Sustainable Gardens News August 5, 2015

Martineau Gardens' buildings - location for the 'Sustainable Gardens' networking event

Martineau Gardens’ buildings – location for the ‘Sustainable Gardens’ networking event

Last month Martineau Gardens was delighted to host the latest ‘Fit for the Future’ Network event. Head gardeners and garden managers from different member organisations got together and shared case studies and solutions for making gardens more sustainable. The event was chaired by Caroline Hutton, Director of Martineau Gardens,  and organised by Fit for the Future. Round the table were people from the National Trust, Powis Castle, the Eden Project and Kew Gardens. Topics discussed included off grid gardens – looking at renewable energy and sustainable water systems, improving energy efficiency in garden buildings and sheds used as offices and developing environmental standards for parks and gardens. All themes that are close to our hearts here at the Gardens.

'Fit for the Future' organisaions touring Martineau Gardens

‘Fit for the Future’ organisations touring Martineau Gardens

You can find out more about the progress we are making with rainwater harvesting here:


Photocredit: National Trust Photographer

Dragonflies August 5, 2015

Southern Hawker Dragonfly    photocredit: B Perry

Southern Hawker Dragonfly photocredit: B Perry


Dragonfly larva emerging  photo credit: B Perry

Dragonfly larva emerging photo credit: B Perry

It’s this time of year that dragonflies emerge from our wildlife pool. Here are some fantastic photographs, taken by our volunteer wildlife recorder, Brian Perry.

One shows a female Southern Hawker dragonfly perched at the edge of the pool – this is the only photo we have of an adult dragonfly at Martineau Gardens. Congratulations to Brian!  The other photograph shows the dragonfly larva – it’s clinging to a stem before the adult dragonfly begins to emerge.  If you look carefully you’ll notice a white line behind its head, which shows that its skin is starting to split ready for the adult to come out.

Garden Party Success August 3, 2015


Record Amounts Raised


A record amount of funds was raised for  Martineau Gardens at our recent Summer Garden Party Fundraiser on Saturday 11 July. The event, co-ordinated by supporters and volunteers of the charity, raised over £7,077 for Martineau Gardens, doubling that which was raised last year. The sounds of Chet Baker,  Miles Davies, Herbie Hancock  and more,  performed by award-winning jazz musicians The Bryan Corbett Quartet  were the perfect backdrop to a beautiful evening. The weather was warm, the roses were in full bloom and guests enjoyed music, cheese and wine and took part in a charity auction.

Thanks to Shakespeare Martineau (courtesy of whom we enjoyed the fabulous food and wine), Jeremy Thornton from Biddle and Webb (our pro bono auctioneer), to Hayley from Majestic Wine who stayed for free to serve wine to our guests, and most importantly,  to the generosity of our supporters who  donated lots for the auction and bid enthusiastically, the event raised a record amount. Our thanks to the Garden Party Committee for all their efforts for this memorable evening.

Sue Roberts, Chair of Trustees for Martineau Gardens and organiser of the Summer Garden Party said:

“Our charity receives no funding from the government – we’re overwhelmed by the support of local residents who have contributed to the success of this event,  in money and in kind.”

She added: “Martineau Gardens provides much needed volunteering opportunities for vulnerable adults and a beautiful green space for all to enjoy.”

what a lovely Garden Party pics

Hamlet 6 & 7 August July 30, 2015

Hamlet PosterIt’s just a week today until Folksy Theatre returns to Martineau Gardens with Hamlet  on Thursday 6 and Friday 7 August – previous productions from Folksy have been fantastic. Taming of the Shrew (2014) and last month they entertained us with the  cooling riverside tale, Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in the Willows, on one of the hottest evenings of the year – so we’re delighted that they’re returning to the Gardens with Hamlet, and we hope you’ll come along armed with your picnic rugs, folding chairs and picncic, for an evening with the Prince of Denmark!

