Wed 7 December – Our next craft market! December 7, 2022

Come and visit us at the Scrapstore Christmas Craft Market between 10am and 3pm over at Squab Storage, 101 Hollymoor Way, Rubery B31 5HE on Wed 7 December. All proceeds help to support the work of Martineau Gardens, so be sure to pop along for jams, honey, plants (including our beautiful succulents in terracotta pots) and our Made at Martineau craft gifts. Entry is free.

Support your local makers and join in the festive cheer!

Big thanks to all our volunteers for doing a terrific job in creating all the wares we’re bringing to the market.

Thank you Stewart … December 2, 2022

Thank you Stewart Holmes for over 20 years contribution to Martineau Gardens. In his time with us, Stewart has touched so many people, bringing his warmth and friendliness, and spreading his passion for gardening. He’s been such an important part of creating this space – and we wish him all the best. We had a goodbye party around the fire, with staff and volunteers from across the years and in true Martineau spirit, a bring and share feast which we enjoyed together.

We’ve been funded! December 2, 2022

Our focus here at Martineau Gardens is to bring people together in this beautiful space, in a way that is welcoming, safe and inclusive and benefits their physical and mental health. We are delighted to have received a £10,000 grant from the Wesleyan Foundation via the Heart of England Community Foundation to enable us to continue to provide this.

Find out more about how we do this by watching our film. Made this time last year, volunteers and staff share their experiences of therapeutic horticulture and the value of working together in a natural environment.

“Food for the stomach, food for the soul”

Passionate about Martineau? Vote for us! November 15, 2022

We have a favour to ask! If you feel as passionate as we do about all the good things that happen at Martineau Gardens, would you please vote for us here, in the MarshCommercial ‘For the People Awards 2022’:

We are runners up to win £5,000 in the Passionate Awards category – we just need to have as many as our supporters as possible vote for us. After you have voted, we would be so grateful if you could share the link with family, friends and colleagues, the more people who vote for us, the greater our chances.

Please share this link: Martineau Gardens (

Voting closes midday on Saturday 20 November 2022

This is the only place I feel safe now, I hadn’t realised how important the gardens were to me ”

Help us to continue caring for our community – vote now!

At Martineau Gardens we are hugely passionate and enthusiastic about the work we do to improve the lives of our local communities. We are a 2.5 acre community garden close to Birmingham city centre. We are open six days a week, as a tranquil place that is free to visit.

We are a place of sanctuary for 80-100 volunteers each year, that includes people with mental health issues, acquired brain injury, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Special Educational Needs and those living with dementia. Volunteers come together to access our Therapeutic Horticulture programme, which builds community, relationships and has been proven to boost their sense of life satisfaction.

Lockdown, fear of the virus and social contact, inability to access normal support services, isolation from support networks and lack of access to safe outdoor space all had a massive impact on our volunteers wellbeing. When we temporarily closed in March 2020 we kept in regular contact with our volunteers. It soon became apparent that people’s mental health was deteriorating, so we reopened in smaller groups with increased staff ratios. In total throughout 2020 we only closed to volunteers for eight weeks. During the disruptions we dedicated hundreds of hours to staying in touch with volunteers who were unable to attend in person.

One volunteer said: “I was like a pressure cooker; I could feel myself building up ready to blow.As soon as I came back to the gardens, I could feel my heart rate drop, it was like the stress was just oozing away”.

Another said “This is the only place I feel safe now, I hadn’t realised how important the gardens were to me until I couldn’t come”

Knowing how important the gardens are to our volunteers it is vital to us that they ensure they know how much they are valued here. Volunteers built brick barbeques this year, that we used to hold two thank you barbeques, which were very popular. Next week the Lapal Trust are taking our volunteers on a canal boat trip locally to enjoy the autumnal scenery. We were also nominated for and won the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This recognises the dedication of hundreds of people over the last 25 years that has made Martineau Gardens an exemplary community garden.

When asked to describe what Martineau Gardens means to them, many volunteers used words such as “heaven”, “calming” and “safe” to positively express their gratitude towards the gardens. Additionally, some volunteers described the gardens as a second home and somewhere they can feel comfortable being themselves:

“I feel really comfortable, yeah, I felt at home, erm, immediately really yeah”

“It is a place of tranquillity and to me, it is like a haven and as soon as I come into that archway I feel like I’m just safe, it just feels really safe.”

Thank you Trustees of Martineau Gardens November 9, 2022

This week, it’s Trustee’s Week – an opportunity to shine the spotlight on our terrific board of Volunteer Trustees, who work tirelessly, often behind the scenes to support the work of Martineau Gardens. In 20022, we’re celebrating twenty-five years of Martineau Gardens – with their constant dedication Martineau Gardens has weathered the storms and is looking forward to the next 25 years.

Thank you Peter Arnold, Tim Bruton (our Chair), Liz Hensel, Felly Nkweto Simmonds, Cathy Powell, Peter Townley MBE and Tom Walkling.

Buy a Gift and Give a Gift November 9, 2022

We are very grateful for your support of Martineau Gardens at this time of year – the therapeutic horticulture project continues across the winter months, bringing a sense of purpose and joy for our participants – and your donations mean we can continue to be the haven in so many people’s lives.

Festive gifts

Christmas is just round the corner, it’s a time for giving, with this in mind, the team at Martineau Gardens have been busy preparing and creating wares inspired by the beauty of the gardens. Pop in Monday to Saturday (until Wednesday 21 December) to pick up an unusual handgrown, handmade present.

Subject to availability we have jams, chutneys, honey, seasoned logs for the hearth, compost, alpine and succulent plants in terracotta pots.

On-line gift cards

Or alternatively, you can also purchase gift-cards on-line. Follow the link below to our Sum Up Gift Card platform – you can buy a gift voucher for any amount you like, and personalise it by picking from a selection of designs. You will be sent an e-voucher to pass on to your recipient. They can visit the gardens at any time across the next year, to redeem against plants, produce, logs, compost or jams. If you’d like to have something to wrap up when you present the gift card, pop into Martineau Gardens before 3pm on Wednesday 21 December to collect a Robin postcard and a small token, with which to present it.

Give a gift

To support the work of Martineau Gardens directly, you can donate one-line here, via justgiving

Or alternatively:

pay by card (call 0121 440 7430)

pay by BACS: Martineau Gardens, Account No: 50117516      Sort code: 08-92-50 Ref: Gift/insert your surname Our bank address is: The Co-operative Bank plc, PO Box 250, Delf House, Southway, Skelmersdale, WN8 6WT

Artisan Market – Edgbaston Village November 2, 2022

Come and visit us at the Edgbaston Village Artisans’ Market on Sat 12 November 10am – 6.30pm
All proceeds help to support the work of Martineau Gardens, so be sure to pop along for jams, honey, plants and our Made at Martineau craft gifts.

Big thanks to all our volunteers for doing a terrific job on repotting these succulents, alpines and cacti, getting them ready for sale at our next stall.

Buy Logs and Support Martineau Gardens October 31, 2022

If you visit the Gardens during the winter months, you’re likely to hear a ‘plink’, ‘plink’ sound. This is the sound of wood being  chopped, by hand, by the Garden Volunteer Team. Wood is donated to the Gardens by Tree Surgeons, and then gets chopped up by the volunteers and sold to customers as logs for wood-burning stoves or open fires. Not only is this an important source of income for the Gardens, but it provides plenty of physical exercise for our volunteers!

Due to changes in legislation requiring that logs sold for fires must be below 20% moisture content, we have been galvanised into action over the last year, and thanks to a lot of hard work from volunteers, we now have the capacity to store bags of dry logs for sale to visitors. Our volunteers work hard storing, chopping, testing and bagging up the logs – it’s quite a ‘cottage industry’. The price now is £10 a sac. If you’re making a first purchase, you’ll need to purchase a reusable hessian sacks (£3) – an ideal way way to transport your logs home. The sacks weigh 10kg.

We are very grateful to our log chopping team who continue to keep the supplies up and running and to you, our customers, who choose to support our cause by buying logs from Martineau Gardens.

If you’re making a special trip to purchase logs, we suggest you ring us first to check supplies.

Supporting a good cause: all profits from the sale of logs are ploughed back into the running costs of Martineau Gardens

Chopping Logs, Martineau Gardens

Mon 24 Oct Update October 21, 2022

Martineau Gardens is closed on Monday 24 October for a team training day – sorry for any disappointment, but be sure to come back and visit us Monday to Saturday, 10am until 4pm – entry is free!

Gates of welcome unveiled today October 14, 2022

Gates of Welcome – Stage 1 is unveiled today.

Birmingham 2022 Festival presents Martineau Gardens Gates of Welcome – a Creative City Project generously funded by Birmingham City Council

Today we had the pleasure of celebrating the first stage of our Gates of Welcome being completed. Two tall, steel gates, festooned with hand-crafted sculptures of plants and wildlife were officially unveiled today by MP Preet Kaur Gill, Teacher Paige Jackson and pupil Taihrese from Selly Oak Trust School, in the company of volunteers, staff and supporters of Martineau Gardens. First to walk through the gates, were the volunteers of Martineau Gardens, accompanied by pupils of Heath Mount School and Selly Oak Trust School and artist Tim Tolkien. A garland of foliage gathered from Martineau Gardens (including radishes and cranberries), was snipped as part of the opening ceremony, speeches were held and dragonfly cakes were enjoyed.

The community-led art installation, which has been a year in the making, was created by award-winning, sculptor Tim Tolkien, with design contributions from workshops held with our volunteers and local schools. Working with Tim, participants explored plants that have origins in the commonwealth, the links of Birmingham and the gardens with past social history, from the manufacturing of the hardware of colonialism to the part played by abolitionist Harriet Martineau. The workshops reflected too on the importance of Martineau Gardens’ in the lives of its volunteers.  

Jenni Fryer, CEO for Martineau Gardens said:

“It’s been an absolute joy to work on this project with Tim Tolkien. Tim has engaged our volunteers and schoolchildren to create the most beautiful set of gates – this art installation is inspired by the warm welcome that Martineau Gardens offers to all its visitors and draws on the rich diversity of the plants of the Commonwealth and of the gardens themselves.”

Once the project is completed over the next few months – the details will include depictions of plants from across the commonwealth, including  bamboo, tea, lemon, banana, orange and potato; representations of the wildlife of Martineau Gardens, with robins, dragonflies and spiders tucked about. Life at Martineau is portrayed through wheelbarrows, plant pots and of course teapots (a nod to the importance of teabreak, conversation and friendship at this centre for therapeutic horticulture).

Our thanks to civil engineers Fitzgerald who were a huge support in helping us get the finishing touches to the car park complete carrying out groundworks and resurfacing of the new entranceway with a team of friendly staff volunteering their skills and time.

The installation of these remaining design elements, including an interpretation panel where visitors will be able to watch a film telling the story of the gates continues into Autumn.  Follow the developments on social media, #GatesofWelcome, sign-up to receive our news and events updates here . We look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to explore the story with us.

About the Birmingham 2022 Festival

The Birmingham 2022 Festival unites people from around the Commonwealth through a celebration of creativity, in a six-month long programme, shining a spotlight on the West Midland’s culture sector. 

Running from March to beyond the conclusion of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, the festival aims to entertain and engage over 2.5 million people in person and online.

Delivering over 200 projects across the region including art, photography, dance, theatre, digital art and more the festival will embrace local culture and generate lasting change and a creative legacy beyond the games with funding to community led projects from Birmingham City Council’s Creative City Grants scheme. 

Major support has been dedicated by Arts Council England, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Birmingham City Council and Spirit of 2012. The Birmingham 2022 Festival is grateful for further support from British Council, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, National Lottery Community Fund, Canada Council for the Arts, the High Commission of Canada in the UK, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Create Central, Creative New Zealand, UK/Australia Season 2021/2022, and Birmingham 2022 Organising Committee.

To learn more visit: