Autumn Event Celebrates Mollie, Ming and Jo Malone London Sun 27 Sept September 22, 2015


Our Autumn Event will have celebration at the centre of its festivities. Martineau Gardens (Edgbaston, Birmingham UK) will be celebrating community spirit, the autumn harvest and healthy, outdoor eating at our special event on Sunday 27 September (11am – 3pm).  Mollie Martineau (1-9-1926 to 15-8-2015), Patron for Martineau Gardens has died peacefully.  Community garden staff, volunteers and supporters will be remembering her with affection. Ming de Nasty will be launching her latest photography project ‘Sufficient’ and inviting events goers to take part. The outdoor kitchen at Martineau Gardens will be officially opened with a bake-off around the earth-oven thanks to a donation of £7,000 by community minded staff at fragrance house Jo Malone London.

Mollie Martineau’s support for Martineau Gardens will be marked by a speech at 12.30. Martineau Gardens owes its name to the Martineau Family.  Five generations of Martineaus contributed to Birmingham civic life by sitting as councillors and becoming Mayor.

Photographer Ming de Nasty is inviting growers and urban farmers to have their portrait taken with things they have grown or produced; be it a prize winning cabbage or an unusual shaped carrot.  ‘Sufficient’ is a year long photographic project, exploring people in the city who grow and produce. These images will be used to create an outdoor display at Martineau Gardens in spring 2016. This opportunity is free and participants get a free photograph on the day.

Martineau Gardens aims to inspire a move away from fast-food, by making healthy eating and food preparation fun. A newly renovated outdoor kitchen, built by volunteers, using wood from the Gardens and paid for by a generous donation from  staff at Jo Malone London, is making that more possible. The outdoor kitchen will be opened at the event. Caroline Hutton, Director at Martineau Gardens explains:

“Seeing how food grows, picking fruit, tasting honey, digging up onions, snipping herbs, lighting a fire and cooking food over it, are experiences which are inspiring and get to the heart of what Martineau Gardens represents.”

The family friendly event will also include apple pressing, seasonal produce sales, children’s environmental craft activities, gardening workshops and live music from local performers, plus delicious home-made cakes, salads and sandwiches and other refreshments, inspired by the garden harvest.

Admission fee for the Autumn Event is non-members £3, concessions £1, families £6 and free to members/friends. The Gardens are at 27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B5 7UG. Located five minutes from the MAC and opposite the Priory Hospital. Information at or by calling 0121 440 7430. Additional public parking for this event will be at the Priory Hospital (across the road) by kind permission of the hospital.

For more details of what’s planned and who’s performing – visit our Autumn Event page here: Autumn Event


Peter Runs again 2015 September 10, 2015

Peter’s online giving page:

21st October – Update: He did it! Thanks to all your financial encouragement, Peter has pounded the streets of Birmingham for Martineau Gardens – he completed the run in just under two hours, coming in at 1 hour 56 minutes. If you haven’t donated yet, there’s still time, please help all his efforts go further. If you donate via Peter’s online page (at Local Giving, via the big link above), the first £10 of your donation will be match funded and (if eligible) gift-aid added – but, don’t delay, the match pot fund will only last a short while!

(Please also give three massive cheers for Mike Ponton who ran for Martineau Gardens for the first time this year, please click here, to find out more!)

Peter Arnold, Trustee is running for Martineau Gardens in the Great Birmingham Run on Sunday 18 October, 2015. This is the fifth time that Peter has donned his running shoes for us –  no mean feat, Peter is 66, works full time as a barrister and … has an allotment to maintain (and we all know how demanding that can be). There is a huge commitment of time, effort and mental determination for anyone who decides to participate in a long-distance run, such as the Great Run.

Peter Arnold Sept 2013

Pictured here, Peter explains why he is doing this for Martineau Gardens:

” So why am I doing this? Martineau Gardens is a vital resource for our community – I live nearby. It’s close to the city and yet it provides a place where you can go to get a breath of fresh air and forget about the hussle and bustle of life’s demands.

