Edible open gardens: 1st & 2nd July 2023

The best way to learn is to see it done

A weekend of discovery of the veg growing plots of Hastings and St Leonards – whether a windowbox, back garden or smallholding.

On the 1st and 2nd July 2023, various growers threw open their garden gates for you to see how their plot grows – the successes, failures and what they have learned along the way. A chance to meet your local veg gardeners, get top tips and celebrate the art and science of growing food.

There were a diverse range of gardens to visit, each with a slightly different take on growing food. See below for more details

Ore community garden & Speckled Wood

Address: Ore Village, Hastings, TN35 5BB

Opening times: Saturday 1st July, 10am-1pm

Garden type: Community Garden and woodland

Garden ethos: Edible plants and community gardening for all

Description: A community project where volunteers can help maintain and enhance the woodland for the benefit of the residents of the local area. We plant and grow fruits and vegetables, as well as plants and flowers for wildlife, increasing biodiversity and habitats within Speckled Wood in Ore.

Event details: Open to come along and meet volunteers

Stonelynk Organics

Address: Battery Hill, Fairlight, TN35 4EA, 347 or 101 bus.

Opening times: Saturday 1st July, 10am-1pm

Garden type: Commercial market-garden

Garden ethos: Certified organic

Description: Growing a wide range of organic fruit and vegetables on 4 acres, while preserving and enhancing biodiversity and soil health using organic principles.

Event details: Self-guided tour, with produce and plants for sale

Plot and Pantry on the Farm

Address: Upper Lidham Hill, North Lane, Guestling, East Sussex. TN35 4LY

Opening times: Sunday 1-4pm

Garden type: A farm plot created from pasture into a self sufficient fruit, vegetable, herb and flower garden.

Garden ethos: To be as sustainable & self-sufficient as possible growing, cooking & preserving food all year.

Description: I want to share my twelve years of experience here on the farm to help others recover the satisfaction of growing as much of their own food as possible and discover the joys of living close to nature.

Event details: Penny will be available to answer questions and chat with you about how to maximise your own growing space and what food to grow. See more and available courses at www.plotandpantry.co.uk

Art in the Park

Address: Alexandra Park, Hastings, TN34 2LG

Opening times: Saturday 1st July 11am-2pm

Garden type: Planters/edible plants

Garden ethos: Accessible

Description: We are a volunteer led creative wellbeing hub set up to promote social engagement through art and nature. As a start to our growing projects we planted fruit trees in wooden planters. Our next aim is creating adapted planters to provide wheelchair users opportunity to grow edible plants.

Event details: There will be an unveiling at 11am of a community led mural dedicated to Alexandra Park, Hastings, a historic heritage park.

Lion’s Den mushroom farm

Address: On site at Brewing Bros, 6-8 Burgess Road, Hastings, TN35 4NR

Opening times: Saturday 3-4pm

Garden type: Indoor container garden

Garden ethos: organic

Description: we grow organic certified mushrooms in a controlled growing space at the Brewing Brothers Tap Room. We are currently growing Shiitake, Oyster and Lion’s Mane, looking to expand into more exotic mushrooms. We’ll then be processing them into delicious and umami rich products that can help us transcend to a more plant based diet.

Event details: We will be open for 1 hour, enabling small groups of people to peek into the container and chat to the grower.

Ore Place Farmhouse garden

Address: Ore Place Farmhouse, off the Ridge at Cooper’s vet, next door to Friary Gardeners, TN34 2RA.

Opening times: Saturday 10-12pm

Garden type: Fruit, veg & pollinator-friendly plantings

Garden ethos: biodiverse, regenerative-organic gardening

Description: 15-year-old no-dig organic garden, includes fruit bushes and trees, veg and fruit on 110 sqm of 1m-wide beds, wood-chip paths, a small greenhouse for heat-loving veg and a grape vine.

Event details: Come on in, wander around, ask any questions you like.

Warrior Square station garden

Address: St Leonards Warrior Square station platform

Opening times: Saturday & Sunday 10-1pm

Garden type: Community Garden in a public setting

Garden ethos: Open participation; bring a little joy to the daily commute!

Description: Now in its eighth year the garden, designed by Julia Hilton, has been tended by more than 120 volunteers and continues to bring joy & salad to all who pass by. Feel free to join us.

Event details: Open to wander & chat

Limited

Church Wood community orchard

Address: Church in the Wood Lane, off Churchwood Drive, St Leonards, TN38 9PB. Bus 20 to Tesco

Opening times: Sunday 11am- 4pm.

Garden type: Community Orchard

Garden ethos: Sharing food and caring for the environment and people

Description: The Church Wood Community Orchard planted 12 apple trees in 2021 in Church Wood Local Nature Reserve in Hollington. Gaining a 25 year lease from HBC. Our aims are to maintain the orchard with volunteers, develop a local species wildflower meadow, run events for learning, social and nature related opportunities. 

Event details: The Wonder of Insects and Wild Flowers 11 am -1 pm. ANDY PHILLIPS local entomology expert and JUDY CLARK local botany expert, will be looking for insects in the long grass around the trees to learn more about their names and life cycles. Identification of ‘wildflowers’ and growing them in gardens 

Childrens activities art and story making. 

Brewing Brothers garden

Address: Brewing Brothers Brewery, 6-8 Burgess Road, Hastings, TN35 4NR

Opening times: Saturday 1-4pm

Garden type: Vegetable and herb garden

Garden ethos: A full circle business

Description: A sustainable synergy thrives as a vegetable garden blossoms within a brewery, supplying fresh produce to our restaurants. Waste from the restaurants transforms into nutrient-rich compost, nurturing the garden’s growth and closing the circle of sustainability.

