SLIDESHOW: Best Water Conservation Garden

A project which has brought a community closer together has won Best Water Conservation Garden category in Garden Of The Year 2013.

Tuesday, 27th August 2013, 2:40 pm
MBTC-19-08-13- Garden of the Year Best Water Conservation Garden Golden Gardens. b13-782 Jim Robinson at the Golden Gardens.

A former disused garages site has been transformed into the wonderful organic vegetable garden for the community, known as Golden Gardens.

A driveway of flowers off Turnpike Way in Goldington, Bedford, leads to a series of 16 raised beds used for growing a wide range of vegetables, under the watchful eye of enthusiastic volunteer Jim Robinson.

This year, black runner beans, purple French beans and even ‘yard-long’ runner beans are growing alongside potatoes, courgettes, salad veg, marrows and a host of other healthy foods.

MBTC-19-08-13- Garden of the Year Best Water Conservation Garden Golden Gardens. b13-782 Jim Robinson at the Golden Gardens.

Keeping all this growing is the water stored in a number of butts catching the rain from sheds and greenhouse roofs, while two ponds are home to frogs and other wildlife.

Pre-school children from a nearby group can enjoy this and also have the opportunity to set seeds and watch the veggies growing.

Jim said: “We decided on raised beds because we have a lot of disabled and elderly people come here, as well as the children. I’m pleased with the award for everyone.”

Recycling is a key feature too, and Jim reuses wood to make bird boxes, a hedgehog hotel, tables and even a wishing well.

Residents have donated tools and Jim’s motto is that nothing is thrown away.

The site has the benefit of a polytunnel and there are plans to create a bigger pond.

The community garden, owned by Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association, sells its produce in a shop on the site and all local residents are welcome.

If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, you can still admire the plots from the many seating areas around the Golden Gardens and enjoy some refreshments at the same time.

View our slideshow of photographs of Golden Gardens taken by June Essex.