Open Food Gardens 2017

Last garden of the year….Sun 17th September: 2 Cowper Road, Harpenden, AL5 5NG – Drop in any time 3-5pm 

Be Inspired! Come along to our summer programme of Open Food Gardens. See dates and locations below.

Starting out? See what fruit & vegetables can be grown in your garden – or come and share your tips if you are a more experienced food gardener.

Get free advice that will help you grow your own, and be inspired by different food garden designs. Bring a friend, or your neighbour. Children are welcome!

 See this Herts Ad article here from 2016 which mentions our fabulous Open Food Gardens, and FoodSmiles St Albans, ‘Why Growing Your Own is more popular than ever’  

Sun 17th September: 2 Cowper Road, Harpenden, AL5 5NG – Drop in any time 3-5pm 

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

It contains large variety of fruit bushes and trees which have been progressively planted over the last four years and also a variety of vegetables and herbs.  New for this year are olive, fig, almond and honeyberry plants.

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

Community growing group, FoodSmiles St Albans, also runs skills sessions and talks and is setting up Incredible Edible Community Gardens in St Albans.

See for details

That’s the end of our Open FoodGardens programme for this year. We hope you have enjoyed them, and that it has inspired you to grow more of your own at home. Please let us know your thoughts on our programme – email us here

Past 2017 Open Food Gardens

Sat 29th April – 104 Marshalswick Lane, St Albans, AL1 4XE – Drop in any time 3-5pm

Large 1/3 acre garden. Besides lawn, shrubs, a large copper beech and a range of other plants, there are many features of interest to those wishing to grow food.

Fruit trees are scattered around the back garden. There are two well-established large cooking apple trees and more recently planted quince, minarette apples, an espalier pear and a minarette pear tree planted in 2014. Soft fruit includes raspberries and blackberries. Early and late strains of rhubarb are also grown.

Perennial garlics and kale are being tried and perennial herbs include rosemary, English mace, hyssop and curry plant.

A small area has recently been set aside as a forest garden and now has a few currants and other edibles under an apple tree.

This year it is hoped to grow sweetcorn along with the usual squash, courgettes,  endive, chard, spinach and salads. Most vegetables are grown from seed so there are likely to be numerous seedlings or small plants to take away.

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. 

Tuesday 16th May: 13 Abbey View Road, St Albans, AL3 4QL –  Drop in anytime between 3-5 pm

This garden is opening for its fourth season.  A wide variety of fruit and vegetables are grown in a flat area of ground at the far end of this medium-sized south-west facing garden near the city centre. 

The top part of the garden is mainly given over to flowers, lawn and a seating area but is interspersed with a few food-producing plants including rhubarb and two plum trees.  Herbs (lemon balm, mint and rosemary) are grown in a bed nearer to the house.

The garden features use of various reclaimed materials, tumbling composter and several water tanks and butts 

** Looking for tomato seedlings?** 

There will be tomato seedlings grown by some of our gardens owners for sale at this Open Garden for a small donation to TSA

Sat 24th June: 30 Gustard Wood (off The Slype), Wheathampstead, AL4 8RR –  Drop in anytime between 3-5 pm

This well-established garden, in a semi-rural location just north of Wheathampstead, is opening for the second 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.

Sun 2nd July: Burydell Allotments, Burydell Lane, Park Street, AL2 2PU – Drop in any time between 10am and 1pm

Burydell is an allotment site of some 59 plots, most of which are half the traditional size.  The soil is particularly good being in the river plain. It is a lovely secluded and secure site, surrounded by trees and farmland. All the plots are fenced to keep off the rabbits.

A large variety of fruit and veg are grown in raised beds and on open ground.   Across the allotments you will see many green houses, water but, compost bins of every description, some chickens, bug hotels and much more.

There is a communal hut where tea and cake will be available.

Access is from Burydell Lane. There is parking on Burydell Lane and limited parking inside the gates.

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

Sun 2nd July: 66 Sherwood Avenue, St Albans, AL4 9PL – Drop in any time between 3-5pm

This established medium-sized garden has several different levels and is home to a wide variety of edibles including fruit, vegetables, herbs and many unusual perennial vegetables, as well as ornamental shrubs and flowers. Veg are grown in a combination of garden beds, raised beds and containers in both sunny and shady areas. Two fruit trees – a plum and fig – are grown in containers on the patio.

This is a very wildlife-friendly garden, including a pond, small bog garden, bird feeders, a wildflower lawn, flowers for pollinators, a hedgehog house and a running water feature.

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.

Sat 29th July: 4 York Road, St Albans, AL1 4PL – Drop in any time 2-4pm

This garden is opening for its first season.

A large mature garden of established trees and shrubs with a large false acacia tree acting as a focal point. The entire garden is managed following organic principles and techniques. Mixed borders of shrubs, climbers, flowering bulbs and herbaceous perennials flank a central lawn. Fruit and vegetables are grown in the centre and rear of the garden.

AlisongreenbeansThe garden has wooden slatted compost stations and waterbutts, and the stone pathways are made from reused crazy paving stones.

There is limited on-street parking (no vouchers required). Bike storage is available at the side of the house.

Wheelchair access would be possible to the patio and lawn at the rear of the house.

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


Sat 29th July: 27 Glenferrie Road, St Albans, AL1 4JT – Drop in any time 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.

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, parsnips, mange tout and salad leaves.  Tomatoes, chillies and cucumbers are grown in the greenhouse.

The garden is home to three chickens.

There will be a few plants for sale on the day (proceeds to TSA) – alpine/wild strawberries, tayberries, and blackcurrant.

 Entrance is free: suggested donation of £2.00 for over 16s; all proceeds go to TSA funds

Sun 20th August: 23 Gresford Close, St Albans, AL4 OUB – Drop in any time 3-5pm

Food is grown in both the back and front gardens. In the south facing front garden there is a mixture of fruit, vegetables and herbs, growbags for tomatoes. The multi-purpose back garden, which also incorporates shaded seating areas, planting to attract wildlife and a small pond, is about 10 metres square. It includes three raised beds where vegetables, minarette fruit trees, soft fruit trained on fences and herbs are grown.

There are several water butts and compost bin. The house has solar panels.

Gresford Close is a cul de sac, with limited street parking. Buses go along Hatfield Road, stopping at Colney Heath Lane.

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