Forum login
November tales from Master Gardeners

November tales from Master Gardeners

We meet Master Gardeners from our four programmes, showing that whatever the crop, whatever the space, food growing is important for a healthy diet and lifestyle,  learning skills, and bringing people together.

Case study 1 – Warwickshire

Inspiring people to get growing

What better way to inspire people to grow vegetables than bringing them to Garden Organic’s Ryton gardens to see organic food growing in action. Some of our Warwickshire Master Gardeners have done just this with the people they support.  Lesley came along recently with her ‘households’, and found not only were they inspired, but they also had a great time getting to know each other. Households can encourage each other, and even arrange plant or seed swaps to make growing more fun!

Other Master Gardeners have also had great success bringing their households together for barbeques and harvest suppers, either in their own gardens or allotments.

Lesley with households at Ryton

Lesley with households at Garden Organic's Ryton Gardens

Case study 2 – Norfolk

All go in Norfolk

Since training as a Norfolk Master Gardener, Beverly has established an after-school gardening club at her local primary school.  She is also working with the local Sure Start group to set up a tots-and-pots weekly workshop. As a community education officer, Beverly is using her contacts and finding great enthusiasm among teachers, mums and young children for getting stuck in and learning how to grow their own fruit and veg.

Meanwhile husband and wife team, Rick and Nancy are working with their parish council to establish much desired allotment space in their village.  They already have three families seeking support with food growing and their informal research shows more residents eager to get involved. Other Norfolk connections include Thetford’s Healthy Town Project, while Master Gardener Penny will be involved in delivering an exciting new series of “Historic food” workshops at The Ancient House Museum.

Rick and Nancy look after their spuds

Rick and Nancy look after their spuds

Case study 3 – South London

Extract from Master Gardener’s diary

South London Master Gardener Claire has inspired her households to grow their own by sharing her gardening diary. She has recorded her busy months developing her own back yard, improving her talents as an urban food grower. She’s been raising tomatoes, courgettes, salads and a variety of flowers. Claire says, “It helps me manage my gardening expectations, impatience and any lessons learned!”

Other Master Gardeners visit households at their home – or wherever their food growing space is. It’s proven an inspiring and empowering way to start mentoring, with some even teaming up with another volunteer, such as Carole and Stephanie who joined forces for the first visit to registered householder Sandra and her husband. Click here is the story in Stephanie’s own words…

Extract from Claires gardening diary

Extract from Claire's gardening diary

Case study 4 – Islington

New gardener at 79 years olds

Pearl had never planted a seed before Islington Master Gardener, Vicky, started supporting her growing. They’ve since celebrated three tomatoes ripening on her first plant following several excited phone calls. Pearl lives on the Whitecross Estate where Vicky and fellow volunteer Chris run regularly gardening clubs for towerblock residents.

Vicky also came up with a brilliant way of engaging children at her local school. She bought some fruit from a local store, eating the fruit and making smoothies with the children and then planting the seeds. So the children start with the familiar produce and were completely engaged in the planting and growing of the seeds.

Master Gardener Vicky at her local school

Master Gardener Vicky at her local school

Get involved

Thanks to our Master Gardeners and team of co-ordinators for these extracts from recent achievements. Click here to contact, and area links for more local stories: Warwickshire, Islington, south London, Norfolk

Posted in Case studies, Featured0 Comments

Local volunteer stories

MEET four of Britain’s first ‘Master Gardeners’ – volunteers trained by Garden Organic to inspire and support households to grow their own veg. The project follows the success of the charity’s ‘Master Composter Network’ which now has 500 volunteers across the UK. Feature Writer Catherine Vonledebur speaks to the new crop.

Posted in Case studies0 Comments

How good peas will travel

How good peas will travel

Islington Master Gardener Mark found walking with vegetables in London attracts attention. We caught up with him for chat about a recruit excursion.

“I took my ‘Pea Shooter’ – a long shallow container for sprouting pea shoots – to a local fair. It sparked lots of conversations about growing pea shoots and gave me the chance to explain how easy it is. I gave away lots of free pea seeds (organic marrowfat peas from health food shops are perfect and just £2 a kilo).

“Anyway, I collected my pea shooter a few days later and boarded the bus with said shooter. During the journey, I looked up and saw someone looking at my pea shooter. They were in animated conversation with another passenger and I overheard the person explaining all about how to grow pea shoots and how easy they are. I then recognised the man talking – he was someone that I’d chatted to at the fair!

“This journey made me think that carrying pots of living vegetables on public transport would be a great (if somewhat eccentric) way to engage more people in conversations about food growing!”

