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?

Monday 6 December 2021


Mashua, along with Yacon and Oca are all edible tubers, once grown by the Inca's.  We planted all three at Windmill this year, but only the Mashua survived.  We fear that the other two might have been weeded out by over zealous gardeners.  The Yacon has a plant that looks a similar to a Dahlia and the tubers are long and brown.  The Oca plant has a lot of trefoil leaves that spread across the ground and smaller white and red tubers.   The Mashua grows upwards and has leaves, a bit like a Nasturtium, but smaller and more "frilly".  The flowers are small and yellowy orange, and the tubers are mainly white and quite small.  The taste is like a strong radish.  They can be eaten raw, but I prefer them in a stir fry as the taste mellows.




Rosie Jarrett 6.12.2021

Thursday 25 November 2021

Wreath Making by Candlelight

Thursday 9th December at 7pm

Pay by donation

To book, please go to our Facebook page, or email wcgnottingham@gmail.com

(18) Wreath making by candle light | Facebook


 Our new meeting shed!

James and his band of willing volunteers have been working hard on our new meeting shed.  It's a wooden structure with a raised floor and veranda at the front.  You can see the roofing fabric, which is recycled rubber, similar to a pond liner.  There will be two opening skylights in the roof and windows at either end.  We are also hoping to get doors with windows for the front, which will be opened up in hot weather.  The rest of the outside will be clad with cedar paneling.  We are still looking for funding for cladding on the inside of the walls.  We are hoping to insulate it really well to reduce the need for heating, however we will probably need a wood burning stove as well.

  Once the building is complete, it will be used for visiting school groups and regular gardeners when the weather is inclement.  We are also discussing having a workshop once a month.

Rosie Jarrett 25.11.2021

Wednesday 20 October 2021

It's the most wonderful time of the year - for Pumpkin Lovers!

Pumpkin Celebration day is coming soon!

Please join us for fun activities, good food and a chance to use our specialised carving tools to create your own carved masterpiece. There are prizes for the best ones, and for the largest and the strangest pumpkins and squashes that turn up. There will also be games and crafts and lovely pumpkin food to taste and apple pressing as well! We'll have our Spooky woods set up to look around if you dare, with a cosy story telling hut with one of the Nottingham Story Tellers on hand to entertain you.

We will be mostly outside, with canopies to shelter under if it's wet, so we'll hopefully be quite Covid safe, but if you aim to carve in the polytunnel, we hope adults will consider wearing a mask.

See you there!

Sunday 15 August 2021

Indian Summer Evenings

Some people have been telling us they would like to be able to drop in to Windmill a bit later, so we're staying open until 6pm for the next 3 Thursdays - 26th August, 2nd September and 9th September.

If you fancy paying us a visit, Carly will be on hand to help you with a few fun activities and making a snack. Hope some of you can visit!

Wednesday 30 June 2021

  Wildflowers at Windmill

Tammy enjoying the meadow

We have two small wildflower meadows at Windmill Community Gardens, one annual and one perennial.  The annual meadow is dug over every year, after the flowers have died down.  Then new seed is sown in the spring.  Tammy, who is our main meadow volunteer, has changed the seed that we use to dry meadow mix, as she felt that the flowers weren't thriving.  The gardens are on rubble, maybe from the  the old Radford Colliery which was nearby, and the soil is a mix of all sorts, which seems to make it very dry in this area, though it's too wet in our new plot! 

The Annual Meadow 

There are smaller plants in this area, which would be found in a traditional cornfield: Cornflower, Common Poppy, Corn Chamomile, Corn Cockle, Corn Marigold and Vetch.  These are not only attractive in the summer months, but bring pollinators, like Bees, Hover Flies and Butterflies to the garden.

