The Incredible Flower Farm is open for new subscribers for 2022

In 2021 we opened the Incredible Flower Farm, growing flowers for folks who subscribed and who collected a beautiful bouquet twice a month from May to October. Throughout the year we have seen tulips, ranunculus, roses, snapdragons, sunflowers, dahlias and much more head into people’s homes, and are so pleased to see the joy on subscribers faces as the season progressed and new blooms arrived.

For 2022 we are able to offer a few more subscriber places, and we have decided to announce this now, a good few months before they will be available, so that people have an opportunity to buy a subscription for a loved one for Christmas. After all, what better way to say happy Christmas than to give someone a seasonal bouquet twice a month?

As with 2021 subscribers will be able to collect their bouquet from the flower farm itself every other Saturday from May to October. If you subscribe for a gift we will send you a voucher to give to the recipient and we will engage with them directly once the season has begun! If you’d like to find out prices and subscribe or know more please do email

Flowers from the Incredible Flower Farm

Welcome To Cultivation Place!

Pumpkins at Cultivation Place

Over the last couple of years we have been creating a space for learning at Speedwell Allotments. Cultivation Place will be home, in 2022, to a whole host of events that will support individuals and communities to grow more food, more pollinator friendly planting and also to look at gardening as a response to both climate and biodiversity crises. All our workshops and courses will be run by people who are experts in their fields, with our primary tutor being our founder, Sara Venn.

We also hope to run some events where we can bring people together for discussions that will create real change across the city and bring together networks to offer support and opportunity to all involved in community gardening across the city.

We will release the courses for next year in January, but in the meantime we will be running our How To Grow course one last time for 2021, beginning on October 2nd-the details are in the link below!

And watch out for our autumn/winter talks which will begin soon.

Community Garden Week-If You Eat You’re In!

This week is Community Garden Week which obviously is close to our hearts. Gardens supported and run by communities, whether for food, for pollinators or to improve an area are really vital for neighbourhoods to feel that they are empowered to find their solutions to the global issues of the day.

Community gardening is often seen as a privileged pastime and one that is not always available to all, and this year we hope to begin to break down and truly understand the barriers to communities from getting involved. We have a new community consultant and he will be working in areas of the city to talk to local people about their food cultures, what they need to see to get involved and how involvement doesn’t just mean gardening.

At Incredible Edible Bristol it’s important to us that the gardens we support become community assets, not just allotments in pubic spaces. Places that are sustainable, that support rather than harm in the way they are looked after and maintained and truly healthy spaces. Somewhere to sit, to drink tea, to smell the scented plants, read a book, relax even if you are in the centre of the city. A place to connect with other people, other communities and other food cultures. A place to learn and a place to understand. And of course somewhere to pick a few things for your tea!!

Our motto, If You Eat You’re In sounds flippant but in reality it’s absolutely what we are aiming for; a city rich in food growing and food growing skills, where young people can find the jobs they desperately need by good use of public land, access to skills and markets and where locally grown food is available to all, and supports the rich food cultures we see across the city. A city where food is abundant and no one goes hungry.For some this might sound like a privileged pipe dream but we are determined to make it happen. If you’d like to join us, or have an idea for your neighbourhood, or for a piece of land close to your home, why not get in touch? We would love to hear from you.

Join our Incredible Flower Club and get beautiful blooms all summer long.

Recently we have turned our thoughts more and more towards what sustainability means. Whilst we will always be reliant on funding to some degree, what we know is that as funding is harder and harder to get, we need to focus on creating sustainable funding streams based on what we know we can do well.

Our ongoing plans include more courses and workshops, events at our Speedwell site and growing plants that will be for sale. However, as with everything these things take time . We intend to get far more going throughout this season, and are also very aware of restrictions and the importance of not promising too much whilst we are at a critical point in the pandemic. However, one thing we can look at is marketing our Incredible Flower Club.

From May to October we will be offering people the opportunity to subscribe to our Incredible Flower Club and collect a bucket of flowers twice a month from our site at Speedwell. This will be a very limited offer, as we don’t want to overpromise, and so the first 5 people to sign up will become the 2021 flower club. We also hope to be able to offer club members other flowery opportunities as the season progresses.

The cost to be a member of the Incredible Flower Club in 2021 will be £240 per year, and collections will begin at the start of May. If you would like to be a member please email us at and we will send you all you need to sign up.

