards, fans and espaliers.

The garden also features in today's post on the Transition Norwich Blog.

Wednesday 12th January 2011 - More garden construction pictures

View the latest pictures in our Garden Construction gallery.

Wednesday 3rd January 2011 - Garden featured on 'Norwich Scoop'

Our upcoming events are advertised on Norwich Scoop (a new local online newsletter for Norfolk people thinking globally). Visit the Norwich Scoop website at

Tuesday 28th December 2010 - Post-Christmas Garden Work Party

In early December we discovered that the topsoil that was stored for us on Mousehold Heath and delivered in November is full of bindweed roots.

Eight of us spent the morning removing the roots. It was good to get outside after all the snowy weather and heavy Christmas food!

We will have two more work parties in January - see Upcoming Events, above. View photos in our Bindweed Removal gallery.

Wednesday 15th December 2010 - Work resumes on garden

Work resumes on garden construction, with the trellis about to be fixed to the wall at the back of Valentine Street.

You can view progress in our Garden Construction gallery.

Tuesday 14th December 2010 - Fundraising Christmas Cards

A final reminder that our two Christmas Card designs are for sale - this year's 'Robin on Flowerpot' and last year's 'Partridge in a Pear Tree'.

Both cards cost 40p each, £1.50 for five or £2.50 for ten.

Postage and packing costs 50p for every ten cards. E-mail us (stating designs and quantities) or phone Fran on 07729 540 482 to order.

Both designs are by group member Vanna Bartlett. Last year's design is based on Danny's GHCG logo.

Christmas card 2010 - Robin Christmas card 2009 - Partridge

'Robin on Flowerpot' (left) and 'Partridge in a Pear Tree' (right).

Click on either picture for a bigger image.

Saturday 4th December 2010 - Bulb Planting

Members of the Grapes Hill Community Garden Group spent the morning planting daffodil bulbs in the garden. Read more...

Friday 3rd December 2010 - Bulb Planting to go ahead

Bulb planting will go ahead as planned tomorrow. A site visit this morning found that the ground where we will be planting has been protected by the snow so isn't frozen.

If you wish to attend, please wear stout footwear (e.g. walking boots) as the ground is uneven and covered in snow, wear warm clothing and bring gardening gloves and a trowel if you have them.

Wednesday 1st December 2010 - Update on Bulb Planting

In spite of the cold, snowy weather we are still hoping to do some bulb planting on Saturday 4th December. But we will inspect the garden beforehand and will update this website late on Friday with further news.

Wednesday 17th November 2010 - View work in progress

Work continues on garden construction, with much of the hard landscaping now complete. The railings are being installed this week.

You can view progress in our Garden Construction gallery.

Tuesday 16th November 2010 - Public Meeting at Belvedere Centre

Last night's public meeting at The Belvedere Centre was well attended. One of the main outcomes was the formation of a planting committee, which will plan how we will plant up the garden.

Wednesday 3rd November 2010 - Garden receives more funding

We are pleased to announce that the project has received a boost in funding from the Greater Norwich Development Partnership as part of the Dereham Road Bus Rapid Transit project. This will allow us to complete the hard and soft landscaping, including items that we were unable to pay for in the first phase of the project funded by Big Lottery Community Spaces.

The new funding will allow us to complete the raised beds, install the rainwater harvesting system and add trellising to grow more fruit trees and berries around the north and west borders of the site. It will also pay for the essential galvanising of the iron railings and complete the shortfall of funds to pay for the decorative gates. Finally it should cover the cost of the remaining soft landscaping.

Items that will still need funding are the bee hives, pedal powered fountain and rent on a nearby secure garage to store equipment. Any local sponsors or businesses willing to help with further funding can contact us. We would also be happy to receive donations or temporary loans of art works, sculptures etc that are in keeping with the design and ethos of this Community Garden project.

Saturday 2nd October 2010 - Fundraising Gig by The Ouagadougous

The Ouagadougous played at our third fundraising gig, at the Belvedere Centre in Norwich. Another enjoyable evening, which raised £275 for the garden. View photos of the event.

Wednesday 15th September 2010 - No more tarmac!

Today the layer of tarmac covering the garden site was stripped off.

You can view how garden construction is progressing in our Garden Construction gallery.

Monday 13th September 2010 - Construction starts this week

Work starts this week on the construction of the garden, which will include removal of the tarmac, construction of gates and railings and hard landscaping. This phase of the work is expected to take around nine weeks.

The work will be carried out by local construction firm N D Willan Building Contractors.

Once hard landscaping is complete, we will be able to start planting out the garden. We hope to involve volunteers from the group and the local community in the planting process.

Sunday 5th September 2010 - Co-op donates vouchers

Co-op LogoMany thanks to the East of England Co-operative Society for the donation of vouchers, which we use to buy prizes for our raffle at the fundraising gig on 2nd October 2010.

Tuesday 31st August 2010 - Contractor chosen

We have now chosen our preferred contractor for garden construction. Thanks to all the bidders for their hard work.

Monday 9th August 2010 - Contractors invited to tender

Tender documents have been issued to contractors today, inviting them to quote for work on construction of our garden, which is due to start later this year.

Saturday 7th August 2010 - More site clearance

This morning members of the group cleared vegetation from the walls at the back of Valentine Street, ready for work to start on garden construction next month.

Thanks to everyone who took part.

Thursday 5th August 2010 - Garden awarded a fruit trees grant

More good news! Norfolk County Council have awarded us up to £550, which is a 100% grant toward 20 fruit trees and planting accessories as part of their Conservation Grant scheme. Many thanks to Jason Kidman for alerting us to this grant when we met at the St Benedict's Street Fair in July, and for approving our application.

Monday 2nd August 2010 - Garden awarded grant towards gates

We have just accepted a grant from Norfolk Community Foundation Grassroots grant fund of £2000 specifically to pay toward the £3000 gates. Combined with the £250 received from the John Jarrold Trust we now only need a further £750.

Any local businesses willing to sponsor this final amount will be recognised by signage on or near the gates and in all our publicity.

Friday 30th July 2010 - Garden featured in Eastern Evening News

Earlier this week the garden featured in an article in the Eastern Evening News. See Community garden gets cash boost.

Monday 26th July 2010

Committee meeting held at the Belvedere Centre, Belvoir Street, Norwich.

Sunday 11th July 2010 - St Benedict’s Street Fair

We were fortunate to have another hot and sunny day for the St. Benedict's Street Fair, which brought a real buzz and carnival atmosphere to the Norwich Lanes. Our fundraising stall was very popular - especially the strawberries! We made a profit of £112.18. View pictures of the event.

Thanks to Caroline and Peter Brimblecombe for sponsoring one of our fruit trees.

Tuesday 6th July 2010 - Latest news on our gates and railings

Rackham Engineering Ltd have started work on our iron railings.

Many thanks to the John Jarrold Trust for a contribution of £250 towards the garden's iron gates. We have applications pending with the Norfolk Community Foundation and the East of England Co-operative community fund to cover some of the remaining £2750 we need to raise.

We would welcome any other donations from local businesses or individuals.

Tuesday 6th July 2010 - Tenders welcome for landscaping work

Technical drawings for the tender documents have been made by Mark Ashurst of A Squared Architects. These are now with Andrew Morton QS to draw up a schedule of works.

Any landscape contractors who are interested in receiving an invitiation to tender for the £50,000 work should contact us.

Monday 5th July 2010 - Mile Cross Community Festival a success

We had a fundraising stall at the Mile Cross Community Festival and Classic Car Show in Sloughbottom Park, Norwich.

We sold bric-a-brac and home-grown plants, met many members of the public and found new supporters for our garden. We made a profit of £80.

Thanks to David Smith for agreeing to sponsor one of our fruit trees.

View pictures of the event.

Saturday 3rd July 2010 - Successful Lottery Bid

We are pleased to announce that our lottery bid for £50,000 has been accepted by the Big Lottery Community Spaces fund. We are now in the process of putting together tender documents and are looking for a suitable landscaping contractor to work on the hard landscaping. Read more....

Tuesday 15th June 2010

Committee meeting held at the Belvedere Centre, Belvoir Street, Norwich.

Sunday 16th May 2010 - Garden featured in Eastern Evening News

Several group members assembled this morning for a press photograph for the Eastern Evening News (see top right photo on this page). On Tuesday 18th May the newspaper is going to feature an article on the group's appeal for funding for a pair of iron gates for the entrance to the garden.

Wednesday 12th May 2010 - Help needed with iron gates

£3000 is needed to complete security for proposed community garden.

We are appealing to local companies and businesses to fund the cost of some rather splendid iron gates to secure the garden at night time. Having been awarded £9,400 in January, specifically for iron railings, we were approached by three Norfolk engineering companies. Having looked at all three quotes we have decided to appoint K Rackham and Son Engineering Ltd who come with some excellent references. Examples of their railings can be seen all over Norwich including the Cathedral Close and many city parks. Read more...

Saturday 1st May 2010 - Inanna's Festival sponsors a fruit tree

Thanks to Inanna's Festival for agreeing to sponsor one of our fruit trees.

Food producing 'Druid Trees' include apple, hazel, elder and heather.

Apple is the sacred tree which rules the half of the year from Mayday to Hallowe’en and provides many wonderful things to eat and drink. Hazel is the sacred tree for the moon-month 5th August-1st September, and has nourishing and delicious nuts and a variety of magical and medicinal associations.

Inanna's Festival, 2 St Andrew's Hill, Norwich, NR2 1AD. Telephone: 01603 626133.

Thursday 22nd April 2010

Committee meeting held at the Belvedere Centre, Belvoir Street, Norwich.

Friday 9th April 2010

Fiskars are donating funds, tools and materials to community garden groups. Please visit the Fiskars Orange Thumb website here and nominate Grapes Hill Community Garden.
If we win we will have the assistance of a team of Orange Thumb volunteers and Fiskars garden tools.

Saturday 13th March 2010 - Successful second fundraising gig

Our successful second Fundraising Gig at the Belvedere Centre in Norwich raised £235.90 for the group. Curly Blows It Dry played some very danceable music, and were supported by John Brown and Urban Oasis.
View photos from the evening.

Tuesday 9th March 2010

Saturday's upcoming gig is featured in South Norwich News.

Sunday 7th March 2010 - Site clearance takes place

Members of the group spent the day clearing litter and bushes from the site. We had to do this work before the start of the nesting season, so that site work can be carried out during the spring and summer without disturbing nesting birds. Thanks to everyone who took part.
View photos.

Friday 26th February 2010 - Garden wins a Norwich EcoAward

We were extremely pleased to win an award at yesterday's Norwich EcoAwards 2010 ceremony, in the category of Eco Community Group.

The award was made by the Sheriff of Norwich, Professor Tim O'Riordan, at City Hall in Norwich.

Four members of the group attended the ceremony.

Friday 29th January 2010

Good news! We have just received £9,400 via Norwich City Council for the installation of secure railings and a gate for the garden.

We are now looking for a local business to bid for the work. Interested parties should contact us on 07729 540 482.

The money is provided as part of RESPECT funding provided to Norwich City Council by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) in recognition of Norwich's work to tackle Antisocial Behaviour as a RESPECT Action Area.

We are also in the final stages of submitting an application to Open Spaces Lottery fund to pay for the construction of the garden itself having recently completed local consultation on plans drawn up by City Council architect Lara Hall.

Wednesday 13th January 2010

Thanks to everyone who commented on the garden plans.

The final deadline for comments was Tuesday 12th January 2010 and we are now in the process of submitting a lottery funding application to pay for building the garden.

Wednesday 16th December 2009

Read about us on the Evening News 24 website.

Sunday 29th November 2009

Christmas card

Fundraising Christmas Cards are now available, price 40p each, £1.50 for five or £2.50 for ten.

Postage and packing costs 50p for every ten cards. E-mail or phone Fran on 07729 540 482 to order.