When I’ve had a busy day, I like to unwind at my allotment, dig up a potato or two or pick an apple but for many of the volunteers who take part in the Therapautic Horticulture project at Martineau Gardens, gardening is much more than a hobby, in fact gardening at Martineau Gardens gives them a reason not to give up, when the going gets tough. The Gardens are a place where vulnerable people feel valued. So please dig deep, and give generously.”


 How You Can Sponsor Peter:

1) By donating online through LocalGiving which is totally secure. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to Martineau Gardens and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. To donate on-line, please go to my fundraising page:

2) By posting a cheque to Martineau Gardens, 27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B5 7UG

(Please make cheques payable to ‘Martineau Gardens’)

Martineau Gardens is participating in ‘Grow Your Tenner’ with LocalGiving, which launches on 13 October at 10am. This is a brilliant opportunity for Peter’s efforts to raise even more money for Martineau Gardens, for every donation that is made on-line after 10am on Tuesday 13 October, LocalGiving  will mtach fund this, up to £10. To find out more about how your on-line donations can be match funded, click here. 

If you would like to know more about how Martineau Gardens helps vulnerable people and others, watch our film:

 Your support would make such a difference

Honey Show 5 & 6 Sept September 3, 2015

 snip large landscapeFinal preparations for the Birmingham Honey Show are underway: the marquees are going up and bee keepers are putting the finishing touches to their show entries.

The Honey Show is returning to Martineau Gardens for its 5th year this weekend (Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September, 10am until 4pm). For more details on this wonderful family-friendly event, click here.

Entry to the event is FREE

Mollie Martineau 1-9-26 to 15-8-15 September 3, 2015

Our Patron, Mollie Martineau, has died peacefully.
She has been a great supporter of Martineau Gardens, since the beginning of our existence as a Community Garden.  She loved how the Gardens reminded her of childhood nature walks.  She visited whenever she was able, supporting our events and our fundraising.  We benefited a lot from the affection and respect that Birmingham people felt for her. She kept up the connection with us, even after leaving Birmingham, sending warm messages to us through our Trustee, Glenys Thomas.
We owe the name of the Gardens to Mollie Martineau’s family.  It was Mollie’s father-in-law Wilfred Martineau, who, as Chairman of the Education Committee, established a Teachers’ Centre on Bristol Road after the war.
He had recognized that Birmingham was facing a problem in attracting and retaining good quality teachers, and he wanted somewhere where the teachers could  “put up their feet and let their hair down”.  Mollie had lived near the Gardens for over fifty years. She had seen the grounds as a Teachers’ Centre, an Environmental Studies Centre and, through to its present existence as a Community Garden. She and her late husband Denis intervened when the site was at risk of being redeveloped. In an interview for one of our recent newsletters, she explained why her commitment remained strong: “Martineau Gardens is so close to the City Centre, yet whenever I visit, I am reminded of my childhood and the nature walks I used to enjoy so much. This is a very special Garden.  As a community garden, it’s here for everyone. It’s wonderful to see a place where children can run and play freely.”
Pictured here, Mollie Martineau opening our Nature Trail  (31 March 2011) –  Mollie equipped with secateurs snipped through an evergreen, ‘living’ ribbon made from foliage of the Gardens.
Mollie Martineau Launching the Nature Trail

Mollie Martineau Launching the Nature Trail

29 and 31 Aug News August 27, 2015

Martineau Gardens is open every day except Sundays and Bank Holidays. We are closed on Monday 31 August 2015.

If you’re planning to visit Martineau Gardens on Saturday 29 August, the Gardens are open but the car park is being used for the cricket and 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 locked, please phone the office on 0121 440 7430 and we will unlock the gates for you.

If you’re a cricket fan, you can find out more about parking here:



Parking for Cricket Fans August 27, 2015

Saturday 29 August 2015 Cricket

Cricket is taking place at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, close to Martineau Gardens on Saturday 29 August 2015.  You can park your car in the Martineau Gardens car park (subject to availability) for a fee of £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 a therapeutic 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.


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: