“Neighbours Growing Together” was a Lottery funded community garden project that was due to start Autumn 2021. Unfortunately, Covid intervened and that along with the advance of winter delayed the start. As Spring approached, we still experienced delays outside of our control but at last during the summer months we were able to get started. We worked with Faith Pearson and Simbi Folarin from the Glue Collective (an initiative committed to enhancing the local environment) to put on gardening demonstrations at Kings Norton Beach and they also installed a Mud Kitchen for children to use in the proposed Community Garden at Hawksley Community House on Kings Norton 3 Estates. Faith then continued to lead weekly gardening sessions at Hawksley Community House.
Our aim was to establish a community garden on the 3 Estates whilst bringing together older and younger people from across the local neighbourhood of Kings Norton. This has been a great success and we were able to involve a wide range of local people – children from Hawksley Church Primary School, young people from Hawksley Girls and Youth Groups as well as families and older people living in the local neighbourhood. The Hawksley Community Garden is now planted up with Spring bulbs, plants and herbs and is ready and waiting to erupt into a splash of colour and beauty in the Spring. However, as winter again advanced upon us, we decided to continue our community gardening sessions in an indoor setting. So our last few gardening sessions of the year were held at St Nicolas Place on Kings Norton Green led by Bev Charles (who is the new Coordinator for Arts 50 Alive) along with Emma Waterford from Northfield Art Forum (NAF). Local residents, who were attending the NAF CAF at St Nicolas Place, worked with Bev and Emma to help smarten up the Courtyard garden there and they also planted up seeds and bulbs to take home for their own gardens and so to continue the gardening experience over the winter.
Over the whole project, we were able to capture some wonderful photos of those involved in the gardening sessions – people of all ages and backgrounds and you can see these here on the web site. To sum up, we believe that we achieved our aim of bringing together people from the local neighbourhood in a learning and sharing experience whilst creating a wonderful community gardening space. We believe this is the start of a continuing gardening experience for all those already involved and many others.