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Colourful hands meeting together

Monthly Meet-up

Our next monthly meet-up is on the 7th April 2018. All are welcome - Grab your wellies:) Where to find us »

Winter Blog

Woodland Trust logo

By Graham Newcombe

20th March

The latest donation of trees from the Woodland trust arrived at the garden this week, in three large boxes labelled “LIVE PLANTS – OPEN AND PLANT IMMEDIATELY”. So the weekend saw a bunch of us in the polytunnel potting up and labelling 400 saplings while the ‘mini-beast from the east’ raged outside. It was freezing, but thick winter woollies, copious amounts of hot drinks and the community spirit kept us going.

Only a few of the saplings will be planted in the community garden (mainly those we couldn't identify, our ‘mystery trees’). Around half are going to the Hilsea Lido area. The rest are for planting around the city. So, if you can find homes for Birch, Holly, Crab Apple, Hazel, Rowan, Dogwood, Blackthorn and Dog Rose, all of which will delight the birds and bees, then come and get them. We also have support canes and protective tubes to help give them a good start and planting now is the best time to get them established. Pop into our April 7th gardening club, or over Easter, or text us at 07484197065

Image of some carrots and leeks

By Goff Gleadle, our Head Gardener

13th March

As Irene says, ‘when March comes in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb’, so get out your boots and garden tools, the season is here! The books say March is the big sowing month in the veg garden and here we try to be ready for it. This year the weather decided otherwise. Remember our season starts early but extends later. If you are a little late to begin, you will still get very good crops.

Plant onions, garlic, and broad beans as soon as you can. A good idea is to cover the ground with cloches or plastic a week before sowing to help the soil warm and dry. Follow with carrots, early potatoes, early peas etc. Trust the ground and the weather, not the date! Sow tender crops indoors. Peppers are slow and like heat, so use a heated propagator. Tomatoes don’t require as much heat, so a warm window will do. Last chance to prune roses. Summer bedding better off inside until May, so if you’re growing from seed, keep plants cosy till then.

Good luck!

Image of some tall pine trees covered in snow

By Sue Stokes & Irene Strange

6th March

Anyone out there with spare timber or scaffold boards? Gardeners please spare us your wood-chips if you’re pruning trees soon for our muddy pathways. And collecting odd socks or gloves that are no longer any good for hands and feet, to dress our scarecrows and canes in the garden. Our next get together there is Saturday March 10th from 12 noon. Everybody is welcome.

Meanwhile, here’s a little poem from Irene Strange.

‘As the cold snow, hit all temperatures of “well below”, BUSY BEE'S could still be seen Fluting around SOUTHSEA GREEN.

Yes, out came the gallant members to tend their Plots and check ‘all was well’ beneath the frozen soil.

The water tubs had frozen too needing immediate attention. Willing hands came together to mulch and cover the tips of forth coming shoots of early new potatoes peeping through the remnants of icy snow to protect Jack Frost from spoiling their special Early Spring new potatoes, their ' edible Pebbles of Joy’.

Hasten then, the Sun and the Spring, as onwards our “BUSY BEES” continue to Buzz, work and sing.’

Flower budding in the snow

By Pat Brian

27th February

I wonder how many of you count your plants like gardeners in stately homes do, on 1st January? In my own little garden, I found white camellia, blue pulmonaria, primroses, hellebores, blue and white bearded iris, and a lovely red dianthus which had been flowering since last summer. I counted antirrhinum, violet hebe, a single marigold, and purple and white cyclamen.

Again, in February, I went outside to count, and found another pale pink camellia and a single narcissus, which I was tempted to bring inside for their beautiful scent but decided not to and left them outside with a little yellow primula, who has been fighting the strong winds. I’m hoping the little buds on the shrubs and roses won’t get burnt by wind and ice over the next few weeks.

I’m touring the garden everyday now (weather permitting), to see what little green stems are poking up their heads, and planning what to plant in the spaces in Springtime. I hope you all enjoy your gardening, even if it’s just in pots on a balcony, or in a window box.

