Community Garden


A lovely article written by Laura Tucker from National Gardens Award Scheme

Summer activities

Pottery for all ages
Tie dye bags and tee-shirts
Songs of praise


A visitor to the garden said he was looking for what the bee needs! After a moment of thought I took him to our shed which has a bee on the outside and donations go to feed the bee. It turned out he was geocaching and the garden is one of the cache points.

Jubilee Corner

The landowner, Keith Netherton, agreed to the removal of his old fire engines, and for lease of the land on a similar basis to the Community Garden -an Apple Pie rent. A grant from Par Bay Big Local allowed for professional clearance of all the brambles and trees to leave the land clear by a local business. Part of the grant was used for rebuilding and repair of the front wall to provide a safe, neat boundary. The next stage has already begun, to level the land as far as possible. The remaining stones and blocks (including two concrete lintels) have been removed, and the concrete floors and paths from the old house are being uncovered. Work is now focusing on removing roots and stones and levelling out high points and low points to give as level a space as possible.

The boundary wall has been repaired and weeds and brambles which had spread over the pavement cleared by volunteers plus a start made on clearing the ivy on the cliff last week

The first wildflower lawn area has been raked and levelled and stones removed. It is now greening up nicely

A pathway has been uncovered along the foot of the cliff.

Ferns have been removed from the upper lawn area along with stones and weeds.

We were excited to receive a visit from two Eden Project gardeners to look at existing wildflowers: they identified scarlet pimpernel, shepherds purse, achillea, creeping buttercup.

They suggested sowing green manure red and yellow clover for colour : erigeron, campanula for cliff planting. I have saved lots of nasturtium seeds for next year-I can see a cascade of colour next July

An award from National Gardens Scheme Community Gardens Award will enable a fence to be be erected along the neighbouring property and espaliered fruit trees planted in a low raised bed along the fence. Two benches will go between the fruit tree beds,

A cotoneaster cornubia will be planted to provide flowers for bees and butterflies in the summer and berries for birds in the winter.

The plan is for possible additional levelling of the ground and then regular strimming to keep down weeds and grass to a point where it can be used for community events: car boot sales, pop up markets, activities, theatre etc.

The name for the space has been discussed by the Garden Team, and our consensus is for it to be called Jubilee Corner. It is at a corner of the ‘Par Triangle’  and it dates from the year of the Jubilee.

Further projects are Jubilee pebbles painted by local children and embedded in cement as a lasting memory and herb planting in troughs. 

The old fire engines
Old kitchen
Vegetation cleared from the pavement
Levelling along the boundary wall
Cotoneaster Cornubia
Initial layout plan

More volunteers are getting involved both with the Jubilee Corner project, with regular upkeep of the Garden and donation of plants. Some come along to the Sunday morning sessions, including one lady with reduced mobility who particularly appreciates looking after the raised beds. Others call in during the week to do weeding or tidying of litter. Another has helped run the plant stall at Cornubia fairs. Others make donations of plants and pots to put out on the Swap and Share stand. This has become a familiar spot for passers-by to stop and look at what is available, (and make donations) In the year April 21-March 22, the total of donations and plant sales reached over £1000.

Radio Cornwall

Radio Cornwall has adopted the garden as one of the community ventures which they follow. The Garden Team continue to receive compliments from visitors, both for the idea of a community garden, and for the state of the garden itself. We are all very proud of it

Watch this space…..we have had an enquiry from a German film company who make films of Rosamunde Pilcher’s books –maybe we will be in a film next!


Following sporadic incidents of damage to trellises and water butts earlier this year, it was decided to install a CCTV camera in the shelter.  The camera is solar powered and has the capacity to record images that can be downloaded. A cage has been installed to protect I and suitable notices displayed. Subsequently, two further cameras have been purchased and will be installed to provide coverage all over the garden. In addition, a wi-fi extender from the Cornubia network allows live streaming and recording so any incidents can be reported to the police with live footage


November December

Free seeds from Biffa to give out to the community and the Golant Wassailers ensuring a fruitful year in 2022


We enjoyed a lovely Apple Day with a lot of fruit and a small, dedicated group of volunteers  The apple juice had a rich tangy flavour, while the pear juice was sweet as nectar. Thanks to Treverbyn Community Hall for the loan of their apple press, all of you who brought apples as well as Judith and Harvey Stephens, Tesco and the Co-op.

A big Thank You to Tesco and the Co-op for their donations 


A visit from a performer attending the festival at Par Track sent this lovely email

Guy Watson Wed, Sep 8, 3:54 PM

Dydh da!

My name is Guy and I run our Culture and Education programme at Trebah Garden near Falmouth. Last Saturday we brought a giant lion puppet to the Par-teee event – it was a great day! Whilst we were there I accidentally stumbled across your absolutely wonderful community garden.

I thought the garden was such an incredibly welcoming and active feeling space; I really was inspired. It got me thinking that Trebah would be able to support a similar type of garden in our local community of Mawan Smith. I’ve started the ball rolling by talking to the village’s Garden Club who are very excited by the idea!

I wondered if there is a key organiser from your community garden who could spare me half an hour or so on the phone for me to pick their brains? You’ve clearly done an exceptional job at not just establishing the garden but ensuring the community continue to be involved. What are your secrets…?

I hope to hear from you soon.


Meur ras.

