Our most recent space, Make Hamilton is home to our community garden, Birkenhead’s urban oasis. Formerly Wirral Council’s Millennium Garden, the garden had become neglected and overgrown over many years. We made it our mission to revamp the garden. Check out the video below to see how the garden looked before we stared.
When we moved into the space in 2019, the first stages of the garden’s creation involved clearing and removing the significant overgrowth to create space. Followed by adding beehives, compost bays, some temporary planters, and seating to brighten up the space and make it usable.
Since then, a lot has changed in the garden! Throughout the lockdown, we’ve been busy building beds and a greenhouse along with running regular community volunteer days. Our dedicated volunteer team has been working hard, filling the raised beds, building planters, weeding, sowing seeds, and planting bulbs. Together with the Make team, they have transformed the garden into a beautiful, community space, ready for the garden to host more volunteer sessions, classes, and events.
Following our successful crowdfunding campaign in 2019, we’ve been able to purchase fruit trees, plants, and several tonnes of soil to fill the raised beds. Along with our beehives, sheds and greenhouse. Our residents and volunteers have been making signs, painting murals and beautifying the space. This is thanks to the generous donations made by the local community and support from Magenta Housing to get the project off the ground.
The garden will form an essential part of the on-site community café which will be opening in July. With plans to sell herbal teas made from medicinal plants grown and dried on-site.
We’re currently growing herbs and flowers for our teas including mint, lemon balm, rosemary, St John’s wort, and calendula. We are also starting to sow seeds of chamomile, nasturtium, and many more medicinal plants. As well as growing annuals including daffodils, geraniums, winter salads and broad beans. There’s more on the way as we fully enter the growing season!
The garden is becoming a hub for the local community interested in food growing, composting, beekeeping, foraging and outdoor skills.
What’s happening in the garden?
We’ve got loads of exciting plans for the summer months, including introductory classes in May where you can learn how to grow houseplants and edible greens. Both classes are suitable for complete beginners or people who have started their growing journey but need help keeping plants alive and thriving!
If you are interested in our on-site beehives, we’ve got an Introduction to Beekeeping course with John, our resident beekeeper in June, with more dates to “bee” announced..! If you want to sample some of the delicious Hamilton Honey, pop into Make Hamilton to purchase on-site, or order on our Etsy page.
There will be several free community workshops taking place this summer, including Compost Works CIC’s fantastic “Introduction to Composting” workshops in June and September. Register now for your free ticket and learn how to make perfect compost at home with local expert Minna.
We’re also partnering with Farm Urban to build an edible wall in the new café space, growing herbs using a hydroponic wall system. Over the summer, we’re hosting several community events. We will be introducing the method and inviting people to join a free 6-week edible wall and enterprise skills-building course. We’re kicking off the project by giving out boxes of hydroponically grown greens to local residents! There’s more info below on how you can get involved…
Every Friday we host a volunteer session from 12-2pm, led by our Education Manager Rosie, an experienced food grower. The sessions are open to all and involve a variety of seasonal tasks including sowing seeds, planting, and weeding. Come and join us for a few hours outside in the sunshine (hopefully!). Learn or share skills and meet new people. Contact Rosie on firstname.lastname@example.org for more info!