Welcome to the Secret Garden South of Bobber's Mill Bridge in Nottingham

Welcome to Windmill Community Gardens, home of the Climate Friendly Gardeners Project.

We are a group of local people, who are nurturing a wonderful community garden in the heart of the city. You'll find us just South of Bobbersmill Bridge, on the allotment site at the South end of Ascot Road. The Gardens are a great place where anyone can come to find out more about growing their own food in a changing climate. We cater for all abilities and welcome any nationality or age group.

Why not come and join us?

Thursday 20 June 2013

Elderflower fritters!

Yes - it's that time again - with the elderflowers scattering their fragrance around. We can steal a little of it for later by making elderflower cordial, but even more fun we can make elderflower fritters!

Elderflowers checked for critters and ready to go

The fritter is really just the flowers, but the stalks can be used as a handle to make them easier to eat. Elder needs to be heated to make it healthy to eat, so a little deep-fat frying is ok (but just a little!). We chose the smallest saucepan that would do the job, and only put in just enough fat to cover a fritter, so we didn't waste too much.


1 egg
50g flour
100ml milk
25g sugar.

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Heat fat until a drip of water spits. Meanwhile check elderflowers for "passengers" and any old flowers that are browning. Dip individual flowerheads into the batter, lift, allow to drip for a few seconds then place in the oil until they have become a golden brown. Drain on a paper towel and then eat the fritter part, leaving the stalks.

Using stalk as a handle to dip the flowers in batter

Fritter quickly turns golden brown
Everyone loved these, and we made lots. There's still plenty of elder left though, so the birds will be happy, and we'll have enough berries for ourselves to make cough syrup.

Ray acts as food taster!

Thursday 6 June 2013

How to cheat at Asparagus and other stories...

We are very proud of our asparagus plot at Windmil. We put it in last year, and despite the sodden weather and lack of sun, it survived and thrived. Now we have evidence that all of the plants made it through the Winter too. Only problem is that asparagus is not the plant for the garden equivalent of a quick fling - it's a plant for a long-term commitment. That means we can admire it this year, but not eat any until next year. Tracey thought it would be good for the team to get a taste of it even so, so with a purchase from a well known supermarket, we managed to give everyone a chance to try it, along with a dish made from some of the greens we grow and feta cheese. The verdict?  Yum!

Carrie enjoys her lunch.

Ray reports he'll happily eat this again.

In the meantime, we had lots of gardening to do, as we're getting things ready for the next big planting session. Everyone has put in lots of weeding time - even as weed-tolerant as we are, we have to try to grow stuff we want, and to remove the less useful weeds.

We were also joined by new recruit Annette, who is Polish and is learning English. She did a grand job, despite all the instructions to leave the more insect-friendly weeds.

Annette gets into weeding in English.

Lizzie and Chris tackle the keyhole bed.
Red orach can be too much of a good thing

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Wet wet Wednesday

What a grey day!

Today was the kind of day that drives even the most dedicated gardener indoors to look at catalogues over a nice hot cuppa. Of course, for us at Windmill, it meant business as usual, but having a speak a bit louder because the rain was using the polytunnel roof as a drum!

A little moist out!

The kind of day when you need a hot drink to warm up.

New volunteer Claire pricks out lettuces.

Pete pots up.

Lizzie gets to grips with the Lollo Rosso

Cut down milk bottles make great plant lables