The Perennial Meadow

The other side of the path we have our perennial meadow.  Volunteers have been working on this area for months to get it into this wonderful state.  Part of the area was being taken over by Ground Elder which had to be removed.  This was replaced with a variety of plants, many of which which Tammy has grown herself.  Also a different seed mix. The most successful this year seem to be the Phacelia, which are actually native to the Americas. Tammy is using this species to determine the drainage of the meadow. These have been attracting a lot of bees:


Because it is a perennial meadow it has been possible to grow plants that flower through the spring into the summer.  Starting with Cowslips, Bluebells and of course the favourite early pollinator, the humble Dandelion.  Some plants like the Dandelion will self seed, while others need to be planted and encouraged by clearing things like Ground Elder, which smother them.  Some of the plants that can be found in the perennial meadow are: Ladies Bedstraw, Campions, Ragged Robin, Poppies, Yarrow, Knapweed, Meadow Cranesbill, Salad Burnett, Agrimony, Vetch, Poppies, Ox Eye Daisy, Corn Marigold, Cornflower and Corn Chamomile.  We also planted Yellow Rattle, which is supposed to suppress the grass growth and so increase the amount of flowers.  Unfortunately this hasn't shown it's face yet.  Importantly, we have planted Nottingham Catch Fly, a species of Silene, which Tammy is planting as part of a local conservation project.  Apparently they used to grow on Nottingham Castle walls before the restoration work took place.  Catch Fly have a strong perfume and attract night insects, so are really important for encouraging bats.  Each flower only stays open for three nights to prevent self fertilisation.  Ragged Robin is also a species which is becoming rare.  Notts wildlife are encouraging people like us to grow them.  We are still adding new plants to the meadow and are currently sewing Viper's Bugloss seeds.  I know them from the chalk downlands where I grew up, but apparently they also like disturbed ground, so should do well at Windmill.  Also, unusually for the area, our soil is alkaline.

Nottingham Catch Fly (Selene nutans)

We are also planting wildflowers in other areas of the gardens, particularly the wooded area, over the bridge.  Here there is a large central bed and other smaller beds.  We are introducing woodland species like Bluebells and Foxgloves to increase the bio-diversity of the site.  Some of the trees here are native, and others introduced.  We are lucky to have plenty of Dog Rose and Elderflower bushes in the hedgerows, which not only look and smell good, they also attract pollinators and provide us with nourishing drinks.

Digging the Wildlife Pond and Bog Garden 

As you may be aware, we now rent the next allotment, which is extremely wet, in contrast to the first plot.  Notts Fire Brigade have kindly dug us a wildlife pond and an area for a bog garden.  There are already three large Poplar trees next to the bog area.  We will begin working on the pond and bog garden soon and the surrounding ground, which is wet and partially shaded.  The plan is that the pond will add some extra drainage.  We will be combining food and flowering plants.  Also making sure that we add species that are important for bio-diversity.  This will be a great opportunity for us to include some wetland plants, such as reeds and irises, as well as less common species.  Of course we are hoping to attract frogs and newts, if the ducks let them survive.  It should also attract insects, so provide a good environment for bats and other animals.


The Perennial Meadow in June

Rosemary Jarrett 30/06/2021

Thursday 24 June 2021

Art in the Garden - a Weekend of Fun

Come and join us for a chance to enjoy our hidden gem of a community garden made even better with contributions from local artists to discover around every corner. There will be a workshop at 11am for families on both days, as well as refreshments and some activities to watch or take part in during the main opening. 

Entry is free thanks to sponsorship from Castle Cavendish and booking isn't necessary, though we're opening on 2 days so we can limit numbers on site to fit Covid regulations. 

We look forward to seeing you at the event!


Tuesday 18 May 2021


Art Gallery @ Windmill

We have decided to hold an Art Exhibition this summer at Windmill, instead of the usual Feel Good Garden Party.  This is because we do not know if the Covid restrictions will be relaxed enough to allow  a lot of people to mix together and have massages etc.  We are looking for works of art from local amateur and professional artists.  They can be in any medium, but need to be tough enough to be exhibited outside.  We will have two gazebos and can put screens in these for photos and paintings, but otherwise the works will be exhibited outside around the gardens.  The work will not be for sale, but exhibitors can arrange sales after the exhibition.  We will have people on the site all the time as we have permission to camp overnight and volunteers will be watching the exhibits when we are open.

The exhibition will be on Saturday July 10th and Sunday July 11th.  We will be setting up on the Friday evening and Saturday morning.  There will be a children's workshop each morning from 11 to 12, then the exhibition will be open from 12 to 4pm. Entry is free. There will be other activities during the afternoon including a children's trail, music, workshops and pebble painting.  There will also be refreshments available.