Supporting kindness

We are living in unprecedented times and as such, and with little leadership from government, we are finding ourselves tasked not just with the safety of ourselves, but also our community gardeners and those with whom we work. Because our number 1 priority is and always will be our incredible community of gardeners, we have decided that for the next few weeks, and by that we hope we mean weeks and not months, that we are cancelling all work parties except those at the Incredible Learning Zone and at the gardens in Millennium Square, where we feel we are more in control of the whole environment and can support social distancing where we can’t in other gardens.

This will mean that in the next weeks these spaces will get more than their fair share of time and we will be able to return to other gardens once we feel it wise and safe to do so.

In the meantime we would like to remind everyone that all produce in the Edible Bristol gardens is there and available to everyone in the city, for free, so please do help yourselves as crops become available. We will update Facebook and Twitter once we know crops are ready to be harvested and we will concentrate on getting Millennium Square filled with produce as quickly as we can so that there is fresh produce available to all asap.

In the meantime we hope everyone will stay safe. If you’re a core team member the WhatsApp group will be buzzing and we’ll keep you up to date daily.


We are reaching the point in the season that lots of crops are beginning to be ready to harvest. From Castle Park to the Severn Beach line, strawberries are ripening and beans are growing so we thought it might be useful to talk about why we do the growing that we do and who it’s for.

The aim of Incredible Edible groups across the UK is to support community connectedness and we do that through food growing in public spaces, and creating beauty where once there was nothing. This, of course, also challenges what our public areas look like, and empowers communities to make the changes they want to see, whilst creating harvests for those communities to share.

But what of those harvests? Who are they for? The answer to that is that they are there for everyone and everyone is welcome to help themselves to what they need, leaving plenty for everyone else by just taking what they will use.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where things are ready to be harvested, and some thoughts about how to cook with them and recipe ideas. All we need from you is that you join in the conversation and share with us what you cook, using the #BristolsUrbanHarvest, if you’re on social media!

And if you’re not that doesn’t matter-pick some beans, some herbs or some greens and enjoy being a part of this fabulous Edible Bristol Community!

On Being Given A Garden

Plants are always one of our biggest challenges and we are very fortunate to have some local nurseries and garden centres who regularly donate to us, either stock they can no longer use or plants that we have cheekily asked for. However, gardens such as the Bearpit and the Quakers Burial Ground, our Edible Park, are large and often what appears to be a large number of plants actually really don’t go very far.

The other challenge with the Quakers Burial Ground is it’s shade. A magnificent plane stands in it’s midst which throws shade across most of the garden and although that is of course welcome on a hot day, it’s a challenge to find plants that will be happy to live under and around it.

So imagine our absolute joy when we were offered an entire show garden of plants from RHS Tatton, by garden designer and friend of Incredible Edible Bristol, Giulio Passarelli. I met Giulio in Sheffield on my trip to meet Ron Finley in 2014 and we have remained in touch and when he found out that he had been given the opportunity of making a show garden this year, Giulio was determined that we have the plants.



Now some people have assumed that what this means is that we will be recreating the garden, but that could not be further from the truth. there will be no putting down of an unwanted, and unconsulted about garden in a space where it is assumed local volunteers will look after it. That has been done far too many times and sadly often ends up with a sad looking garden in an even sadder looking space. What we will be receiving is the plants to do with as we will. To spread out amongst our gardens and to make change in the spaces that we are already working in.


The plants are not edible so will not be appropriate for many of our gardens but for spaces such as the Quakers Burial Ground and The Bearpit Garden, where beauty jostles with productivity , they will add an extra dimension to what we already do. And they will continue to help us not just to create beautiful and productive gardens in lost and unloved spaces, but they will support us to continue to challenge and question the ways in which public space is used in our cities.




What to do now #4

leavesGardeners Gold!! That sounds exciting does it not?

Well it is but not in the kind of way you might think. I’m certainly not going to advise anyone to dig or pan for gold on their plots but there is something that gardeners call Gardeners Gold that you can make now and your plot will love you for it, whether tiny or large.

Leaf mould is the most incredible soil conditioner and additive to home made compost that you can make. And it’s really easy to do. All you need is a cage made of chicken wire if your space is large enough to have that, or some black bags, and all the leaves that have fallen onto your garden or even into your street. Collect them up, put them into your bin or into the balck bags, give them a little bit of water and puncture the bags if you’re using that method. Then just leave them. If your using the bag method you can pile them up in a corner and they’ll just get on with it.

It does take around 18 months to rot down, mainly dependent on the type of leaves you have, so it’s worth doing every autumn so that you have a constant stream of amazing conditioner to add to your soil

And who said there was nothing to do in the garden at this time of year!!

There is still plenty of time to sow broad beans straight into the ground as long as it isn’t too wet and you can carry on sowing sweet peas.

