We have been dreaming of a home for Grow for Life for some time and I’m delighted to tell you that our prayers have been answered by being given an incredible opportunity to take over an abandoned walled garden!
It is a perfect site for creating a safe, inspiring space for our trainees, a place of restoration where they will learn how to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers.
We will also have the use of a small orchard across the road from the walled garden.
"It will be a haven of peace and productivity"
We will continue to work in a variety of private and public gardens across Bath, including the Botanical Gardens and Bath Park’s nurseries in Victoria Park where our horticultural courses take place.
Arranging gardening sessions around Bath is complex and tasks undertaken are primarily limited to garden maintenance. A garden site of our own will enable us to train participants in more therapeutic activities, in particular the growing of vegetables and fruit.
Furthermore, having a fixed site will enable special interest groups to visit and receive horticulture training. A home base will complement our outreach work to other gardens and give the charity a much firmer base from which to grow.
Over the winter 2021/22, we will clear the walled garden with the help of a local farmer and his pigs. An enthusiastic team of 23 trainees and volunteers has just spent a day clearing the brambles and getting the site ready to receive the pigs.
We are making service connections to water, sewage and electricity and in 2022 we plan to erect a wooden cabin to provide shelter and a welcome to all our visitors. It will have a meeting/training room, a kitchenette, a small counselling room and toilets.
We will create an organic garden with vegetables, flowers, soft fruit and espaliered fruit trees. It will be designed to be a haven of peace and productivity where trainees can work alongside our staff and volunteer teams, relaxing and learning gardening and horticultural skills.
Our estimate of the capital cost of developing the site and erecting a cabin is £60,000. We are approaching grant making trusts for much of this sum but they in turn require Grow for Life supporters to make a contribution. We aim to raise £20,000.
If you would like to be a founder investor in the Walled Garden please return our donation form and pay online or by cheque.
Alternatively, you may want to support us in other ways - join our prayer group, volunteer or be an ambassador spreading the word about Grow for Life - in which case please get in touch.
We have an exciting journey ahead. We look forward to welcoming you to the Walled Garden!