Spring Season Plant Sale

Spring Season Plant Sale

Head to Chantry Walled Garden on Thursday 7 March for the ActivGardens Spring Plant Sale, join us between 10am-2pm.

Take a look around enjoy this lovely site, the hidden gem of Chantry Park and take the opportunity to buy a few plants for your garden at knock-down prices. Whilst you’re visiting why not enjoy a cuppa and a slice of homemade cake and have a chat with our fantastic volunteers too.

And with Mother’s Day just around the corner we’ll have pots of bulbs and floral displays for Mother’s Day also available!

Parking is available at the Sue Ryder Car Park. For disabled parking please call ahead, contact Ian on 07599 951060.

The full address for for your Sat Nav is: Chantry Walled Garden, Chantry Park, Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, IP2 0BS


Make a fresh start in 2024 and join one of our FREE garden courses

Make a fresh start in 2024 and join one of our FREE garden courses

If you are looking for a new activity to give yourself a boost in the new year, how about joining a course at ActivGardens?

We have two free courses starting in February for people aged 16+:

Gardening In Mind – a FREE 12-week course supporting your mental wellbeing. Find out more HERE – funded by Henry Smith Charity.

Grow Your Future – a FREE 12-week course, helping you gain skills and confidence for further learning, training, volunteering or employment. Find out more HERE – funded by Equity In Mind – a partnership between NSFT and Suffolk Community Foundation.

The friendly group sessions will include – gardening and horticulture, growing your own veg, working in a plant nursery, nature conservation and beekeeping (optional), and therapeutic/ creative activities. They aim to promote good physical and mental health, and help you learn practical skills, in a supportive environment where you can meet others.

Please come to one of our Open Days to look around the gardens, meet our team and find out more over a cuppa:
• Gardening In Mind – Monday 15th January 10am to 2pm at the People’s Community Garden
• Grow Your Future – Wednesday 17th January 10am to 2pm at the People’s Community Garden on Maidenhall Allotments IP2 8RE and Tuesday 16th January 10am to 2pm at Chantry Walled Garden in Chantry Park IP2 0BS.

Former participants have said:
“It’s helped me realise this is the sort of work I want to be in. It’s increased my knowledge base and my confidence in what I know. It’s what I look forward to in the week. It’s given me the knowledge to move forward.”

“It’s helped me achieve goals set out before starting the project. It’s helped me have structure in my week. It’s helped my confidence grow from week to week with each new horticulture skill.”

“I’ve got more self-esteem and confidence. I’ve met more people down here – I don’t feel so isolated.”

“This project has helped me – I needed somewhere to lose myself. There were too many things going on at once, and my mind was too full. Here, you can step out of the rat race and into a carefree area. It lifts a weight from your mind. You are surrounded by nature and it makes you feel better in lots of ways – the joy of seeing plants, rebirth. No doubt about it, it lifts you.”

“I have become more active and I am putting something back into the local community, and contributing my own skills. Having retired, I need something to fill my day. I need to do things that make me feel happy and proud.”

“It helped build up confidence in a working environment. I have become more assertive in conversation. It’s helped me become less stressed.”

To register your place or to find out more, please contact programme manager Susannah Robirosa on 07530 407302 on 01473 345350 or email susannah@activlives.org.uk or visit our website: www.activlives.org.uk/activgardens

A huge THANK YOU to Thompson & Morgan!

A huge THANK YOU to Thompson & Morgan!

ActivGardens volunteers and trainees have been planting bulbs kindly donated by Thompson & Morgan.

The bulbs have been made into displays and planted in our borders and are already putting up green shoots.

Come the Spring, the daffs, tulips, hyacinth and Allium will be putting  a smile on everyone’s face as they bloom in vibrant colours.

The local company, just across the park from one of our sites, has also donated a huge box of seeds packed with veg and flowers.

Our volunteers and staff were so pleased – it really gave us all a boost!

Pots of bulbs are available for Mother’s Day on Saturday 13th March 2021 from Chantry Walled Garden. Please email susannah@activlives.org or call Tuesdays and Thursdays on 07530 407302 if you would like to order in advance.

Gardens keep up essential growing during lockdown

Gardens keep up essential growing during lockdown

Integral work has been happening at our gardens to make sure our plants & produce stay healthy and alive!
We have ensured that all of our staff and key volunteers are sticking to the Government guidelines by staying 2m apart, having staggered breaks, doing deep cleans daily, and making sure to only do integral work (i.e. potting up, watering, etc).

People’s Community Garden – by Bev

We have been preparing beds to seed directly, lots of seed sowing going on in the polytunnels.  The soil in all beds has been manured and mulched to improve the structure.  Our new compost bins are warming up with the grass cuttings. The potatoes are in, with 2 rows of cabbages, the broad beans have flowers already.  The Summer House has turned into a bee information centre and the pond has lots of frogspawn in it; we have added materials to encourage the frogs to stay nearby.  The sensory gardens and herb spiral are springing into life.  The plan is to produce enough vegetables and fruit to support the local community in difficult times.  We have preserved beetroot, shallots and have made rhubarb Jam in preparation for future markets. We have sown 200 hundred sunflower seeds to give to each local household to encourage them to our markets when the world recovers from the COVID-19 virus.  We have a blue tit nesting in a bird box near the entrance.

Chantry Walled Garden – by Susannah

Meanwhile over at CWG we potted up 3,000 Geranium last week, to be planted out in Ipswich parks and green spaces. We are awaiting the arrival of the perennials order next week – around 1,000 plants, with 1,000 bedding plants due the following week.

We are also making a start on renovating the long flower border so – when all this is over – people will be able to come and enjoy something really special.

Well done and huge thanks to all team who are keeping the sites going – observing strict precautions on social distancing and hygiene.
Bees – by Adee

The bees are slowly coming round from their winter slumber.  The queen starts to lay eggs so the bees have to work hard to make ready for all the new worker bees that are about to be born.  This can be a very difficult time for the hive, a cold wet spring can mean that the hive doesn’t survive, but a good sign to look for are bees coming back to the hive with lots of pollen on their legs.  Flowers in bloom now and trees provide vital food for what’s to come.  Other things to see as the days are getting warmer and longer all bees will be coming out of hibernation.  You will see queen bumblebees out foraging before she goes to build her nest.  Mason bees are emerging from their cocoons and butterflies will be waking up too.  Slow worms, lizards and snakes will be basking in the sun before going off to hunt.

ActivGardens projects & services to close.

ActivGardens projects & services to close.

Following the Government’s announcement last night (23 March 2020), ActivGardens and its projects and services will close.

A team of staff and key volunteers will continue to carry out essential tasks, managed according to Government guidelines.

We hope to be able to help supply fresh produce and plants to the local community when the situation improves.

Please check for further updates in three weeks.