Event details: Open to wander around, the tap room will be open serving our craft beers.

Small Meadow Farm

Address: Peter James Lane, just uphill from Mallydam’s, Fairlight, TN35. 347 or 101 bus

Opening times: Sunday 10-1pm

Garden type: Permaculture small-holding

Garden ethos: Planted mostly with tree fruit and edible perennials: embracing permaculture and organic growing methods. Active in conserving and protecting nature. 

Description: Smallholding with a permaculture orchard full of mixed guilds of intentional plants and wildflowers, holding a collection of Sussex heritage apple trees as well as other fruits and lots of berries. Also; several forager’s borders, an ancient woodland strip, meadow restoration area, camping field and retreat venue.

Event details: Open on Sunday morning serving coffee and (field harvested) teas with homemade seasonal fruit muffins and pancakes! Farm made jams, flavoured vodka and other products for suggested donation.

To some parts

The forager’s garden, Quarry Road

Address: Side garden, 29 Quarry Road, TN34 3SE

Opening times: Sunday 2-4pm

Garden type: Urban permaculture garden

Garden ethos: Low maintenance, with an abundance of useful yields.

Description: Biodiverse garden of fruit trees, vines, fruiting shrubs and wildflowers and edible annuals. This garden provides the gardener with wines, liquers, vinegar, jams, jellies, chutneys, and an array of herbal teas and some medicines to use throughout the year.

Event details: Plants will be labeled, for you to wander round.  Some garden grown products and The Forager’s Garden book will be on sale, with the author and garden designer on hand to answer questions.

To part of the garden only

A forager’s front garden, Braybrooke Terrace

Address: 9 Braybrooke Terrace, Hastings TN34 1TD

Opening times: Any time

Garden type: Private edible front garden

Garden ethos: A low-maintenance nature friendly forager’s garden 

Description: Our sunny front garden grass patch first became a beautiful but work-intensive herb and vegetable garden. Two years ago, we instead planted miniature fruit trees and bushes alongside the perennial flowers and mature herbs, fill the gaps with annual veg and flowers and keep it all a bit wild…and low maintenance.

Event details: Just come by and have a look.

Garden visible from pavement level entrance

Hattons yard

Address: Hattons Yard, 4 Hatherley road, St Leonards, TN37 6LB

Opening times: Saturday 10am – 1pm

Garden type: Organic fruit and veg project

Garden ethos: Creating a welcome space, co-developed by the community

Description: We are all about the well-being of the whole community, through food and the space that we occupy. We embrace and value everyone in our cultural community space

Event details: Just open to wander round and chat about our projects

Bohemia Walled Garden

Address: Summerfields Woods, Bohemia Road, Hastings, TN34 1QX

Opening times: Sunday 10-12pm

Garden type: Community Garden

Garden ethos: To maintain and develop the garden as a space for horticultural use and education, arts, creativity and wellbeing for local people.

Description: Encourage local residents to grow their own food.

Event details: Just open to walk around

Crescent Guerillas – A Food Planting Legacy

Address: Quarry Crescent TN34

Opening times: Open all weekend, special event Sunday 1-4pm

Garden type: Food guerilla garden

Garden ethos: Food planted with the ‘guild’ method.

Description: Many plants were grown here but the ones that have remained are the guild plants that have formed mini self-sustaining eco systems. Each looks after the other. They now produce crops of food each year. Which is more important than ever in a cost of living crisis on a planet on the verge of eco collapse. Imagine a garden like this on every street. Then make one.

Event details: Bring a resilient perennial food plant, find a free patch, dig and plant it!

From the pavement

Friary Gardeners

Address: Located at Ore Place Farm, Friary Gardeners is a working nursery, open to the public for the sale of plants and produce in season.

Opening times: Saturday morning 10-12pm

Garden type: Horticultural Training Centre for Adults with Learning Disabilities

Garden ethos: Mixed perennial & edible borders.

Description: Friary Gardeners offers horticultural occupation, training and greater independence to adults with a wide spectrum of Autism, learning and physical disabilities. All parts of the garden complex are wheelchair accessible. We have raised beds to encourage individual growing projects and to widen opportunities to people in wheelchairs and with limited mobility.

Event details: Open to walk around and for plant sales

Hastings Community Trees, Bembrook Orchard

Address: Below Bembrook Road, Hastings

Opening times: Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm. Always open – Hastings Borough Council public space with paths and a playground

Garden type: Orchard of 22 trees

Garden ethos: Food planted with the ‘guild’ method.

Description: 22 fruit trees planted and cared for by local residents, in a long-grass open field that was once allotments, for the pleasure and sustenance of all

For upcoming events go to facebook ‘Hastings Community Trees’

Disabled access is not great because it’s steep and its path is narrow, grassy and no flatter than the steep slope it traverses

Marina allotments

Address: Tudor Avenue, St. Leonards on Sea TN38 0NS. The allotments are down a lane from Tudor Avenue near Boscobel North Road

Opening times: Saturday 10-3pm

Garden type: Allotment

Garden ethos: Growing food in a beautiful setting & supportive environment.

Description:

Growing fruit, vegetables and flowers creatively, organically
or traditionally, trying Permaculture and ‘No dig’ and sharing your experience, your knowledge, seeds, plants, produce and enjoyment of growing and nature.
Come to the main gate and meet one of our members to take you on a guided walk.

Yes in parts – please be aware some paths might be narrow & uneven