Also, start ordering seed catalogues so that when it really is too wet and frozen to go out you can start to look at what is new that you might grow next year!!

A reminder of summer!!

A reminder of summer!!

What to do now #3

Now is a vital time of year to start looking at sowing a few things in order to have earlier crops next year than would be possible from a spring sowing, alongside things that traditionally are planted over winter.

Now is the perfect time to start to sow Broad Beans. Traditionally these are a crop that it is seen as being easy to sow in early autumn and guarantees a crop that is ready by late May or early June, rather than a month at least later from a spring sown crop. Broad beans are also great to sow as they are legumes and so act as a green manure as well as providing those wonderful beans that are so delicious picked young and added to risottos, pasta dishes and used for houmus and even just as steamed beans! They are easy to sow, with the only thing needed being a weed free patch of soil and a packet of bean seeds that are one of the varieties that are hardy enough to overwinter, such as Aquadulche, which is easily available at Garden Centres. Then the seeds just need to be sown approximately 6 inches apart, with rows around a foot apart, and they should start popping their shoots through within 3-4 weeks. By sowing in October they will have enough time to establish themselves as good plants before the really cold patches of winter are upon us.

The other things to be aware of planting now are onions, shallots and garlic. Traditionally these are sown on the shortest day of the year and harvested on the longest day, but in reality the sooner you get them in, the sooner they become established and the sooner you get a crop! It’s also worth  remembering that often on the shortest day the ground is sodden or frozen so it’s a good insurance policy to get them in earlier. Although onions are cheap enough to buy in the shops, there are far more varieties of shallot available as sets in the garden centre than there usually are in the supermarket, and the same can be said of garlic, so it’s worth taking up the room for them. Shallots and onions are both grown from sets, which are tiny bulbs of the final plant and garlic is grown from individual cloves from a garlic bulb. Pop them into weed free soil in an area that won’t flood, approximately 6 inches apart for onions and 8 inches for shallots and garlic, and leave them to get on with it.

It’s also time to sow sweet peas now but you don’t ewant to know about ornamentals!! But next time we’ll talk what can be sown in the next few weeks under protection.

Scarlet Flowered Broad Beans, a heritage variety

Scarlet Flowered Broad Beans, a heritage variety

What to do now #2

Here at Incredible Edible Bristol HQ we are working towards a year where we put pollinators at the forefront of our hearts and minds and, bizarrely this means that the majority of this post is going to be about flowers. And I’m not even going to apologise for that.

In order to upscale urban food production in our towns and cities it is going to be vital that we ensure our pollinator populations are high enough to be able to take on the role we need them to do. This isn’t just about bees but is about moths and wasps and all those tiny hoverflies and the other insects that are vital to ensure our food is pollinated and sets fruit, be that our apple blossom in spring or our courgettes in summer. Without pollination we have a big problem. We need these creatures to go from flower to flower to collect nectar to feed on so that they can also pollinate our crops or we will be in trouble.

So what can you do I hear you ask? Well now is the ideal point to sow hardy annuals from seed in order to overwinter the small plants and get them flowering earlier than they would from a March sowing. A March sowing can then take place to ensure lots of pollen rich crops are available over a long period in the late spring, summer and early autumn.

The timescale to do this now is fairly short, in that these need to be sown in the next week or 2, but it will be well worth it to ensure a steady stream of pollinators to your garden. The list of what to sow is huge, and includes Snapdragons, English Pot Marigolds, Ammi, Wild Carrots, and many, many more, but once you’ve decided what to plant it’s really easy to sow them and then you just need to keep them under cover once it starts to get really cold, until the end of February/beginning of March when you can start to harden them off by putting them outside during the day to acclimatise them for a while and then planting them out once the really hard frosts are over.

To sow them, I usually use modules as space wise these are the most efficient, in multi purpose, peat free compost that I have seived a bit to take any lumps out of. Make a dent in the soil with your thumb, sow 3-5 seeds in each module so you get a nicely bushy plant, cover the seeds with some more sieved compost and put in a safe place where they’ll get lots of light and a bit of fresh air. If you water the compost before you sow the seeds, they will only need the lightest sprinking post sowing, and this should keep them damp enough so that they don’t need much water until they start to germinate, when they will need to be kept moist. Once the weather starts to cool, water with caution, although don’t allow to dry out and should they freeze remember that they will need watering as soon as they have defrosted as frozen soil is the equivalent of drought.

So where do I get these seeds I hear you cry!! Well here is a great start as a local to the south west and sustainable business.


Sunny marigolds

And next time I promise we will talk veg.

Native mallows

Native mallows