You can find out more about the event and how to book tickets, by visiting this page:


Green Flag Award for Martineau Gardens July 23, 2015

Summer at Martineau Gardens    j Fletcher

Summer at Martineau Gardens        J Fletcher

Nartineau Gardens - an oasis for wildlife    J Fltecher

Martineau Gardens – an oasis for wildlife       J Fletcher

Celebrations! Volunteers and Staff on Green Flag Day, 2015 at Martineau Gardens

Celebrations! Volunteers and Staff on Green Flag Day, 2015 at Martineau Gardens

Martineau Gardens, Edgbaston named as one of the best in Britain

Our Therapeutic Community Garden  is one of the very best in the UK – and that’s official!  We’re amongst 115 parks and green spaces within the West Midlands to be receiving the prestigious Green Flag Award today (Thursday 23 July).  To celebrate the good news, please join us and drop in for a cuppa on Thursday 23 July at 12.30noon* to watch the official flag unfurled beside the Pirate Shipwreck Play Area.

The award, handed out by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, recognises and rewards the best parks and green spaces across the country. A Green Flag flying overhead is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible standards.

Our Community Garden though only two miles from Birmingham city centre, is an oasis for wildlife. The Gardens are looked after by volunteers, many of whom have mental health issues and learning disabilities. Hundreds of school children visit the Gardens to learn about science and environmental issues. Martineau Gardens is also visited by the general public; every year Birmingham people visit the gardens to explore its woodland, glass houses, formal garden, orchard, demonstration food growing areas, wildflower meadow, pond, wildlife area with SLINC status and  ‘Shipwreck’ children’s play area. The Gardens also run an annual events programme and sell plants, produce and jams.

Caroline Hutton, Director, Martineau Gardens said on receiving the award for a sixth  year running:

Martineau Gardens are a community-run garden that’s open for free to the public. This award is a tribute to the dedication of our volunteers who work hard to keep the gardens a beautiful and tranquil spot for Birmingham people to come and relax in.”

International Green Flag Award scheme manager Paul Todd said: “We are delighted to be celebrating another record-breaking year for the Green Flag Award scheme. All the flags flying this year are a testament to the efforts of the thousands of men and women, both staff and volunteers, who work tirelessly to maintain the high standards demanded by the Green Flag Award.”

Martineau Gardens is open for visits and plant sales, Monday to Saturday (except bank holidays), 10am until 4pm, entry is free. 0121 440 7430   27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7UG



Wind in the Willows Wed 1 July June 30, 2015

Martineau willows postermarque pic


The mini heatwave is reaching Birmingham just in time for Wind in the Willows. Folksy theatre’s open air production will be on at Martineau Gardens on Wednesday 1 July. The family-friendly production starts at 6pm, so bring your picnic, folding chairs and picnic rugs and join us for this classic summery story, in the leafy surrounds of our beautiful community garden.

Tickets are available in advance (on-line until Tuesday 30 June ; and to callers in person to Martineau Gardens, [cash or cheque only] Wed 1 July 12noon). Find out more about the production here:

Wind in the Willows tonight at 6pm and tickets ARE available on the gate! Come rain or shine the marquee is ready (this is where you can sit if you would like) and Folksy Theatre will perform for you upon our Pirate Ship deck … stage!





The Herb Patch Course Sat 27 June June 16, 2015



Calendula (pot marigold) growing in the Herb Beds at Martineau Gardens

Calendula (pot marigold) growing in the Herb Beds at Martineau Gardens


Herbal Medicine Week takes place from 20th to 28th June 2015.

And Martineau Gardens is holding a special course: ‘The Herb Patch – growing and using our own medicines’. Taking place on Saturday 27 June 2015, in the grounds of our beautiful community garden, retired Medical Herbalist, Nicola Peterson (National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) is leading this one day course. Using six well-known and easily grown herbs grown in the Gardens, Nicola will teach participants how to prepare safe and effective home-grown herbal treatments for common domestic health problems.

