Martineau Mondays September 6, 2020

We are delighted to announce that each Monday from Monday 2 November, between 10am and 3pm, Martineau Gardens will be open to the general public.

What to expect when you visit

A breath of fresh air and we hope an experience of calm and tranquillity. Our gardens have been well looked after over these last few months, by the Therapeutic Gardening team – there are new things to see and the gardens are flourishing. Your visit will be a little different to the times you have spent with us before, please read through the following so you are prepared.

When are you open?

From Monday 2 November 14 September, Martineau Gardens will be open to all, on Mondays only, 10am until 3pm.  

Do I need to book to visit?

Pre-booking is not currently required, though it may be introduced if the Gardens become busy. We will close the gates if visitor numbers reach our covid-19 safe capacity.

Birmingham is in Tier 2 of the latest government guidance. *This means you can see people from different households outside in groups of up to 6 people. We ask that you respect social distancing measures. (*Please check government guideance for any changes made since this page has been published.)

Is everything open?

There is a one-way route around the gardens: in via the welcome shelter and leave via the delivery track.

The toilets, large glasshouse, woodland, the play area (but not the sandpit or wheelhouse hut) and other areas of the Gardens are open. The toilets will be operating a one-in one-out system – and they will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. We have installed no-touch soap dispensers and new taps which can be pressed with an elbow.

The Mollie Martineau Building, Keder House and Pavilion are closed to visitors.

For full details on areas that are open and closed, please read our advisory signage on display at the gardens, maintaining a two metre distance from others. When you arrive, please use the no-touch hand sanitizer in the Welcome Shelter.

Will the play area be open?

The play area will be open (but not the sandpit or wheelhouse hut), please maintain social distancing and there are handwashing facilities nearby in the toilets.

Can I get something to eat or drink?

We will not be offering drinks or refreshments – you are welcome to bring your own picnics, please follow government guidelines on social distancing and please take all your litter home with you

Will you have picnic tables?

We have a number of metal tables and chairs in the Courtyard Garden which will have Green / Red notices advising visitors where it is safe to sit, and these will be cleaned in between use

Can I pay by cash or card?

We do have seasonal plants, produce and homemade jams for sale. Please pay for purchases by card. Donations can also be made by card (thank you) – cash donations in our sealed donations box will be gratefully received.

What about wheelchair accessibility and facilities?

We have two wheelchairs – these will be cleaned after each use. Please advise us when you wish to leave so we can assist you in your departure, since the exit route along the track is not suitable for wheelchair users (we will guide you down a paved exit route).

How are you cleaning?

We have put in place enhanced cleaning regimes in line with government guidance. 

Why haven’t you opened sooner / why aren’t you open every day?                       The temporary closure of our gates (due to the pandemic) has meant we have lost a vital income stream that events and public visits generate. Remaining closed to visitors was not an easy decision, but this has been a time when the volunteers on our Therapeutic Horticulture programme have needed the service more than ever. Over the last few months we have successfully re-started the Therapeutic Horticulture service for our volunteers. With careful planning, risk assessments and other preparations including a renovation of the toilets, we are now in a more robust position to begin welcoming visitors back to Martineau Gardens. For those who are not able to visit us on Mondays, we ask for your patience – we are gradually increasing our capacity and will update you when we feel the time is right to welcome everyone back. Until then we wish you all well.

How can I become a Friend?

We need your support more than ever. Your subscription to the Friends Scheme supports us financially and ‘funds the unfundable’ (the day to day or unexpected costs) that do not fall within any particular funding stream. Please do consider becoming a Friend to support Martineau Gardens.

Join online here You’ll need to fill out the e-form on our website and set up a direct debit/standing order with your bank.

Alternatively, download and complete a copy of this form and bring it with you when you visit. We can take your card payment on arrival.

Pears in the orchard and a new view from the Pavilion Garden



Martinea Gardens in the press! August 24, 2020

One of our staff, Miranda Kingston was recently interviewed for national magazine, ‘Woman’s Weekly’.

Pictured here – is the feature which includes interviews with women at two other community gardens.

In the interview, Miranda gives an insight into her role as one of our Therapeutic Horticulturalists. She describes Martineau Gardens as ‘a safe place where [the volunteers] can socialise, or escape the harsh realities of life for a while’,sees herself as a facilitator developing life skills as well as gardening skills.

The interview occurred back in Spring – in the early stages of lockdown and whilst Martineau Gardens continues to be temporarily closed to the public, the therapeutic horticulture project has, since then, been able to restart. Find out more about the Therapeutic Horiculture project during the pandemic here.



Vote for us – building futures August 3, 2020

Connecting Birmingham children and nature … our future

https://www.persimmonhomes.com/building-futures/finalists

The pandemic has reduced many aspects of our lives, at Martineau Gardens we want to help children reconnect to the natural world. Help Martineau Gardens win £100,000 to bring environmental education into the lives of Birmingham’s children.

Martineau Gardens are finalists on the Persimmon Homes’ Building Futures shortlist to win a share of £1million pot supporting under-18s nationwide.

We need your online vote to win.

Please vote by clicking here:

You will be redirected to https://www.persimmonhomes.com/building-futures/finalists . Scroll down through the other finalists to find the Martineau Gardens’ voting button which looks like this:

You can help us further by:

  • Voting daily – yes – really! Vote everyday until 18 September 2020 (It’s possible to vote multiple times each day – please bookmark the voting page and vote as often as you can, at home, at work or by mobile to help boost our vote.)

Education at Martineau Gardens

Environmental education has always been important at Martineau Gardens. Encouraging children to explore diverse habitats and hunt for invertebrates; learn about the natural world and wildlife; discover where food comes from (and how good it tastes) in the vegetable plots and orchard; understand the important role of bees and butterflies in pollination and generally have fun while learning. If we are fortunate to win one of the top prizes we will build a dedicated Environmental Education Classroom and redevelop the play area to enhance the natural play experience.

Tim Bruton representing Martineau Gardens said: “It is a huge achievement to have been selected as a regional finalist, but now we really need people to get behind us and get voting so that we are in the strongest possible position to earn one of the top three cash awards on the night.

We have an excellent Environmental Education programme and thousands of family visits each year. If we are fortunate enough to win the public vote we will be able to build a dedicated classroom and improve the children’s play area to enhance the natural play value.”

Visit the new area on our website: Nature Activities for families

About the prize

Persimmon Homes West Midlands is backing Martineau Gardens to be a prize winner in October, when cash awards of £100,000, £50,000 or £20,000 will be made to those winning the most online votes.

Building Futures is being delivered through the Persimmon Charitable Foundation. Through the scheme, a total of 128 grants of £1,000 have been awarded to groups supporting sport, education & arts and health across Persimmon’s 31 regional businesses and its head office.

Persimmon Homes is an official partner of Team GB and the Persimmon Charitable Commission enlisted the help of athletes Jason Kenny and Laviai Nielsen to help determine the three regional finalists for each business division.

One initiative from each category will go on to win £100,000 each through a national award scheme to be decided by a public vote.

As well as the £100,000 first prize, there will be a £50,000 second prize and a £20,000 third prize in each sector, while a further 87 shortlisted projects will each receive £5,000.

Online voting opened on 27 July and will close at midnight on 18 September 2020.



Bon voyage to Sue Roberts July 21, 2020

Sue Roberts thoughtfully signalled her intention to step down as the Chair of Trustees at Martineau Gardens,  at last year’s AGM. We are all sad to see Sue go, as the organisation has benefitted so much under her stewardship.  Sue says of her six years with the Gardens: ”Martineau Gardens is a charity that I truly believe is a jewel in the city’s crown. Receiving the Queen’s Award  for Voluntary Service is a testament to the amazing work of our volunteers, staff and trustees and to the generosity of our supporters. 

I have very much enjoyed working with the trustees and with the Gardens’ fabulous staff team over this time.  We have seen some wonderful changes and the Gardens are looking more beautiful than ever. Our newly refurbished Pavilion has been a huge success, as has the Jo Malone London Courtyard Garden.  Bookings of the Gardens and of the Pavilion have grown significantly.  I am delighted that Tim Bruton, a fellow long-standing Trustee, has agreed to take on the role of Chair.  I know that post Covid-19, the Gardens will continue to go from strength to strength under the stewardship of Tim, Gill our CEO and the Gardens’ dedicated volunteers, staff and trustees.”

