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2019 has been a busy time at Global Gardens. From sowing seeds, planting out, watering in and harvesting at the plot. Writing, weaving and dyeing fabric in the greenhouse. To cracking on with some infrastructural improvements - including installation of a compost toilet and commencement of construction of the Global Gardens kitchen/classroom.

Land-based Arts and Crafts

This year we hosted a series of land-based arts and crafts workshops with some super-talented tutors at the garden.

Over one hundred people participated in workshops ranging from creative writing with writer-in-resident Lucy Smith, willow weaving with artist and weaver Imogen Higgins, green wood-working with carpenter Claire Turner, drawing natural forms with artist Lucy Mebarki, photoprinting with photographer Vaida Barzdaite and working with natural dyes and inks with artist Cat Lewis.

Getting creative in the garden

Off-site, five lucky volunteers also had the opportunity to head out west to Coppicewood College, Cardigan to learn about green wood-work and make two shave-horses for the project for future green wood-working.

Making shave horses at Coppicewood College

At One Wall Studios, potter-in-resident Jack Welbourne led a Global Gardens pottery course on throwing. This winter he has also been offering drop-in hand-building sessions to clients at Oasis. There have also been opportunities to develop carpentry skills via the kitchen/classroom build.

Digging foundations and setting trusses for the Global Gardens classroom/kitchen


Alongside arts and crafts, we have hosted a series of gardening workshops including pruning and biodynamics with Kai Lange (Hortus Hearts), salad-growing with Sophie Durnan (Cardiff Salad Garden) and forest gardening with Poppy.

Learning in the garden: pruning, planetary rhythms and forest gardening

There have been plenty of opportunities to learn more about organic approaches to kitchen gardening via our twice-weekly garden sessions too.

This year, we held a total of 72 garden sessions – including 35 Wednesday sessions (led by Kai Lange and Vaida Barzdaite) and 37 Saturday sessions (coordinated by a number of people including Poppy, Suneil, Barbora and Kate). Over 70 people volunteered their time this year to help out in the garden, including over 30 student volunteers. We have also been joined by the indefatigable Good Gym Cardiff and Vale several times throughout the year and volunteers from the New Links Wales Ecotherapy programme. Huge thanks to all of you!

Wednesday session with Kai and Vaida

As well as working hard in the garden, we took time out to visit some other organic gardens for inspiration, thanks to Social Farms and Gardens Wales for support. In May a number of volunteers visited Cae Tan - an awesome community supported agriculture project in the Gower. In July we visited Hortus Heart – tutor Kai’s own land-care project.

Cae Tan and Hortus Heart

This year we were lucky to host Gardeniser intern Kate Briton, who worked with us to our develop volunteer guidelines and, more broadly, support the organisational health of the project. We are also delighted to welcome Barbora Adlerová to the team as harvest coordinator.

Gardeniser intern Kate and harvest coordinator Barbora

Aphelion Festival

In June, we worked with Spit and Sawdust to host Aphelion festival. Programmed for one of the longest days of the year this was a time to meditate and spend time outside. Starting at dawn, artist Johana Hartwig shared an audio piece ‘Day’s Eyes’ and, as the sun set, led us on a walk where we traced the route of the Roath brook. Sound geographer Jonathan Prior shared his special microphone which enabled us to listen to ants communicating. Aurora Collective also joined us in the garden, leading a workshop on felting some beautiful wildlife homes. This artistic collaboration brought ideas and energy to the garden.


Infrastructure: Toilets and Trusses

Spending time at the garden is more enjoyable now that we a compost toilet installed. Huge thanks to Natsol and The People’s Project for supporting the instal!

The Global Gardens toilet finally installed!

We are also almost there with the new Global Gardens kitchen/classroom space too. We have been working with architect Hugo Keene (QOCA) who has designed a beautiful structure. Carpenter-in-resident William Williams and a group of hardcore volunteers – including Cat, Ewa, Pearl, Steve and Billy - have dug out foundations and built 6 trusses. The trusses are tucked up for christmas. Watch this space for the final step to completion in the new year.

From model to reality: digging the foundations, making the trusses and tucking them up for christmas


This year we have held 10 food-based events on a range of topics focused around seasonal, nourishing cooking attended by over 140 people.

In January we made nourishing broths, in February we learned more about Welsh cuisine, in March we focused on wild foods and foraging, in April we had a permaculture pot-luck and held a screening of 'We the uncivilised', in May we made nourishing breakfasts, in June we learned more about fermented foods, in July we had a workshop on creative and frugal cooking in collaboration with Food Cardiff, in August we had a garden picnic and in September we held an autumnal feast in collaboration with Orchard Cardiff. The last supper in December was a festive feast to celebrate the harvest and give thanks to the garden.

Getting creative in the kitchen


Huge thanks to everyone who has helped out at some point with the project – especially to our core volunteers – including Suneil, Steph, Mali and lead student volunteer Izzy (now supported by Lee).

Also a big thanks to all of our super-talented tutors as well as to our very first Global Gardens writer-in-resident Lucy Smith and artist-in-resident Lucy Mebarki. You can read some of Lucy Smith's work here and find out about all of our workshops on our blog.

A big shout also to Trinity Centre, Oasis, Wild Thing and Bodlon for continued support, Made in Roath for letting us chop wood and use the workshop space at Braeval. Will our carpenter-in-resident and Hugo Keene (QOCA), architect and general dude.

Finally, gratitude to the People's Project and Co-op Local Community Fund for making all of this work possible!

2020 Programme

In Autumn 2019, we found out that we were successful in our application for funding from the National Lottery Community Fund in Wales. This funding will enable us to continue the weekly programme of garden sessions and continue with the offering of monthly land-based arts and crafts workshops. Saturday sessions will start back in the second week of February,

As we move into 2020, we have decided to move from monthly suppers to quarterly seasonal feasts. These feasts will be complemented by more food-based cooking activities in the new Global Gardens kitchen/classroom at the plot. The kitchen/classroom is designed to become a space for learning about seasonal, nourishing cooking among other things and we will begin regular Saturday cooking sessions in the spring.

We are also excited to be working with the Cooperative Foundation Wales to develop a programme of community-based learning which includes a Grow Your Own Course with Kai (Feb - Nov 2020), a Permaculture Design Course in collaboration with SHIFT Bristol (April - June 2020), a seasonal cooking workshop series in the summer and regular wild play sessions with Johana Hartwig. Follow us on social media or sign up to our newsletter for more info or email us at

Have a restorative and restful break and see you in the garden in 2020!

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