For more details about the course, and how to book on, visit the Course Page, here:

“Many people do not realise that herbs have been used since the beginning of time to treat human ailments. Medical herbalists can use these age old treatments to help patients with their conditions.   Whether their problems are physical or emotional, many people are amazed by how well herbs really work! The week is held in June each year, during the week that includes Midsummers Day, to take advantage of the widest range of medicinal plants that can be found at this time of year ”                                National Institute of Medical Herbalists


Herb Patch portrait A4 poster publisher 2015

Storytelling Festival Sat 20 June June 11, 2015

Storytelling in a wooded glade at Martineau Gardens

Storytelling in a wooded glade at Martineau Gardens

Just over a week to go until the return of our 4th Storytelling Festival on Saturday 20 June (11am – 7pm) with the Traditional Arts Team. As midsummer approaches, spend the day relaxing in our beautiful, therapeutic Community Garden; enjoy a day of storytelling performances, story trails, live music, dance, arts, stalls, and  crafts for children with delicious food from ChangeKitchen and as the evening draws to a close, gather round the fire for campfire tales. For the latest details (and ticket availability), please visit the main Festival Webpage.

Find out more:

Festival WebPage:

There are savings to be made on tickets bought in advance, follow this link: 

Direct ticket link:


Cricket Parking Tues 9 June ODI June 8, 2015

June 8th, 2015

Tue 9 June 2015 Cricket:  – 1st Royal London ODI v New Zealand

Cricket is taking place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, close to Martineau Gardens on Tuesday 9  June2015. You can park your car in the Martineau Gardens car park (subject to availability) for £10, we have space for 24 cars.

Thank you for choosing to park here.

  • Your fee is helping to support a great cause and local charity.
  • Martineau Gardens is a registered charity and community garden. We run education and therapeutic horticulture projects in the Gardens. The Gardens are here for the people of Birmingham to enjoy peace and tranquillity.
  • To find out more about what happens here, visit this page

Your car is parked at your own risk. The gates will be locked or staffed, and staff will be on site throughout the match. If you wish to collect your car, before the end of the match, please phone 0121 440 7430 when you are outside the Gardens and we’ll unlock the gates.

At the end of play, the gates will be open for half an hour. Our staff will need to go home, so if you arrive later than this, you risk your car being locked in until 9.30am tomorrow morning, or an additional £15 charge.

Enjoy the cricket!

 Visitors to the Gardens

If you’re planning to visit Martineau Gardens on Saturday (we’re closed to the public on Sunday), the car park will be full – we’d love you to come and visit but please leave the car at home, (or arrange to be dropped off) and use public transport. Martineau Gardens is well served by buses. The nearest bus routes are  1, 45, 47, 61, 63, X64. To plan your journey by public transport, visit  and use the postcode search – Martineau Gardens postcode is B5 7UG. Alternatively, arrive by bike and bring your bike down to our bike rack, close to the Pavilion.

When you arrive, the gates will be loecked, please phone the office on 0121 440 7430 and we will unlock the gates for you.

May half term at Martineau Gardens May 19, 2015

If you’re looking for somewhere to bring children during the school half-term holiday this May, then remember to add Martineau Gardens to your list!

Open every day (except Sunday and bank holiday Monday 25 May), from 10am until 4pm, the Gardens are free to enter and offer a warm welcome to all. Martineau Gardens is  a place where children can place and get close to nature. If you’ve not visited before, there’s plenty to discover in our organically maintained community garden. Just two and a half acres in size, you can see an orchard, herb beds, vegetable plot, children’s ‘shipwreck’ play area, a formal garden, woodland, ponds, bee hives and a bird hide. We can lend you binoculars and there are wildlife guides on the bookshelves of the visitor room and bird identification charts in the bird hide.

We don’t have a cafe, but our meet and greet volunteers can make you hot and cold drinks (all our drinks are organic) and donations are welcomed. You’re welcome to bring your own picnic and borrow one of our picnic rugs or sit at a picnic bench scattered around the Gardens.

Whilst you’re here, you can see what salads and vegetables are in season; children love to see food growing and if you see something you’d like to buy, then one of volunteers will harvest it for you, or you can pick it yourself – just check with a volunteer first. (

Our next event is the Martineau Gardens’ Storytelling Festival (Saturday 20 June), with the Traditional Arts Team – to find out about our future events, including outdoor theatre, follow this link:

To plan your visit to Martineau Gardens, follow this link: