Summer Blog

Reduce, reuse and recycle

Tuesday 27th August

Here at Southsea Green we of the mindset; reduce, reuse, recycle, through and through. Jim, one of our extremely valued friends from The Repair Cafe Portsmouth, popped over to take a look at our solar panels for us this week. Like us, at the Cafe they don’t like to see things wasted and cast aside that could be fixed or repurposed.

Fixing things requires patience. Something that often feels forgotten in our fast-paced modern lives. I’ve always thought the garden teaches us patience like nothing else. The pace of seasons, planting a seed and watching it grow, a flower waiting to be pollinated before turning to fruit. These things can’t be rushed. Nature has its own timetable, and in our peaceful garden we encourage everything to take the time it needs to grow, flourish and repair. This includes people and solar panels too! Sign up online and get involved.

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green

Last weekends Get-together

Garden get together
Tuesday 20th August

Seaside fun and smiley faces last weekend when we opened the gates to old friends and new. Remembering Jo Cox MP as we marked another passing year without her. The proof of the pudding was in the togetherness in the community garden on a busy Saturday afternoon. Cakes and squash and wonderful planting of house leeks with our own Lady Irene, who always dresses for the occasion.

Time seems to stand still when we are in that oasis of calm surrounded by lovely people. The green of the trees and the constant presence of our immortal goldfish and sunshine made the day more golden. ‘Stronger Together’ said Jo and she was and always will be right. As none of this, not the garden, the beautiful parkland or this seaside city would last without this strength of spirit, and this passion for growing community. After the picnic, some joined the ‘clean air’ protest walk across the city. Come and help look after our beautiful greenspace.

By Sue Stokes of Southsea Green.

The sun through the trees
Tuesday 13th August

We all have moments when we doubt our own greatness.

The Package Free Larder, a social enterprise started by local volunteers, has been crowdfunding for a Zero waste supermarket here in Southsea.

When Delphine and Esther of the project arrived at a Southsea Green meeting early in July to tell us, we were instantly won over by them and their enthusiasm. Tired of waiting for those with more obvious power to take bolder action they decided to try themselves. We were all on board...but we were all worried it wouldn’t make it. £40,000 needed to be raised in a month, a big ask.

There was no need to worry. Time has moved on, they surpassed the target and the project is all set to go ahead!! It got me thinking about the leaps of faith we all take, the chances, the hopes and dreams. Let’s all be brave enough to embrace our own greatness.

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green.

Great Get Together Picnic

Come on in and take a look around, chat to one of our friendly volunteers, soak uo the garden-goodness
Sunday 11th August

Next weekend the garden gates will be open wide for our Great Get Together Picnic. On Sat 17th August from 12-3pm our beautiful little green space here within Canoe Lake Park will hold an event that inspires us to celebrate all we have in common as championed by the late MP Jo Cox.

Jo encouraged us all to do more to combat loneliness. The day is a chance to bring someone you love or who might be lonely along with some food or drink to share. There will be crafts, a raffle and plenty of smiles! Loneliness doesn’t discriminate between young and old, rich or poor. Together we can build stronger and kinder communities.

Southsea Green continues to offer a space for people to connect, create and find peace within this beautifully busy city of Portsmouth we call home. We’d love to see you, there’s a space for everyone.

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green.

Come and be involved

Collage of plant and vegetable images
Tuesday 30rd July

A walk through the Southsea Green community garden will spark the senses at any time of year but right now it’s in full swing! Inspired by a sensory garden project started by Tom, one of our volunteers, we find ourselves thinking about how this lovely green space captures the hearts of those who visit.

The squeak of the gate, the movement of bark underfoot, a few moments more and you’re in. The woody scent as you brush past the rosemary and stroll under arches often laden with blooms. The song of the birds, the call of the sea, a spitfire graciously soars over. Delicious vegetables being harvested and shared, fresh peas from the pod are such a treat!

As the light dances through the leaves of the old fig tree and you hear the comforting chatter of people throughout the garden you realise how soothing a green space like ours can be.

Follow your senses today, the garden is open and excited to welcome visitors. Come and be involved!

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green.

Carrot hugging another
Tuesday 23rd July

The Southsea Green community isn’t new to me, but I am new to her.

Having come through a few years of debilitating anxiety, which left me unable to leave the house, I couldn’t be more thrilled to be where I am now after so much determination and hard work. Being involved in ways I wasn’t able to be before, I genuinely couldn’t have been more welcomed into this vivid, soulful community of fabulous people.

Arriving at the garden as she goes through a period of change, a new constitution, lease and plenty of new faces, in many ways mirroring my journey and the ways we are all reflecting on the tremendous energy it has taken to get to this point, it is so exciting to imagine where we could arrive going forward.

The garden was literally buzzing last weekend as we held our Crafternoon in aid of Mind, exactly how we like it!! If you’ve ideas to share, time or plants to donate, or just fancy a chat pop your head over the fence!

We are definitely better together.

By Vanessa Goldbert of Southsea Green.

