Waste not ……

Plants originally grown for the launch of the Urban Garden social enterprise to help disadvantaged adults will go on sale this weekend at a pop-up garden centre in Bath’s Royal Victoria Park.

The Urban Garden had been due to open at the end of March just after coronavirus hit but to ensure the plants they’ve grown don’t go to waste, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s parks team is opening a card-only garden centre on weekends.

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The garden centre at Marlborough Lane will have a one-way system in place with clear signage for visitors to follow as well as hand sanitiser stations.

The collection of plants will be reasonably priced and will be on sale from 10am-4pm on Saturdays and Sundays while stocks last.

Now planned for opening in 2021, the Urban Garden will be run by the Bath-based community interest company (CIC) Grow Yourself as a social enterprise providing horticultural therapies and qualifications to help change the lives of people who have difficulty finding employment or have low-level mental health issues.

Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “This season we had hoped that the Urban Garden would open on our nursery site in Royal Victoria Park as Bath’s newest garden centre, but sadly due to the pandemic this has been delayed. However, we don’t want to see these beautiful plants go to waste and hope people will come along and choose something lovely for their gardens or window boxes. We are ensuring the garden centre will operate within social distancing guidelines and ask visitors to follow these carefully.”

Once open next year, the Urban Garden will provide training in horticulture by offering City & Guilds qualifications and six-month work placements in the garden centre giving people the skills needed to move into employment or further education. Profits from plant sales will be reinvested in the enterprise, allowing it to offer more training and work placements in the future.

More information about the Urban Garden can be found at  www.theurbangarden.org.uk

Find out more about the council’s parks at https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/sport-leisure-and-parks/parks-opening-times-and-locations