Get free advice from the garden owners and other visitors to help you grow your own, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Spend an enjoyable afternoon in the company of others interested in growing food. Volunteers needed to help out on the Open Days from May to Sept 2015: see below…
Garden visits are free: suggested donation £2 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds.
Sunday 13 September
2 The Almonds, off The Poplars, St Albans, AL1 1UZ – Sunday 13th September, drop in anytime between 3-5 pm
This informal garden is situated on the Whitecroft Estate to the south of London Road.
The owners decided that they did not need a lawn and instead built a curved raised bed in the centre of the back garden where they grow a variety of vegetables (including broad beans, peas and runner beans), fruit (strawberries and blueberries), a selection of herbs, salad leaves and tomatoes. These can all be picked as needed from just outside the back door.
The garden also has flowers to attract insects, a pond and a bog garden. Extensive use is made of recycled materials (wood chippings to form paths; compost bin made from recycled pallet wood); there are several water butts, compost bins and re-used containers for food growing.
Parking near the house is limited; bikes can be parked on the drive. Several buses run along London Road (5 minutes’ walk away). Wheelchair access to the garden is restricted. No dogs please except guide dogs.
Earlier Open Food Gardens in 2015…..
Tues 11th August
104 Marshalswick Lane, St Albans, AL1 4XE –drop in anytime between 3-5 pm
This is a large garden with much to interest those wishing to grow food as well as lawn, established shrubs, plants, trees and a seating area.
Fruit trees are scattered around the garden; there are two well-established large cooking apple trees and more recently planted quince, minarette apples, espalier and minarette pear trees.
Soft fruit includes a jostaberry, raspberries and blackberries. Rhubarb is also grown. Vegetables grown include parsnips, sea kale, purple sprouting broccoli, courgettes and squash. A recently introduced vegetable, oca, is grown in pots. A few potatoes are grown in a potato sack. Lettuce and endives are also grown.
The garden has several composters and water butts and many features to attract birds and other wildlife, including a small pond.
There is free parking in the Quadrant car park opposite the house. Bikes can be left securely in the garden. Buses S8, S9 and 653 run nearby. Wheelchair access to the garden is restricted. No dogs please except guide dogs.
Sunday 12 July
80, Beaumont Avenue, St Albans, AL1 4TP – Sunday 12th July, drop in any time between 3-5 pm
This long garden, which is both a family garden and a fruit and vegetable producing area, is now entering its second season with its new owners and is therefore a ‘work in progress’.
To the inherited mature planting at the top of the rear garden and apple trees further down they have added two cherry trees, two espalier pears, tayberries and blackberries grown along fences, plus strawberries, raspberries and blueberries grown in fruit cages.
Vegetables grown in newly constructed raised beds (made from second hand pallet collars) include courgettes, mange tout, beans, carrots, plus tomatoes and lettuce. Various herbs are grown in pots. The front garden features a hazelnut tree.
Come and see what an evolving garden looks like – children especially welcome.
There is on-street parking. Bikes can be locked up in the garden. The nearest bus stops are in nearby Beechwood Avenue, Sandpit Lane and Hatfield Road.
Wheelchair access to the garden is restricted. No dogs please except guide dogs.
Sat 6th June
13 Abbey View Road, St Albans, AL3 4QL – Saturday 6th June, drop in anytime between 3-5 pm
This medium-sized garden near St Albans city centre is opening for the second time, after a successful event last year. The top part of the rear garden is mainly given over to flowers, lawn and a seating area, interspersed with a few food-producing plants such as rhubarb, with herbs grown in a bed near the house.
At the far end the owners grow a wide variety of fruit (mainly soft fruits, plus a vine) and vegetables (including potatoes, broad beans, spinach, carrots, leeks, parsnips and onions).
The garden features use of various reclaimed materials, a tumbler composter and several water tanks and butts.
On-street parking is very limited; bikes can be locked in the garden. Wheelchair access to the garden is restricted. No dogs please except guide dogs.
Sunday 10 May
23 Gresford Close, St Albans, AL4 0UB – Sunday 10th May, drop in anytime between 3-5 pm.
At the front is a mixture of fruit, vegetables, herbs and growbags for tomatoes. The multi-purpose back garden incorporates shaded seating areas, planting to attract wildlife and a small pond along with three raised beds, pots and small borders. Here vegetables, salad crops, herbs and a wide variety of fruit (including minarette pear trees, apples, plums, cherries, greengage, fig, medlar, blackberry, loganberry) are grown.
The garden has several water butts, composters and bins for leaf mould.
Gresford Close is a cul de sac off Colney Heath Lane, with limited street parking. Bikes can be locked in or near the garden. Several buses run along Hatfield Road (5 minutes’ walk away), stopping at Colney Heath Lane. Wheelchair access to the garden is restricted. No dogs please except guide dogs.
We still need people to help welcome people to the gardens, give out TSA publicity, collect donations etc, particularly at the garden openings later in the summer, so if you think you could help, please contact Romayne Hutchison on Romayne DOT Hutchison AT gmail DOT com . You would never be on your own, but we do need a few people each time, so an hour or so of your time would be really appreciated.