A pair of blue flowers

By Sue Stokes

20th February

Last weekend we met to make garden plans. A long overdue meeting for all our plot-holders and volunteers, to launch the new season. Some met for the first time across a table instead of heaps of compost, muddy paths and the whispers of conversations or old Facebook posts. With Spring just around the corner, plans for the garden are essential (mostly closed at the moment for safety). Here’s a Shout-out to professional gardeners out there “We need lots of woodchips”.

Call Sue on 07484 197065, so our visitors can walk instead of sliding up the path.

We need help at our get togethers to shore up old wood beds that need repair and to get some seeds or seedlings sown, so that we can grow seasonal veg and flowers. Then the garden will be bursting with life, and the bees can get buzzing, helping the flowers grow. Next gardening club (everyone welcome - wear your wellies) at the Community garden, Canoe Lake on 1st Saturday of each month - next is 3rd March from 11am.

A collage of 4 pictures of the garden

February Fun

Some fun with Eastney Community Centre and us at Friendship House, Southsea. February 15th at 12:00-14:00pm More Details »

Logo of food Portsmouth

By Gail Baird

13th February 2018

After seemingly months of wet and windy weather, there are signs of healthy green shoots in the Treadgolds Community Garden in Portsea. Not quite sure what is coming up but it all bodes well for the new gardening courses starting this spring.

The courses will concentrate on sowing, planting and growing fruit, vegetables and herbs for city gardens – be that in window boxes, patios or raised beds. There will also be opportunities to experiment with growing more unusual produce, such as mushrooms and techniques as with developing vertical ‘green walls’.

If you are part of an existing group that wants to learn and explore city gardening or wish to join a small group of other like-minded folk and meet new ones, then Treadgolds Community garden could be for you. No experience is necessary.

To find out more email or call Gail on 02392 892 022.

This is a Food Portsmouth project:

A Robin sitting on a branch in the spring

By Vik Burnand

6th February 2018

Every month the Southsea Greeners have a meet-up to discuss plans, tips and have a general natter. Whilst Winter brings a sense of quiet, Spring/Summer is when the garden really comes alive.

I recall a particularly lovely Saturday, last summer. I’d rushed to the meet-up after an hour of bopping about; looking forward to catching up with all things garden, getting muddy and soaking up the sunshine.

After a couple of hours, I was prancing about, singing at birds (we have a resident robin who keeps us company), really noticing things, complimenting a stranger on how beautiful her hair turns out that this joy stuff is a bit infectious.

Looking forward to this year, there are more great moments to come, including the upcoming workshops: a chance to try enjoyable activities & learn new skills for free, in great community settings! SG has a history of sharing and supporting people, and this project continues that.

So, get out there, try something different, fun, interesting. It’s good for the soul!

Robin perched on a branch

By Helen Fellows

30th January 2018

The first early signs of spring are showing at the garden with daffodils coming into bud but it’s still early days and there’s still the risk of overnight frosts for a while yet.

This week we’ve had every type of weather, from fierce winds and lashing rain, to lovely warm sunny days, bringing out the birds to join us in our garden, especially our regular visitor our friendly robin.

On my plot there are signs of activity, the overwintering broad beans are showing good signs of growth, and some signs of pest damage, it seems the slugs and snails are also starting to wake up after their winter sleep, on my next visit I’ll be armed with a supply of egg shells to try to keep them at bay.

This is a good time to plan our planting for the next part of the year, and we have an exciting new venture to build a new herb garden in the plot. There are lots of good things to look forward to over the coming months.

A collage of 4 pictures of the garden

By Peta Sampson

23rd January 2018

February sees the beginning of a collaborative project between Southsea Green and Eastney Community Centre. We will be offering gardening and craft sessions across the two venues to bring together communities in Eastney and Southsea. The Free taster sessions are open to anyone from the local area to improve skills and establish a regular friendship/gardening and crafts group at both locations.

