The Get Growing Garden Trail is an opportunity to explore the city’s secret fruit and veg gardens – Bristol’s community allotments and orchards, smallholdings and mini-plots, city farms and productive parks.
For 2023, the Get Growing Trail will run over the weekend of 3–4 June, allowing visitors who get inspired, enough time to get growing themselves this year.
Trail highlights for 2023
- Explore Bristol’s first dementia-friendly allotment as seen on Gardeners’ World: Alive dementia-friendly allotment, Brentry. Find out more about community growing projects and therapeutic horticulture at Alive on Sunday 4 June, 2–4pm.
- Check out some of Bristol’s wonderful community orchards where local people come together to plant and cultivate local and unusual varieties of fruit trees. Fishponds Community Orchard, Horfield Organic Community Orchard and Metford Road Community Orchard are opening their gates for the trail this year. Look out for rare Gloucestershire varieties at Fishponds Community Orchard and events at all orchards later in the year to celebrate Apple Day in the autumn.
- Tour the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, discovering more about the exotic vegetables grown there on Sunday 4 June 11am. Entry to the Botanic Garden is free on production of the trail leaflet at the Welcome Lodge.
- Visit Herbalists without Borders, Bristol: a community plot growing all kinds of medicinal herbs. The group uses these in medicines for refugees and asylum seekers. The plot is at Ashley Vale Allotments, open Sunday 4 June, 11am-4pm.
- Make your mark stenciling on the shed at Knowle West Edible Gardens on Sunday 4 June, 10am-4pm – look out for other kids’ activities across the different Get Growing Trail sites.
- Forage berries at the Malago Berry Maze, including – if you are lucky – highly sought after yellow raspberries! Saturday 3 June, 10am-1pm.
As well as a nature-friendly focus and plenty of garden tours, this year’s trail includes activities for children such as quizzes, treasure hunts and free berry foraging. Plus, the weekend offers the opportunity to learn about permaculture systems, no-dig methods, food justice and other aspects of community growing. All for free.
There are so many examples of nature-friendly gardening across the trail, showing that it is possible to share the city’s precious green spaces between people and wildlife, and to continue to grow productively.
Some examples include:
- Blaise Community Garden has a woodpile left undisturbed for bugs and mini beasts, plus there are beehives that focus on pollination rather than honey. Open Saturday 3 June, 10am-2pm.
- Easton Community Garden collects their own water and makes compost and plant feeds, as well as uses permaculture methods. Open Sunday 4 June, 11am-3pm.
- Filton Community Garden is adapting planting for dry summers. Meet volunteers on site Saturday 3 June, 11am-1pm to find out more.
- Knowle West Edible Gardens (Sunday 4 June, 10am-4pm) is growing wildflowers to encourage all kinds of insects and birds, with pollinator-friendly perennial flowers also grown at St George Park Community Garden (volunteers on site Saturday 3 June, 10am-12 noon).
- The Golden Hill Community Garden boasts a solar-powered pump supplying water to the allotment and has a straw bale eco house. Open Sunday 3 June, 10am-1pm.
- Many of the growing groups are using the ‘no dig’ approach to avoid disrupting the soil structure, for example Redcatch Community Garden are using this approach, along with organic principles and their own compost and liquid feeds. Open Saturday 3 June, 10am-1pm, Garden Tours at 11am and 12 noon.
Full details of all 29 garden openings can be found at bristolfoodnetwork.org/blog/get-growing-garden-trail and Trail maps are available across the city.