The Marigold Loft ~ Crafternoon

Crafternoon poster
Friday 18 th July

On Saturday 20th July 2019, the Southsea Green garden gate will be open, and we'll be welcoming visitors to: Join in with crafts (we'll put on some bits for all ages*). Bring your own crafty project along. Sit, chat, chill. Treat yourself to a little tasty something

Southsea Wildlife Watch and Southsea Green

Friday 18 th July

Thanks to Nigel and Tom from Southsea Green Community Garden, who kindly hosted our Southsea Wildlife Watch group: “Looking for pond creatures”. 19 children and parents enjoyed had a go at pond dipping, finding out about the creatures that live in this important habitat. We found water mites and fleas, water measurers, and the cherry on the cake: a common frog tadpole! This session also helped the families to understand the importance of having a pond in their garden (even a small one!) to help wildlife thrive, especially in this busy and dense city of Portsmouth.

We invite you to our ‘Crafternoon’ family fundraiser. 20th July, 11am-2pm at Southsea Green garden with Marigold Loft. Join in with crafts; bring your own crafty project, Sit, chat, chill, or treat yourself to a little tasty something. 'Pay as you feel/pay what you can'. All proceeds go to ‘Mind’.

*mini crafters are welcome with their carers :)

See more benefits of being creative and gardening on online at: and

Southsea Wildlife Watch:

By Southsea Wildlife Watch and Southsea Green

The Packgae Free Larder

South Downs National Park image in sunshine and hills

Our Grandparents were living 'Zero-Waste' lifestyles years ago, yet our single-use culture is choking the planet and making us more wasteful than they could have ever imagined. But if we support these shops, and try to live less wasteful lives, we can turn the tide on plastic pollution and support the generations after us to build a better future for our planet.

‘The Package Free Larder’ is a community project led by a few volunteers who want to make plastic-free shopping easy and accessible and to create an inclusive community hub. A not-for-profit social enterprise run by the community for the community. Together with Zero Waste Portsmouth, they will host regular workshops and talks to help people reduce their waste and learn new skills.

To achieve this, they need your help with their Crowdfunding campaign. They’ve raised almost half of £40,000 needed to open the shop, with two weeks to go. If you want to help them make Portsmouth a greener city, please support their campaign, every penny counts, no matter how small.

Please share.. Thank you

By Delphine Laveyne, of Zero-Waste Portsmouth.

the front gate of southsea green
Sunday 7 th July

Age ten & ½ I had my own Nirvana in our back garden in Leigh Park. Time stopped when I was making water features out of my Mum’s old baking tins and planting seeds. Fast forward to 2012 and a community garden to share growing space and welcome people became my vocation.

Seven years on, we are selling up and moving on, but part of my heart will remain entwined in that garden. In the fruit trees we struggled to grow, and the spirit of this lovely green space, which beats in my heart with a quiet stillness. A peacefulness that I will never forget.

For my friends at the garden and this lovely city that wants to be green:

Sometimes I imagine a secret garden

A charmed clearing in a city street

Seaside wanderings stumble-upon-us

Seven years of itchy feet

Tinies to Grannies came to help us

Stepping through the garden gate

Sharing stories, smiling eyes

Seeds of possibilities

Looking back, makes me smile :)

No regrets, and I’m hopeful

that no matter what happens next,

will be beautiful, peaceful, sustainable

By Sue Stokes

It's not just gardening!

South Downs National Park image in sunshine and hills
Friday 27 th June

The more long-suffering of the readers of this little column may recall how, in the early days of the community garden, I wrote of moving from a house in Drayton to my flat in Southsea to be nearer the sea and away from the chore of garden maintenance. During the intervening years of course, I have been lucky enough to have had the pleasure of working and relaxing with many friends at the garden and have learned a great deal from them.

But now the wheel has come full circle, as, having retired we are selling up in Southsea and moving (if all runs smoothly!) to a cottage with gardens attached on the edge of the South Downs National Park. Still within easy reach of the sea and Canoe Lake Park, home of the community garden, but leaving a vacancy (although there are always openings of course) for enthusiastic volunteers, experienced or not – novices are always welcome, because it is not just gardening but also crafting, socialising and plain good neighbourliness. See you there soon for a farewell cuppa!

By Graham Newcombe
Colourful hands meeting together

calendar_todayDig for Victory

‘Dig for Victory’ allotment bed at Canoe Lake Park. 23rd June 10am-4pm - Free entry.

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Dig for Victory bed - South East in Bloom

GP stats
Thursday 20 th June

I’m feeling sad thinking, 200,000 of us have not had a chat lately with anyone and am missing the camaraderie of our D Day celebrations just a few weeks ago. Our garden, over the years since 2013, has seen so many lovely, older visitors, who have brought their stories, spare plants and extra veg to share. And we’ve learnt so much from them.

Sometimes, we’ve been lucky to keep them as volunteers, and they have been part of the magic in the community garden. At times we’ve struggled to keep the garden going and growing, but we have had good company from people, old and young, and all the talents and time they bring. This Sunday, 23rd June, we are celebrating with anyone and everyone, and all our old friends, next to the ‘Dig for Victory’ bed, built in Canoe Lake park with the council, for SE in Bloom. Our thanks to all our volunteers. Music from the era and tasters of wartime food will be served up, and we are dressing up as the Land army. Why not come and join us - 10am-4pm

By Sue Stokes
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