The Greenfingers project is funded by Tesco Bags of Help. For the last few weeks, we have held drop-in sessions at the Southsea Green garden, to meet local craftspeople. The talent in our area was out in force with a carnival of crafters arriving with fantastic examples of their work. Our program of workshops will include tasters in batik, tie dye, gilding and working with paint and with clay, mindfulness and music. Gardening sessions include vegetable production culminating in a shared meal using our locally grown produce. Get involved by liking our page

Greenfingers Gardening Crafts Facebook Page »

Person in the forest hugging a tree

By Irene Strange

16th January 2018

SPEAKING OF TREES: I Love Trees and Tree hugging can be reassuring and spiritually uplifting. Tree awareness may not be top priority on environmentalist’s lists but trees matter to all of us, especially in our urban landscape to help with drainage of the land and for health reasons, as they absorb atmospheric pollutants thus purifying the air we breathe as well as providing a habitat for birds and wildlife, for recreation and tourism too and an excellent educational resource for learning, for us to take quiet walks under the trees or a little physical exercise whilst retaining a tranquil ambience, lessening stress and depression.

At the bottom of our Secret Garden at Canoe Lake stands a beautiful fig tree in need of a Hug especially at this time of the year, so follow the path and come and talk to all trees where ever you may be, Give a tree a thought, a word, a hug and I guarantee, you will relax and give yourself a smile.

Irene Strange is a Designated Tree Warden

Winter trees ni the heart of Portsmouth

By Sue Stokes

9th January 2018

Hope you’re keeping cosy on these chilly days and sure you must, like me, be very glad of the warm beds and roofs over our heads. Hoping it’s true that our churches are opening their buildings over the worst winter months, and our city leaders are making provision like the wonderful ‘Homeless bus’ to take more people off the streets where they will surely freeze otherwise. Wildlife needs refuge too, so please help us watch over ancient trees, defend our green-space, and improve air quality #keeppompeygreen

Likewise plants out in the garden are either hardy or not, and if you find the odd plant that was missed when tucking them up in the Greenhouse for winter, here’s a reminder of Goff’s winter remedy. ‘Wrap them in fleece. Geraniums and fuchsias will overwinter in a cold greenhouse. Dahlia tubers should be lifted and put in a frost-free place’. He says it’s too wet to do anything outside yet, but stick to seed swapping and reading seed catalogues until weather is warmer and light improves. Only 11 weeks till Spring...

Picture of a dead tree in the early morning of day

By Sue Stokes

2nd January 2018

Shhhh has the rain stopped, has the flood gone.. anything left in the garden that’s not been washed away or frozen? My ice plants are soggy and squished, and my tiny viola’s stretching out of their little tin pots towards the sun - you remember, bright thing, sometimes appears from behind clouds...Aha new year, whether wet or superdry, it’s fabulous to still be in it, despite the ‘mad world’, there’s still more peacemakers than hooligans, thankgoodness, and we see lots of them down the garden path at the community garden!

Have you got a tale to tell about Christmas miracles or mishaps, or perhaps you have a funny thing that happened on your way up the garden path like my own dear Mum (almost 80), who more often than not ends up upside down in the shrubbery, when she is weeding, because she ‘has just popped outside to have a quick look at the garden’ without her stick! - send us your haha stories, do our little monkey survey, or come join us all in here at Southsea Green


Image of Irene Strange the poet for Southsea green

By Irene Strange

26th December 2017

The Holly and the Ivy and the white Mistletoe,

grow in our gardens marking the coming of the Snow.

The snow tells us that Christmas is nearly nigh,

and to look for that brightest of Stars in the Sky.

It shines down upon us giving reason for new birth

for all things bright and beautiful on this Earth.

We dig the soil and scatter the good seed on the land

rejoice for each tomorrow as we stand hand in hand,

for our Lord Almighty, whom ever he may be

Tends us in his garden, the likes of you and me.

Or, for all eternity

A cartoon image of Goff Gleadle

By Goff Gleadle, Head Gardner

25th December 2017

A hard frost, hard winter too? Time to prepare! In the vegetable patch roughly dig empty ground. Frost breaks down the clods, and kills pests and diseases. Overwinter sweet peppers and chillies in a cold greenhouse. Cut back and keep dry, and they should regrow in spring.

Winter crops like sprouts, onions and broad beans shouldn’t need protection. More exotic garden plants like, palms, bananas, canna lilies bring into a cold greenhouse or cool conservatory.

