Category Archives: All things horticultural

Winterbourne – July Update


Digging for Dirt continues to grow and explore new and exciting ways to engage with Winterbourne’s history, plant collections and projects – thanks in no small part to your support. If you enjoy a post, please continue to help spread the word by sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest by clicking the icons which follow at the bottom of each page:

All of this wet weather we have been having recently has meant that the weeds are grow

ing twice as fast and driving the gardeners mad. Have a look at last month’s ‘The Unmentionables’ to find out how they have been coping and discover a different side to your everyday garden weeds through the work of cyanotype artist Anne Parouty:

After two years of planning, digging and planting ‘Ovid’s Garden’ situated at the end of the Lower Lawn finally opened on a sunny Saturday in June complete with talks from its architects and a special performance by Roman pantomime theatre group Avid for Ovid. See how it went at:

The writings of Gertrude Jekyll inspired much of Winterbourne’s original design and indeed her theories of colour harmonisation continue inform our choice of herbaceous planting today. In this month’s ‘Snapshot’ we find the colour blue in some surprising places:

Dodge the rain showers and get out into your own garden this month. There are plenty of great tips and plenty of photographs of some spectacular summer showstoppers in our ‘July Notebook’ :

Birchfield Residents Action Group – Job Vacancy

Birchfield Residents Action Group have got a job vacancy for a Project Manager to be based at their Livingstone Road Community Allotment, the advert is below!

Part-time position based at Livingstone Road Community Allotment

Hours per week: 16 hours per week (Initially a fixed term 6 month contract with the possibility of an extension)

Salary: £10.41 per hour (Payroll managed by BVSC)

Birchfield Residents Action Group (BRAG) set up the Livingstone Road Community Allotment Project in 2010. The allotment project aims to involve and connect people of all ages and backgrounds to the natural environment and food growing, and also works with socially isolated people who live in the locality. The project currently receives funding from Birchfield Big Local for work with vulnerable adults at the allotment site and also for work with the wider community on Bloom in Birchfield – part of a national initiative to encourage local residents to take greater pride in their neighbourhoods. More information can be found at –

A Team Challenge Open for Applications

The 2016 A Team Challenge is open for applications – please apply or spread the word!

The A Team Challenge is looking for innovative food and farming initiatives for its 2016 programme. It offers a combination of grant or loan funding up to £6,000 which must be matched by an equivalent amount raised through crowdfunding.

They are looking for projects that farm in a way that nurtures and protects the environment ie farm agro-ecologically, create local supply chains, increase employment and community engagement and revive local economies.

Applications are open until 9th May 2016 with the winners announced by 30th June 2016. Find out more and how to apply here!

Winterbourne House & Garden Update

Winterbourne House & Garden have been busy in the past month and you can read all about what they have been up to at their blog Digging For Dirt. First of all they have published their March Notebook with gardening tips, tasks and tricks for budding gardeners throughout March; from planting your early potatoes to deadheading Hydrangeas, it’s your go to guide for your garden this month. The Opportunist is a piece that continues on in their historical series, looking at Birch trees colonization of Britain and their lineage in the Northern Hemisphere as a whole and is well worth a read. Finally they’ve uploaded some more wonderful pictures to their Snapshot section including some wonderfully captured mushrooms, head to their Coach House Gallery for more shots and information.


Growing Birmingham Networking Event – Tuesday 12th April – 7pm – 9pm

19758323333_3201b7d073_hJoin Growing Birmingham at the Botanical Gardens for our annual networking event. Coinciding with the Big Dig weekend, the evening will contain a variety of workshops including: support with funding, social media, growing to sell, volunteer engagement and more. Attendees are offered the chance to meet people in their field, discuss current projects and maybe even come up with some new ones!

Open to all, for more information click the link here.

Bloom in Birchfield – Spring Event

Livingston Road C2013-06-26-10-58-25ommunity Allotment are having a Spring event on the 2nd April to launch a ‘Friends of Bloom in Birchfield’. The event will run between 1-4pm and they are looking for volunteers to help them run the day! They want everyone who wants to see a cleaner and more beautiful Birchfield to join together under the ‘Bloom in Birchfield’ banner. Get down and get involved with what promises to be a brilliant day.

For more information please e-mail Rob at [email protected]


Winterbourne House & Garden Update


Things are afoot for the new season at Winterbourne House & Garden and their February Notebook is the place to go for your all your gardening tips at the end of this month. They also have a new section on their website called Snapshot, a place where all the best photos from the month that has been can be showcased (our favourite’s the ‘Edgbaston Pool’ shot!). Finally they have a short history lesson in the form of ‘A Fine Old Nut Alley‘ talking about the Hazelnut Walk that shrouds one of the paths through the garden, spanning from it’s beginnings in the early 1900’s to present day, covering it’s uses and it’s care.

For more information about what’s going on at Winterbourne, head over to their Digging For Dirt blog!

Big Dig in Birmingham – 2016

The Big Dig returns to Birmingham this April for the third year running. The event will be on the 16th April and will see gardens across the city throw open their doors and give anybody the chance to get down and get digging to really kick start the growing season. Last year was a great success with over 1,600 people taking part across the UK, 1,207 of which had never been involved with the gardens before!

We’re keen to top that number this year so keep your eyes out for further information on the gardens that will be involved, free seeds giveaways and networking events which will all be advertised on here in the coming weeks and months.

Between now and then head over to The Big Dig website and take a look at some of the photos from last year and get inspired to make this year bigger and better! Alternatively, pop over to our Birmingham map and register your own event here.

Urban Harvest Job Opportunity

Urban Harvest Job Spec-page0001Urban Harvest is now well known in Birmingham for their fantastic work in collecting and utilising unpicked fruit in the Northfield are of the city.

They now have an Immediate vacancy for a co-ordinator for this years picking.

Please contact Georgia at Northfield Ecocentre, or follow the link here

Mapping Birmingham’s Community Growing Spaces

It has been a while in getting there, Growing Birmingham are please to be able to make available for the first time a map of Birmingham’s Community Gardens, Growing Spaces and Community Orchards.

The map is available here

We know this is by no means complete, and we can add to it all the time, so if your local space is missing and you want it adding then please let us know in a comment below or by e-mail to [email protected] 

Some of the spaces on the map already have more information linked to them, web site addresses and the like, we hope to add pictures too soon.



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