See Mark’s Vertical Veg website here

More stories from Islington Master Gardeners, North London

Tales from south London Master Gardeners

Happily growing pea shoots

Happily growing pea shoots

Ready pea shoot - a delicious delicacy

Ready pea shoots - a delicious delicacy

Have a story? Contact us here…

Posted in Case studies0 Comments

Read all about it: Master Gardeners in GYO

Read all about it: Master Gardeners in GYO


Click logo to visit GYO

We’re delighted to showcase our volunteer’s terrific work in the national magazine, Grow Your Own (September edition).

We were invited by editor Lucy Halsall to prepare case studies about how Master Gardeners help people and communities grow their own fruit and veg at home and on communal land. See images below.

Our thanks to Lucy and her team.
Grow Your Own is widely available from newsagents and by subscription.
Visit the Grow Your Own website
Get discounted subscription

Posted in Case studies, Featured0 Comments

Outing by Islington Master Gardeners

Outing by Islington Master Gardeners

Islington Master Gardeners out in force; Laura, Lesley and Ian (and Cat behind the camera)

Islington Master Gardeners out in force; Laura, Lesley and Ian (and Cat behind the camera)

Islington Master Gardeners have been out and about, busy promoting local food growing at community events and recruiting their first household to regularly support.

This from Laura Burrow:

“We donned our Volunteer’s T-shirts and wandered up to the beautiful and gorgeous Culpeper Community Garden on Sunday afternoon. They were holding a plant sale, tea and cakes, talks and events, poetry and lots of exciting things.

It was a lovely day, and we met a couple of other volunteers that were holding a stall there, so we compared notes and caught up with them. We also bought a few plants, rescued some free ones that needed some TLC and made some contacts with possible recruits.

A successful first outing!”

Our thanks to Master Gardeners Laura, Cat, Ian and Lesley for their time and energy – and to kind team at Culpeper, Kate and Laura for helping us organise the demostrations.

Posted in Case studies0 Comments

Page 4 of 41234

Sign up for email updates

  • St Mathew Bloxham vegetable garden Posted on 6 July 2015
    I have been making a vegetable garden for the School .All the beds are now up,filled with soil, and rocket early potatoes and Sutton broad beans planted. There are two beds for str...
  • Growing at MIND Hub Posted on 6 July 2015
    This project, delivered at Rugby Wellbeing Hub with the Master Gardeners, John and Sandy Young, commenced in the middle of March.  From the outset there was enthusiasm and involve...
  • St Mathew Bloxham vegetable garden Posted on 6 July 2015
    Greenhouse now has tomatoes growing, rocket early potatoes nearly ready to harvest. Some radishes harvested and strawberries, courgettes growing well,also cucumbers and sweetcorn, ...
  • St Mathew Bloxham Vegetable Garden Posted on 6 July 2015
    On Thursday 4th June, JLR community volunteers helped replace wooden edging, lay bark paths, Creosoted raised beds, make two more raised beds and put a slab base and errect a 8...
  • St Mathew Bloxham vegetable garden Posted on 28 April 2015
    I have been making a vegetable garden for the School .All the beds are now up,filled with soil, and rocket early potatoes and Sutton broad beans planted. There are two beds for str...
  • A great end to a great project Posted on 8 June 2016
    Our wonderful North London Master Gardener programme, Growing for Health, has now come to an end. The project ran from 2014-16 across the boroughs of Camden and Islington. In that ...
  • Kill or cure? Plants as medicine at In Service Training day and social Posted on 14 December 2015
    Plants evolved to avoid being eaten – so most of them are poisonous – but that hasn’t stopped us making good use of their toxicity to create useful medicines. Nor...
  • Free wildflower kits! Posted on 18 November 2015
    Master Gardeners enthusiastically took part in Kew’s Grow Wild programme last year, transforming spaces into colourful, bee-friendly wildflower havens. The good news is that you ...
  • Courgette pasta at Aberdeen Park Posted on 11 September 2015
    By Master Gardener Dorothy Aberdeen Park is an 11-bed rehabilitation unit, part of Camden and Islington NHS Foundation in North London. It offers support with independent living fo...
  • Master Gardeners nail upcycling at In-Service Training workshop Posted on 7 September 2015
    What can you make out of scrap wood, abandoned pallets and disposable brewery kegs? Amazing things, as North London Master Gardeners found out at their latest In-Service Training D...
  • Goodbye Master Gardeners and Food Buddies Posted on 15 May 2017
    It’s now the end of the Master Gardener/Food Buddy programme in Croydon. We’ve had an amazing couple of years and we’ve seen community food growing and healthy ea...
  • Chutneys and preserves at In-Service Training day Posted on 21 November 2016
    What a wonderful autumn In-Service Training Day for Master Gardeners and Food Buddies, learning to make chutneys and quick-cook jam at Mum’s the Chef cafe in Croydon. We chop...
  • Food Buddy Kate Brown Posted on 6 June 2016
  • Pakoras and pumpkins! Croydon has new Food Buddies Posted on 16 May 2016
    What a great day’s Induction Training we had on Saturday (May 14th) when 8 more enthusiastic Food Buddies joined us! We were only minutes in before the new volunteers started...
  • Growing on prescription Posted on 5 May 2016
    This great idea, where GP’s turn over outdoor space for community gardening so patients can grow their own could work in Croydon! Story and picture from The Guardian. The Lam...
  • Meet the Master Gardeners and Growing Buddies Posted on 6 September 2016
    This weekend you can take your chance to ask those all important growing questions, get some fantastic advice, find out how Garden Organic Volunteers can help you or your local com...
  • WILD STRAWBERRIES Posted on 6 September 2016
    Small and sweet and no need to net, but you’ll never get too many just the odd tasty treat now and again. If you’re lucky enough to spot some growing wild then one or two berri...
  • How are your grafts going? Posted on 7 June 2016
    For those Breckland Master Gardeners and Norfolk Master Composters who attended the grafter’s course in February, can you let me know how things are progressing? It seems that qu...
  • Gooseberry – Size and Picking Posted on 7 June 2016
    Well now’s the time to decide big ones or little ones, or should I say fewer, but bigger? For there is always that choice to make when growing fruit you can have lots of littlies...
  • Could you be a Growing Buddy? Posted on 22 May 2016
    Now launching an exciting new volunteering opportunity in Breckland! We are recruiting volunteer ‘Growing Buddies’ to join our current network in Breckland. Growing Buddies...
  • Debbie Chessum Posted on 20 October 2015
  • Heather Lowe Posted on 20 October 2015
  • Spreading the organic growing message….. Posted on 2 September 2015
    I have lots of visitors to my allotment, some want to come and share tea and biscuits with me in my shed, some laze in deckchairs, some swap allotment tips while others stay for lo...
  • Forward Footing on Allotment 17b Posted on 26 August 2015
    On Monday 24 August I hosted a Wellbeing funded art project on my allotment! I was pleased that several members of Dementia Support South Lincolnshire attended, along with several ...
  • Lincolnshire Master Gardeners at Big Boston Festival Posted on 17 July 2015
    I was asked to make some creative interventions for the BBG festival site for the weekend of 4/5 July and also provide some activities on the day….I asked MG Tracy of Boston ...
  • Welcome to Our Newest Recruits Posted on 15 May 2018
    It was a glorious weekend at the  Attenborough Arboretum in Leicester for our latest Master Gardener recruits’ induction course and, as ever, a thoroughly enjoyable day in w...
  • Europe Comes to Leicestershire Posted on 28 March 2018
    Friday was an exciting day for the Leicestershire Master Gardeners, who hosted a group of visitors from the Erasmus Plus exchange project on a tour of therapeutic gardening sites i...
  • Spring Has Sprung! Posted on 28 March 2018
    Spring is here and our volunteers are busy enjoying the spells between rain and snow to support our new  food growers. In Wigston, Master Gardener Radha continues to support group...
  • We’re Recruiting Again! Posted on 21 March 2018
    Are you a keen gardener who just loves sharing your enthusiasm for food growing with other people?  Would you like to join a team of like-minded gardeners mentoring novice food...
  • Learning to Manage Pests and Diseases Organically Posted on 16 February 2018
    Last Saturday saw our largest in-service training day for our Master Gardener volunteers yet, with 26 of them gathering at Leicester Botanics for a day dedicated to learning abou...
  • Welcome to Somerset Master Gardeners Posted on 21 November 2012
      Garden Organic is delighted to announce our partnership with Somerset Community Food to support volunteer ‘Master Gardeners’ to help communities grow their own f...
  • A fresh start Posted on 11 November 2014
      Trying to beat a drug addiction is a huge challenge. Trying to detox whilst serving a prison sentence can be even more complex. But sometimes the simple things in life can h...
  • Blogs coming soon Posted on 9 February 2013
    Our programme at HMP Rye Hill begins in spring 2013. Please visit back soon for latest blogs. In the meantime, please click here to read Master Gardener blogs from across the UK Ab...
  • Case studies coming soon Posted on 9 February 2013
    Our programme at HMP Rye Hill begins in spring 2013. Please visit back soon for latest case studies. In the meantime, please click here to read case studies from our Master Gardene...
We’re creating a model to establish custom networks of volunteer Master Gardeners in more UK areas. More information available here.

Photos on flickr