Failing that, wrap them in fleece. Geraniums and fuchsias will overwinter in a cold greenhouse. Dahlia tubers should be lifted and put in a frost-free place, but here, they are usually fine left in the ground.

You can start pruning. Don’t overdo it, remove dead and overlapping branches and aim for an open structure. Best leave roses until February and leave the flowers on hydrangeas as they protect the buds. DON’T prune rhododendrons and camellias, you will lose the flowers. Then put your feet up and think of spring!

Happy New Year from Southsea Green Community Garden

Mascot for Southsea Green, a little elf

Southsea Green Merry Christmas Newsletter

Southsea Green wish you all a Happy Christmas and all our best wishes for a brilliant new year.

Mad Mimi Link »

Lost in Time and soldier oxo advert style

Lost in Time - The Stories

From Now - 22nd December 2017 at The Arts & Heritage Centre, Havant. The stories that have been uncovered, throughout the exhibition. More Details »

Snow falling on leaves

By Pat Brain, Patron of Southsea Green

18th December 2017

The recent cold weather, followed by strong winds and rain have not made walking round the garden much fun. However, in quiet moments, it’s lovely to spare the time to walk around and enjoy what winter offers. I can see my Camelia is now in full flower, showing little white buds against dark green foliage - very early, they don’t usually appear until mid-January.

Spikes of early bulbs popping up all over the garden to remind me I planted them, and forgot until leaves were cleared away in the Spring. The birds must wait until 7am to be fed now - I’m feeding them twice a day and little Robin is always first and last to be fed. Christmas almost with us, I hope you receive bowls of Narcissus and Hyacinths to perfume your house, along with the smell of Christmas trees. Snow would be lovely for the children and to see on the branches of trees and shrubs. Something quite magical about the garden at night when snow has fallen. Merry Christmas

Image of poster

Free Art Friday ~ 12 Days of Giving

Between the 1st - 12th of December Free Art Friday Portsmouth and Southsea will be hiding pieces of donated art & uniquely designed items around Portsmouth for members of the public to find. You’ll find clues to the location of these items posted on our Facebook page: Free-Art-Friday-Portsmouth-and-Southsea

More Details »

Dead trees on a cold blue and grey Winter's sky

By Irene Strange

11th December 2017

Upon this bright and chilly morn leaves on the trees are bleak,

Clouds overhead of blue and grey as the Wind lies still to greet the day.

High above the Sea Gulls fly,

stretching their wings to meet the sky,

whilst on the ground down below,

the flowers have an Autumn glow.

Fruit and vegetables golden and green,

luscious berries to taste and glean.

Plots of land tended with care,

as willing hands work and wear,

and earthworms glide beneath,

as snails make trails and as the ground is moved and sift’,

we thank the Lord for our earthly gift.

NOTE from Southsea Green:

If you are good with people, patient with beginners? We need you for our FREE taster skillshops, a friendly introduction to crafts and gardening, to be held at Eastney Community Centre and Southsea Green Community Garden in 2018. We need tutors for gardening, knitting, bicycle maintenance, cooking, etc so send us your ideas and contact to email

Dead trees on a cold colourful Winter's sky

By Sue Stokes

4th December 2017

Last get together this weekend started the day at Eastney Community centre where they were kicking off Christmas with tombola, music, walnuts and book sales and our new little Greenfingers project taster (thanks to Lisa and Peta) where some beautiful fabric garlands were made -was lovely to see old friends and new looking so jolly. So off I went on No 17 bus to Cumberland House to join our merry band of gardeners who had rolled up for our get together.

Straw bale carrying, leaf raking, mince pie eating, and secret Santa’s in a not too chilly Southsea - Plenty of sightings of Santa’s about Sunday (and we captured a few in the garden), and Santa ‘Hilary’ with a beautiful new garden fork for us, what pleasure, what delight in just giving, whether it’s with your time, or with mad ideas to raise money, or to make people HAPPY. Plenty of happy times for our memory box from this week. Don’t forget 12 days of Giving -

Mascot of Southsea Green

Greenfingers Taster Christmas Fair

Sunday 3rdDecember between 11am - 3pm at Eastney Community Centre More Details »