Open Food Gardens 2016

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Herts Ad mentioned our fabulous Open Food Gardens, and FoodSmiles St Albans, in an article here ‘Why Growing Your Own is more popular than ever’  hertsadTSA     

Just drop-in! Bring a friend to come and see what fruit, vegetables and herbs can be grown in St Albans, Harpenden and village gardens. 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!

Some of our photos were taken by a talented young photographer Emma Cole – thanks Emma for sharing!


Sat 17th Sept: 2, Cowper Road, Harpenden, AL5 5NG – Drop in any time between 3-5pm

 This urban garden, near the centre of Harpenden, continues to evolve as more fruit and vegetables are grown. It wraps round all four sides of the house and is divided into several different areas, with fruit and vegetables gradually taking over ground previously planted with bushes and flowers.

Vegetables grown include sweetcorn, squashes, courgettes, french beans and spinach. Fruit includes both summer and autumn fruiting raspberries, a grape vine, apples, plums and strawberries. Salad produce and various herbs are also grown.

 Food is mainly grown in beds, plus one pallet collar; some produce is started off in a small wooden-framed greenhouse.

 On-street parking is possible in Cowper Road or nearby Kipling Way. Bikes can be left in the garden. Harpenden station is 5 minutes’ walk away.

Wheelchair access is not practical because of steps and gravel pathways. No dogs please except guide dogs.

Suggested donation of £2.00 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds.


Open Food Gardens 2016 –helpers wanted!

  We also still need people to help welcome visitors to the gardens, give out TSA publicity, collect donations etc, so if you think you could help, please contact Romayne Hutchison on Romayne.Hutchison@gmail.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.


  Sun 21st August: 66, Sherwood Avenue, Marshalswick, St Albans, AL4 9PL – Drop in any time between 3-5pm

This medium-sized garden has several different levels and is home to a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and herbs as well as ornamental shrubs and flowers. Its many wildlife-friendly features include a pond, small bog garden, wildflower lawn, flowers grown for pollinators and a hedgehog house.

The many different types of vegetable grown include several perennials as well as the more usual beans, courgettes, chard, broccoli and potatoes. Fruit includes plums and Chilean guavas plus a fig tree, strawberries and raspberries. Salad veg and many different herbs are also grown.

A mixture of raised beds, garden beds, pots, grow bags and potato sacks are utilised for growing purposes.

Some on-street parking is available; cars can also be left at The Quadrant free car park (7 minutes walk away). Bikes can be left in the driveway.

Narrow pathways and different levels make this garden unsuitable for wheelchairs. No dogs please except guide dogs.

 Suggested donation of £2.00 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds.



Tues 2nd August: 104 Marshalswick Lane, St Albans, AL1 4XE – Drop in anytime between 3-5 pm

Josta berries

This large well-established garden has much to interest those interested in growing food as well as a lawn, established shrubs, plants, trees and a seating area.

 Fruit trees are scattered around the garden; there are two large cooking apple trees and more recently planted quince, minarette apples, espalier and minarette pear trees. Soft fruit includes raspberries and blackberries. Early and late strains of rhubarb are also grown. Vegetables include sweetcorn, courgettes, squash, leeks and climbing French beans.

 Some unusual features include Yacon (a sweet tuber), oca and perennial leeks and cabbages. There are also some perennial herbs.

 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. Wheelchair access is not possible because of awkward corners and narrow path. No dogs please except guide dogs.

Suggested donation of £2.00 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds.


Sun 17th July: 27, Glenferrie Road, Fleetville, St Albans, AL1 4JT –Drop in any time between 3-5pm

 This medium-sized garden continues to evolve. As well as evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers, mostly grown in narrow borders along both sides of the garden, numerous types of fruit and vegetables, both annual and perennial, are grown in the borders, containers and raised beds.

Fruit grown in borders includes apple, pear, raspberry, redcurrant, blackcurrant and tayberry; a fig tree, blueberries, a nectarine tree and a cherry tree are grown in pots; strawberries are grown in wine crates. There is also a fan-trained plum tree, one espalier and two cordon apples and a young pomegranate tree.

Vegetables grown in a mix of raised beds (made from reclaimed scaffolding boards), pots and other containers include potatoes, peas, garlic, courgettes, broad beans, borlotti beans, beetroot, parsnips, carrots and pumpkins. Perennial cauliflowers are also grown. Tomatoes, chillies and cucumber are grown in the greenhouse.

The garden is home to four chickens.


Sat 4th June: 13 Abbey View Road, St Albans, AL3 4QL –  Drop in anytime between 3-5 pm

 This popular medium-sized garden near St Albans city centre is opening for the third season. The top part of the rear garden is mainly given over to flowers, lawn and a seating area, plus rhubarb, herbs and two plum trees. 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. The garden is not suitable for wheelchair access. No dogs please except guide dogs.

Suggested donation of £2.00 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds.

To see information about Open Food Gardens 2015 click here.



Sat 18th June: 80, Beaumont Avenue, St Albans, AL1 4TP – 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 third season with its new owners. To the inherited apple trees 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 raised beds and the greenhouse include courgettes, mange tout, beans, carrots, plus tomatoes and lettuce. Various herbs are grown in pots. The front garden features a hazelnut tree.

Children are especially welcome to enjoy this garden.There is on-street parking. Bikes can be locked up in the garden.Wheelchair access is restricted. No dogs please except guide dogs.

Suggested donation of £2.00 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds.


Sun 3rd July: 30, Gustard Wood (off The Slype), Wheathampstead, AL4 8RR

Drop in any time between 3-5pm

chicksuzyThis well-established garden, in a semi-rural location just north of Wheathampstead, is opening for the first time as part of the Open Food Garden programme. While the front garden contains mainly ornamental plants, the back garden features a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, mainly grown in beds, but also in a greenhouse and in reused containers.

The vegetables include runner beans, courgettes, brussels sprouts, swedes, cabbages, purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, asparagus, yellow patty pan (squash), potatoes and aubergines. Both cooking and eating apples are grown, also raspberries and a grape vine. Several different herbs are to be found. Tomatoes, red pepper and aubergines are grown in the greenhouse.

The owners keep a small number of chickens.

Parking is possible in the cul-de-sac; bikes can be left in the drive.Wheelchair access would be possible to the rear garden, though there is grass and some uneven paving stones. No dogs please except guide dogs.

Suggested donation of £2.00 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds.

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