Five volunteers who sowed the seeds for a community garden have celebrated their dream flourish into a community hub.
St Mellons Community Garden Group was founded four years ago at Blooms Garden Centre with just five volunteers, supported by staff from Wales & West Housing.
The idea was to live off the land to grow veg to take home, eat more healthily and improve their health and well-being. But what was once a vegetable patch has flourished into a close knit community for those who are green-fingered and those who are not.
Glenys Vandervolk, one of the founder members got very emotional at an event to thank all of the members for making the garden bloom into a haven in the local community.
She said: “Sometimes when Gill and I are sitting here it is so peaceful you wouldn’t believe we were surrounded by houses.”
Jill and Kevin Hobbs-Griffiths said that they love being able to socialise with friends and other members of the community.
Jill said: “The community are so supportive. We get donations from different people. From unused pallets to donations of old pots. We never turn anything away.”
The members have been on a range of training courses to learn more about gardening and have used what they’ve learned to grow a wider variety of fruit, veg and flowers. They have also showcased their skills by creating gardens for the ‘Let’s Grow Cardiff ‘ show feature at the RHS Cardiff show for the last two years. With support from WWH staff, the volunteers have also accessed funding from Keep Wales Tidy, Tesco, Cardiff City Council, Trafford Hall and the Welsh Government for a whole range of things.
Chief Executive for Wales & West Housing Anne Hinchey said the group has bloomed, welcoming more members each year.
“To see how much they have achieved in the past four years if remarkable,” she said. “The garden began with two raised beds and some bare ground to grow veg in. Since then the area has grown in to more than just a garden. The volunteers have worked tirelessly, rain or shine, to create this beautiful, productive space which offers friendship, fresh produce and a hot cup of tea to people in the community.”