The design is by group member Vanna Bartlett, based on Danny's GHCG logo.



Monday 26th October 2009

Lara Hall, our Garden Designer, has prepared an Initial Sketch of the garden design, funded by a £500 lottery grant.

Saturday 24th October 2009

The Belvedere Centre proved to be an excellent venue for our first fundraising gig on Saturday 10th October and led to further enquiries from musicians willing to play for us in the future. There was a healthy mixture of SweetBeats fans and members of our local community who had a second opportunity to look at the draft plans and offer suggestions.

Many thanks to The SweetBeats for playing at a much reduced fee, allowing us to raise a total profit £450. Over £100 of this was raised from the sale of plants and raffle tickets so thanks again to all who donated plants and prizes. Donors included The Greenhouse on Bethel Street and The Green Grocers on Earlham Road. A final thank you to Dave Sturgess and Patrick Goodall of Urban Oasis who kept us all entertained in the interval.

Saturday 10th October 2009

We had confirmation that the Lottery would fund us £500 towards our plans for the garden, which will be managed by Groundworks UK.

Saturday 10th October 2009

Successful first Fundraising Gig by The SweetBeats.

Monday 5th October 2009

General Meeting at The Belvedere Centre, where three new committee members were elected, bringing the total to seven.

Friday 2nd October 2009

Grapes Hill Community Garden and The SweetBeats gig feature in the October 2009 edition of "VoluME" digital magazine, which can be downloaded from the BBC Norfolk website.

August 2009 Press Release

The latest news on the Grapes Hill Community Garden, issued as a Press Release.

25th July - 2nd August 2009 - Love Parks Week

Please nominate Grapes Hill Community Garden for Love Parks Week on the Fiskars Orange Thumb website.

If we win we will have the assistance of a team of Orange Thumb volunteers and loads of great Fiskars garden tools, to help rejuvenate our site.

Friday 24th July 2009

Grapes Hill Community Garden website launched.

Saturday 11th July and Sunday 12th July 2009

Peter and Fran Ellington attended a weekend course at the Agroforestry Research Trust in Totnes, Devon to get some ideas on planning, designing and maintaining a forest garden.

We hope to incorporate these ideas into the final design. The course included a visit to an established forest garden.
See photos from this event.

Friday 3rd July 2009

Paul Wade from Norwich City Council confirmed that he has successfully bid for funding through the Safer Norwich Partnership for City Care to supply iron railings and a gate for the site.

We now have to apply for planning permission to erect these and find either the money or willing volunteers to put them up.

Tuesday 30th June 2009

Meeting on site with a garden designer who has agreed in principle to get involved.

Thursday 18th June 2009

Members of the Grapes Hill Community Garden committee met with Big Lottery Open Spaces facilitator Marya Parker to discuss how to go about meeting the requirements of our application for a Community Spaces grant of £50,000, which has been passed at the first stage.

We learnt that we need to employ a qualified garden designer or landscape architect to draw up plans to scale with quotes for the work. We need to appoint an accountable body and we are approaching Norwich City Council to see if they will take on this role. We also need to appoint a lead professional to manage the project.

Sunday 14th June 2009

Several members met at the Bowthorpe Heritage Community Garden just off Toyle Road in Norwich. Madge Roberts showed us around the garden and talked to us about their experiences. We gained lots of inspiration and thoroughly recommend a visit to this site.

Wednesday 10th June 2009

Fran presented an update to the West Pottergate Tenants and Residents Association on the progress made since presenting the idea to the group this time last year.

Tuesday 9th June 2009

Several members gathered to watch the DVD 'A Year in a Forest Garden' by Martin Crawford of the Agroforestry Research Trust. This was in response to suggestions made at our awareness day in February.

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May 2009

Three members attended the Norfolk Master Composters' course run by Norfolk County Council and Garden Organic at the Swaffham EcoTech Centre. See photos from this event.

Sunday 22nd February 2009

The Community Awareness and Fun Day was a great success. See photos from this event. Our special guest was Bob Flowerdew.