Hiding behind the walls of the Blaise Estate in Henbury, Bristol lies a secret garden, first established in the 1800’s, which has been long since forgotten.
Link to a short video tour of the garden
Although affectionately referred to as the Secret Garden its formal name under which it is registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation is BLAISE COMMUNITY GARDEN (Reg No 1160376 ).
In June 2013 the Friends of Blaise and Henbury Conservation Society were granted access behind the walls, to restore a part of the garden and create Henbury’s first community kitchen garden.
The project is entirely volunteer led, and is intended to provide a chance for members of the community to come together, learn about growing plants, and share their time to grow some delicious produce.
This site will give information on garden opening times for the public, and activities which will be coming up.
There is also a contact facility in the main menu above if you’ve got any questions or suggestions about getting involved.
The total garden is an area of almost an acre, including the frames of seven very large (approx. 80 ft long ) greenhouses. We were first only granted three of these greenhouse frames and an adjacent cold-frame to start the project in. After grueling scrub bashing these forested greenhouses slowly became sites of flowering plants and home to vegetables. We have now been granted use of the whole site !
Originally vegetables and fruit were grown in the garden for the Blaise Estate in the 1800’s. In the 1950’s Bristol City Council used the space to grow Bristol’s bedding plants. Cannington College then used the space to teach students about horticulture, with the garden eventually taken over for a tree growing project.
For 10 years the gardens had been in disuse, with the greenhouse frames becoming entirely overgrown with Brambles, saplings and other plants.
Blaise Secret Garden had their first meeting on the 9th of June 2013, and with the great efforts of The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) the first secret garden greenhouse was cleared.
Volunteers have since worked extremely hard to establish the garden, growing vegetables and flowers which are now doing well.
Volunteer days have seen big turnouts, with all ages coming to work together to get the garden established.