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Come and join a free event at Grapes Hill Community Garden

PUBLISHED: 15:35 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:09 21 August 2020

Grapes Hill Community Garden opened to the public for the first time today, official opening on the 7th Aug.

Grapes Hill Community Garden opened to the public for the first time today, official opening on the 7th Aug.

Archant © 2011

Grapes Hill Community Garden is the green heart of one of Norwich’s busiest roads and this summer it has some special free events plus the opportunity to visit or volunteer

Grapes Hill Community Garden opened to the public for the first time today, official opening on the 7th Aug.Grapes Hill Community Garden opened to the public for the first time today, official opening on the 7th Aug.

An oasis in the middle of the city, Grapes Hill Community Garden has restarted its programme of free events including songwriting, yoga and nature workshops.

Small but perfectly-formed, the garden – which can be found tucked away behind the St Benedict’s View business units at the bottom of Grapes Hill and close to the Reindeer pub – has been delighting visitors since 2011.

Founder Fran Ellington’s dream became a reality when construction and landscaping on the garden began in late 2010, transforming a run-down, disused patch of land into a wonderful green space for the people of Norwich.

Covered in concrete until September 2010, the garden opened to the public on July 2 2011 and has gone on to win a host of awards and accolades for its pioneering community spirit and projects.

Flowers and produce at the Grapes Hill Community Garden, one of the Norwich gardens in the Britain in Bloom competition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYFlowers and produce at the Grapes Hill Community Garden, one of the Norwich gardens in the Britain in Bloom competition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Now looked after by Grapes Hill Community Garden Group, a registered charity, the garden is open daily from 9am until 8pm in August and until 6pm in September and October and at dusk during the winter.

The garden – which is accessible to wheelchair users - contains a large number of edible plants, fruit trees, bushes, vegetables and plants such as French marigolds and day lilies and more than 30 varieties of herbs.

Visitors are allowed to pick herbs and fruit from the garden as long as only a small share is taken and the majority left for other people and wildlife (produce from raised beds CANNOT be taken as these areas are rented to individuals on an annual basis from as little as £5 a year).

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In addition to being a beautiful place to visit, there are plenty of ways that people can get involved with the garden, from free or subsidised events and workshops to volunteering sessions where you can pick up green-fingered tips from Grapes Hill Community Garden gardener Jo Rice.

Volunteer sessions are held on Sundays (2pm to 4pm) until October 11 and Wednesdays (1pm to 3pm) until October 14, visit www.grapeshillcommunitygarden.org to find out more about volunteering – numbers are currently limited in the garden due to social distancing.

In addition to being able to volunteer to help out with gardening tasks, volunteers are also needed to help at events in the garden, bake cakes for sales or open and lock up the gates of the garden.

On Saturday August 22, there will be a songwriting workshop and the chance to explore a personal song or create something original in the garden.

The Parent and Children Social Hour group enjoying Grapes Hill Community Garden in 2017. Sonny Hale, three, working in the garden. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Parent and Children Social Hour group enjoying Grapes Hill Community Garden in 2017. Sonny Hale, three, working in the garden. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

This is a free workshop but places must be booked in advance, here, please bring your own lunch and refreshments and something to sit on.

A Yoga Workshop will be held on Saturday August 29 led by Sue Tideswell. A free workshop (book your tickets here ) for five people, the morning session will be look at yoga for gardeners, focusing on necks, shoulders, hips and backs.

In the afternoon, the focus will be on yoga to help anxiety and stress. Participants are asked to bring a cushion, lunch and refreshments.

On September 20 between 11am and 3pm, there will be a Nature in the Garden session with Norfolk Wild Encounters Hawk and Owl display on the lawn and Hodmedod’s Hedgehog Support plus Acle Crafts. Entry is free, but book your space via the Grapes Hill Community Garden Facebook page.

The Grapes Hill Community Garden, one of the locations shown to Anglia in Bloom judges during a tour by the Friends of Norwich in Bloom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe Grapes Hill Community Garden, one of the locations shown to Anglia in Bloom judges during a tour by the Friends of Norwich in Bloom. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Next year the garden will celebrate its 10th birthday and hopes to be able to host a celebration.


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