Pictured below, scenes from the Martineau Gardens Summer Garden Party, just one of Sue’s contributions to the Gardens. This annual fundraising event wouldn’t have happened without Sue’s tireless energy, dedication and passion for Martineau Gardens for which we appreciate her so much for.



Therapeutic Horticulture continues July 21, 2020

As we enter our fourth month since lockdown began, the therapeutic horticulture project, which is at the heart of all that we do and how the community at Martineau Gardens interacts, remains a vital service. In the early days of the pandemic, our staff were doing their best to provide telephone support to the more vulnerable of our volunteers, a service that still continues. As lockdown eased, we wanted to facilitate the return of some volunteers, and this has been made possible by the Heart of England Community Foundation and the Coronavirus Community Support Fund, distributed by The National Lottery Community Fund.

Due to their support we have engaged additional staff and the volunteers are now gardening  in socially distanced pairs. It’s through their efforts our two and a half acre site has remained nurtured despite this summer’s extreme weather. The  Gardens are an oasis of tranquillity and we look forward to a time when we can share it with you. Whilst most staff have remained on furlough, a slimmed down core team have been delivering fresh, organically grown garden produce to those volunteers not yet able to return to the Gardens and many volunteers are delighted to be receiving medals, in honour of our recent Queens Award for Voluntary Service.



Plant sale success July 20, 2020

Behind closed gates, our volunteers have been dividing and propagating plants and caring for seedlings sown in early Spring.

(more…)


Summer News July 20, 2020


Connecting families with nature July 15, 2020

The pandemic has forced us all to look at new ways to stay connected with each other, but has also seen so many of us connecting with nature more frequently. Martineau Gardens’ Environmental Education Officer Juliette Green created a series of on-line events for children and their families to bring a bit of a sparkle to their daily exercise by encouraging them to look deeper at the nature around them. Over five weeks, Juliette filmed various locations around Martineau Gardens  and broadcast her videos live which can be viewed on-line.

There’s a range of themes to enjoy, including a pond-dip, a minibeast hunt, a tree tour, a dinosaur hunt and, with Sam Walker (our volunteer beekeeper) a close up investigation of one of our beehives. Not just for children, these films are very informative and will further knowledge of the natural world around us. Here’s a sample of two of the films, with more to follow soon.

Inside the Hive – bees at Martineau Gardens

Juliette and Sam find out what’s buzzing inside the hives.

Tree Tour of Martineau Gardens

Do you struggle to identify trees in leaf? This video of a summer walk , narrated by Juliette video is full of information and tips to help you!

This is just the beginning! More videos and activities are planned – to see the latest releases, sign up to our e-newsletter here or follow us on facebook or twitter.



Plant Sale July 1, 2020

Saturday 4 July, 11am until 3pm – admission free *

Martineau Gardens, 27 Priory Road, Edgbaston B5 7UG

We love sharing Martineau Gardens and the joy of gardening with our visitors. Until we are able to open our gates again in full, we hope you will enjoy this one-off opportunity to purchase a little bit of Martineau Gardens. Something to take home for your windowsill, front step or garden and to remind you of us.

At the Plant Sale, you’ll be able to purchase plants and compost (limited supplies) but, with regret, there will be no access to the gardens, toilets or picnic/play areas. There will be no refreshments. *Social distancing measures will be observed (full details below).

What’s for sale?

The plants available include a variety of perennials and annuals grown by the Martineau Gardens volunteers including herbs, scented geraniums, irises, strawberry plants, and so much more.

Multi-purpose peat-free compost is available, though limited to two bags per household. Pay at sales point in exchange for a voucher, and a volunteer will be on hand to exchange the voucher for the compost.

What to expect:

We strongly advise you to read the following before visiting the Plant Sale

In order to keep you, our visitors, and our staff and volunteers safe during the Plant Sale now that government guidelines relating to Covid-19 are relaxing, please read the following:

Arrival at the Plant Sale:

On arrival in the car park, if there is a queue, pedestrians should please join the queue at the head of the access lane, observing the 2m social distancing guidance. If arriving by car, please park and join the queue/ remain in your car if there is a queue.

If the car park is full the gate will be closed. Please try again later. Parking is only available within the Martineau Gardens car park.

There will be a one way pedestrian system in and out of the Plant Sale (entrance via the track and Tai Chi Lawn, exit via the Welcome Shelter).  Two people per household only beyond the Welcome Shelter with max of four people (two households) in the Plant Sales are at any time.

During your time at the Plant Sale, please observe social distancing of 2m with staff and other customers and observe the directional signage for the one way system. If the additional person with you is a child, please keep them close to you and supervised.

Please only pick up plants you will be purchasing.

Please bring your own bags or boxes to put your purchases in.

We anticipate 20 – 30 minutes for each visit

Please note there will be no toilet facility available.

If you, or anyone in your household is displaying Covid-19 like symptoms, please do not visit the Plant Sale.

Advice for those with limited mobility:

Parts of the one way route may be challenging for wheelchairs since the route passes over grass (the Tai Chi Lawn) and gravel (the track). If this poses a concern for you, please contact the office on 0121 440 7430.

Payments:

We prefer card sales, but can accept cash.

Donations:

If you would like to add a donation to your purchase we will be most thankful.

Please remember that the toilets, picnic and play areas, buildings and wider areas of the gardens remain closed during the Plant Sale.

The herb bed with welcome shelter in the background

Martineau Gardens during Lockdown

Your purchases will help to support the Gardens during this difficult time. If you’d like to know what’s been going at Martineau Gardens during Lockdown, please keep an eye on our website, follow us on social media or sign-up to receive our email bulletins here.

Martineau Gardens remains closed to the public, the plant sale is a one-off fundraising activity.

For the latest information, please view our Covid-19 statement here

How to find us

27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 7UG

Located opposite the Priory Hospital, and 5 minutes from the Midlands Arts Centre (the MAC) and Warwickshire County Cricket Ground



Martineau Gardens receives the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service June 2, 2020

Martineau Gardens is delighted to announce that on Tuesday 2 June 2020, we have been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.


Pictured here, volunteers receiving an award last summer, before the pandemic

Watch our celebratory slide show here:
(2 minutes of glorious Martineau Gardens’ memories for you)

You can read the full story here, in our media release.

Media Release:

Local charity Martineau Gardens, based in Edgbaston, has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

Established in 1997 as a volunteer-led organisation, Martineau Gardens became a registered charity in 2001 with a volunteer board of trustees. The organisation now supports volunteers on the therapeutic horticulture programme to look after the 2.5 acre free-to-enter community garden.

A team of volunteers welcome over 10,000 visitors each year and a further team helps out with open days and events. Martineau Gardens has been described by visitors as ‘an oasis of calm in the bustling city’ and as ‘Birmingham’s hidden gem’ – all thanks to the dedication of the wonderful volunteers.

Martineau Gardens is one of 230 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations remains high year on year, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, an environmental group in Swansea, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and a thriving community arts centre in County Down.

Representatives of Martineau Gardens will receive the award from John Crabtree, OBE, Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands later this summer. Furthermore two volunteers from Martineau Gardens will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year’s Award.

Sue Roberts, Chair of Trustees says: “We are delighted and honoured to receive the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Volunteers are the beating heart of Martineau Gardens. Whether supporting our work week in week out, or rising to the challenge when needed, each one makes a difference. The Award is testament to hundreds of volunteers past and present, who have given selflessly to care for our beautiful community space. We look forward to being able to have everyone back at the Gardens for a well-deserved celebration.”

Martineau Gardens is currently closed due to COVID -19. During normal times of operation, Martineau Gardens is open to the public to visit, free entry, Monday to Saturday 10am until 4pm except Bank Holidays. In addition to the Therapeutic Horticulture volunteer project and the Education service, the Gardens host events and courses, provide venue hire and sell plants and produce.

The Queen’s Award Voluntary for Service

1. Lord Lieutenants represent the monarch in each of the UK’s ceremonial counties.

2. This year there were 230 recipients of The Queen’s Award Voluntary Service from across the UK. More information on the recipients and the Award can be found here

3. Any group of two or more people that has participated in voluntary work for more than three years can be nominated for the award. Full details on how to nominate are available here

4. Nominations for the 2021 awards close on 25 September 2020.

Gardening together, back in October 2019, on World Mental Health Day