If you would like to enter your work, or volunteer, please call Tracey on: 

07816899978 or email: wcgnottingham@gmail.com

Many thanks to Nottingham City Council for funding the exhibition and Castle Cavendish for their enthusiasm in supporting us.

Rosie Jarrett 18.05.2021

Friday 9 April 2021

We have been busy constructing at Windmill

 Windmill Community Gardens may look different next time you visit !

Over the last few months, a lot of construction work has been going on at Windmill Gardens, ably led by James. Here are some examples:


Five compost bins made from pallets and decking, already in use.  The pallets used were free from harmful preservatives.  Assia also made a moveable one:

James and his team have also created these very robust supports for our Raspberry canes and moved on to using the sleepers that we were kindly donated by Selco, into new benches around the fire:

From left to right: Tracey, Bryn, John and James, working on the replacement benches.

In the autumn, James and Clare improved our Pizza oven by creating a new roof.  We had previously replaced the clay oven covering and are now considering adding a chimney.  Role on summer when we can all benefit.

Most recently we had a long awaited visit from three workers from Nottingham City Homes, who replaced the really awkward bike lock on the "painted shed", with two new padlocks:

Steve from Nottingham City Homes at work.

Over the Easter weekend, James ad Clare have been at work constructing steps into our new allotment as the ground level is much lower.  The next two construction projects will be in the new space and a bit bigger.  First the pond, which we are digging, because the new allotment is very wet and we need the soil to create a raised pad for the new outdoor classroom to sit on.  Fortunately we have been offered help by the Fire brigade with the digging, but welcome extra volunteers to help with the more complex work of creating a wildlife pond.  Then, once the funding is in place, we will move on to the outdoor classroom.  Plans for this have not been finalised yet, but again, we will need volunteers to help with the construction.

Rosie Jarrett 7.04.2021

Friday 5 March 2021



  Life is speeding up at Windmill Community Gardens.  James, Bryn and John and others, have been busy creating several new compost bins over the winter, which are now ready to fill.  Next we will be moving on to creating new benches around the fire with eight wooden sleepers, kindly donated by Selco in Basford.  Then there are the bed edges that need replacing, we are still looking for timber for that.  We also have a new path from the gate, along by the hedge.  We are redesigning Mohi and Mohamed's garden area near the gate, so it is ready for when the venture down to windmill again with their baby.  They both have disabilities, so need a separate area to work in.  We are going to add a covered growing space and seating area.

The onions, garlic and broad beans that we planted in the autumn are showing themselves to the world.  In the polytunnel, the spinach and salad greens are rejuvenating after their winter rest and we picked some yesterday.  The little creatures haven't been so active, so I hope that the peppermint oil on cotton wool balls, that I used to deter them from eating the lettuce, has worked.  Unfortunately, they have used the cotton wool balls in the shed to create a nest - recycling at its best!  Meanwhile we have been busy planting up herbs, vegetables and flowers in trays to germinate.  We only have one person working in the polytunnel at a time, so this is taking longer than usual, but we are persevering.

We have not made any definite plans for coming out of lockdown yet, but we are meeting on the 16th of March, so will discuss it then.  Nothing will change until March 29th, when the "Rule of six", meeting outside will return.  Then there will probably be further relaxtions on April 12th.  We will also be planning the Art Exhibition that we are going to hold in the early summer.  This is to replace the Feel Good Garden Party that we normally hold, as we felt that having a lot of people on the site at once and activities like massage, wouldn't be suitable.  If you, or anyone that you know, is an artist (Professional, or amateur) , and would like to exhibit, please get in touch. 

In the meantime, if you have artistic leanings, why not join us in creating our very own Troll?  Tracey has received instructions from the creators of this one at the Lost Gardens of  Helligan, in Cornwall and construction is already underway.  Please call Tracey on - 07816899978 if you want to take part.  We also have three more zoom workshops, open to all and free to participate :  Create your own Dream Diary - Saturday 13th March 10.30am.  Clever, Useful and Fun, Plastic Bottle Crafts - Wednesday 17th March 10.30am. and Baskets from Household Bits and Bobs - Saturday 20th March 10.30am.  Please go to our Facebook page to book: (4) Windmill Community Gardens | Facebook

Rosie Jarrett 5th March 2021

Monday 22 February 2021

Windmill Spring Workshop Zooms to Lift the Spirits


Our Spring workshops are on Zoom this year. We're aiming to help you to try some craft and mindfulness activities - things that will bring you fun and good feelings. See below for what you'll need for each activity and how to book a place on the Zoom. Each Zoom will have 8 places, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Session 1 - 24th February, 10.30am - How to turn a tin can into a beautiful lantern.

You'll need an empty tin can, a small hammer, a nail and a hand-towel for this one! If you haven't got any of those resources, we can help you get hold of them. There is a bit of preparation - you'll need to fill the can with water, and put it in the freezer at least 2 days before the zoom, so it has chance to freeze solid. The ice then stops the can from getting squashed as you use the nail to tap holes into it. If you can't take part but would just like to watch, let us know.

Send us a cooment to book your place, and we'll send you the Zoom link for the session.

Session 2 - 27th February, 10.30am - Design a daily wellbeing ritual

What is a Ritual? Why do we need them and benefit from them? How can they help us to get through difficult times or celebrate good times or achievements? Come along to design your own daily wellbeing ritual. It might just change your life for the better.

You may not finish your design completely in the zoom session but hopefully you will be inspired and on the way.

Please bring:

a note pad and pen,  

a tea light and something to light it with

a shallow jam jar to put your tea light in when its lit.   

Also bring your open mind. Lets get feeling a little bit better each day and see how we go from there!

Booking three days in advance essential - Just comment below that you'd like a spot.

Thursday 4 February 2021

Windmill Community Gardens Imbolc Post


  So, we can feel the first stirrings of spring at the garden.  As, Pete, one of our neighbouring allotment holders said, "You know its spring, when the Ground Elder starts growing".  What is underground, becomes overground,  and the gardening year begins again.  There have been a couple of hardy Hellebores flowering overwinter, but because of the cold weather, not much else.  We have been feeding the birds with fat balls and seed, which has been much appreciated, particularly by the Robins.  The lettuce and spinach that we have in the poly tunnel have been feeding the wildlife too.  We are not sure what variety, but I have put down some cotton wool balls soaked with Peppermint oil, as the rats are not fond of them.  Previously I used vinegar, but this obviously wasn't a deterrent as several of them disappeared, presumably to make nests.

Despite the weather, volunteers have been busy pruning the fruit bushes and thinning Raspberries.  Along with Tracey, they even managed to Wassail the Apple tree.  Please see our Facebook page for a video of this: (6) Facebook

We have been carrying out general maintenance in preparation for the coming planting season and making plans for seating areas and covered seating for Mohi and Mohamed.  Also Tracey has grand plans to create an earth sculpture under the tree near the gate, similar to the ones at Helligan:

 And now:


Yes, at last the Windmill Gardens Committee have given us permission to take on the next allotment.  This will give us a much larger space in which to build an outdoor classroom, so we can carry on with activities during the winter and when the weather is bad.  However there is a slight hitch - the next door allotment is very wet.  We will need to dig a pond to contain the excess water, then make a mound out of the dug earth.  We will then put the building on pads.  So we will be after your muscles over the next few months.  We do not have a final design yet, but we are thinking of a wooden structure with a sloping roof, possibly with windows, or  doors, on one side.  We are joining with Refugee Roots to fund the project, as they enjoy using the site for meetings and gardening and would like shelter for the winter.

In the mean time, we are carrying out an experiment to see which of the thousands of seeds we have instore are viable.  Tracey has been giving out samples of seeds to volunteers to germinate at home, using damp tissue paper, as in the photo.  Then we will know which to plant and which to discard.

We have decided not to hold our normal Feel Good Garden Party in the summer, as we don't know yet what Covid restrictions will be in place.  Instead, we are going to hold a weekend Art Exhibition in the early summer.  This means that a few people can enter the allotment at a time.  If you are a budding artist, or know someone who is, please start thinking about what you could do.  There will be some undercover space, but it will be mainly outdoor.

For more news, see our Facebook page: (6) Windmill Community Gardens | Facebook

Rosie Jarrett 04.02.2021