Volunteers are pulling out all the stops in preparation for two special ActivGardens open garden events as part of St Elizabeth Hospice Great Garden Trail.

On Friday 10th May, visitors are invited to explore the People’s Community Garden, bursting with volunteer-grown veg, herbs and flowers, alongside wildlife meadows, ponds and a permaculture orchard.

  • Beekeeping demonstration and tour of our Wild Zone is at 12 noon
  • The CRESS Community Market and Café will run as usual that day, from 10am to 12.30pm at the our CRESS Pavilion (entry free of charge), so visitors can enjoy this friendly, bustling event and enjoy a cuppa and a homemade cake courtesy of Chantry Academy pupils.

Then on Saturday 15th June, it’s the turn of Chantry Walled Garden to open its gates to invite members of the public to browse our selection of bee and butterfly-friendly perennials and annuals, enjoy a stroll along our flower borders, and enjoy a cuppa and homemade cake in Nursery Cottage garden.

Both gardens are open 10am to 3pm. Entrance to each garden will be £3 (children free), with additional £2 for CommuniBees Apiary Tour.  Proceeds will be shared between the two charities.

Parking is available at or near both gardens, and there is wheelchair access to most areas. Well-behaved dogs are allowed on a lead.

St Elizabeth Hospice’s Great Garden Trail runs throughout spring and summer to help generate the funds the hospice needs for its invaluable services. For more information and a full list of gardens involved, together with maps: https://www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk/great-garden-trail-2019/

2019 Poster of all garden dates

  • The People’s Community Garden, Maidenhall Allotments, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE, includes vegetable plots, a heritage orchard, sensory garden, wildlife areas and herb spiral. The project enables people of all ages and abilities to get active, learn skills and contribute to their community. It has a diverse volunteer base and works with schools and young people.
  • Historic Chantry Walled Garden, Chantry Park, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich IP2 0BS, has flower borders and vegetable growing areas, extensive glasshouses, and a courtyard garden designed for wheelchair users, enabling older people to carry on gardening. Young people on work placement learn about horticulture here and volunteers from the local community help tend the garden and grow plants.
  • We accept placements at both gardens, by arrangement.
  • Volunteers welcome at both sites.


Future events are Thursday 12th September – Autumn plant fair at Chantry Walled Garden, Friday 11th October – CRESS market, with CRESS Christmas on Friday 6th December. We regret to say there will be no Big Garden Party this year.