Oll an gwella, Guy

June, July, August

Plenty of activities taking place pottery, creative recycling and scarecrow making for Par Carnival


We had a visit from some little people in the garden building a gnome home. The gnomes have been hiding in the garden ever since!


Par Bay was recently highlighted as a Local Trust Adaptables ‘best practice exemplar’ for the Community Garden and related activities;  the Swap & Share sessions continue to be very popular and well attended, now including Seed Share and the garden recently hosted dance performances by young members of Prodigal (theatre group)

The Community Garden had a stall in in the Spring Fair with plenty of seedlings available to encourage people to grow their own.

2020 Coping with Covid

October – December

What a year it has been in the Community Garden! Being in the open air, in natural surroundings has really lifted our spirits in these trying times.

Highlights of this year

More people than ever before have enjoyed looking at the garden as they pass by, and many have come in to have a look at the flower and vegetable beds or sit down to enjoy their coffee.

Swap and share has been a great success. You’ve donated lots of plants and taken others away to enjoy at home. We’ve had donations of produce, garden pots and equipment and some tools. You’ve also been so very generous with money donations, more than ever before – all greatly appreciated, and these will help maintain the garden, buy more plants, compost and seeds.

Music and traditional dancing – thanks to Jo and Cathy for the lovely music-making and the merry dancers who have enlivened Tuesday mornings, Bagas Crowd for their performance in October.

Gill’s pottery groups made some beautiful ceramics inspired by nature.

More autumn planting this year – broad beans (variety Aquadulce) and for the first time, winter peas (Douce Provence). There’s also garlic (Provence Wight), shallots (Jermor) and onions (Radar), plus some corn salad under a cloche.

Sonia’s grow boxes – a pack of everything you need to grow your own plants including compost pots, seeds, and instructions – were much appreciated by the youngsters who received them during lockdown.

A bit of TLC – weeding, adding organic matter to the soil and planting – have left the boat planter opposite Par Station entrance looking lovely now.


  • Kernow Youth
  • PL24 Community Association (community boat)
  • Parish Council (Moorland Road planters)
  • Go Beyond (a charity continuing the good work of CHICKS)
Swap and Share
Kernow Youth Mosaic
Planter Moorland Road
PL24 Boat

July – September

The Community Garden has been a high spot in these challenging times. The flower beds have been full of colour with poppies, cosmos, gladioli, marigolds and weigela blooming well. We’ve enjoyed healthy crops of veg, especially beans, courgettes and sweetcorn, with tomatoes coming along nice and strong.

The community shelter offered an ideal spot for pop-up events. Plenty of space to keep your distance. Sunday’s addition to our usual garden session was a pottery session making plates using leaves from the garden to make a pattern. We have plenty of suitable leaves – sunflower, rhubarb, kohl rabi and courgette.

The first job was to wander around the garden to choose a leaf, then roll out the clay ready to roll the leaf on top to make the pattern. The leaf is peeled off and the clay raised at various points to create the shape. This is fired in a kiln, painted and fired again. Regular pottery workshops were well attended. 

Two musicians unable to go to each other’s homes to practise brought a harp and violin to get in some practice, mainly Cornish dance music which inspired some teenage boys to improvise a dance – much appreciated by the musicians. This developed into Cornish dancing around the paths. The hardy musicians have continued practising through the winter.

April – June

With the onset of lockdown, many of us were in the age group advised to stay at home. We needed to focus on what we could do and the Community Garden seemed to be the place to do it. To be able to get out of the house and focus on a therapeutic activity is essential for the wellbeing of people suffering from anxiety or other problems.

With no car boot sales and garden centres closed, the community garden became a place to pause and check during the daily walk. Pots of runner beans, climbing French beans, dwarf French beans, butternut squash, tomatoes, courgettes and a variety of herbs were quickly snapped up. Thank you for the many donations from local gardeners.

“Grow boxes” with a variety of seeds for children (or adults) to grow with simple instructions proved popular. They contained seeds – runner beans, climbing French beans, courgettes, sunflowers and nasturtiums along with an instruction sheet, labels, compost and bamboos.

Our own broad beans planted in the autumn were in flower and runner beans, climbing French beans were planted along with borlotti beans, courgettes, garlic, elephant garlic, peas, kohl rabi, beetroot and salsify.

Grow boxes
Furlough volunteer
Testing the peas

January – March

With the arrival of warmer spring days the first daffodils appeared, the broad beans and garlic planted in autumn were doing well, and the spinach was still going strong. Over winter we dug up and divided the rhubarb crowns, which were already in leaf. We were very grateful for the kind donation of fine topsoil which we used to top up the raised beds, and they were ready and waiting for planting. Herb seeds sown indoors were ready for transplanting.  

Herbs galore


Setting up the Community Garden


30 volunteers spent over 400 hours between July and September 2016 transforming a neglected piece of land from an eyesore to a community garden.  The space is leased for an “apple pie rent”.

Raised beds
Laying foundations


It has become a space used for a variety of events by all ages. Teenagers often sit and talk, people bring fish and chips or pasties, some just sit and watch the world go by.

Sunflower competition
Apple day
Herb wellies
Scarecrow making
Songs of praise
Junk band
Kernow Youth mosaic
Roofers picnic
School group


We grow a wide variety of vegetables for “swap and share” or “pick your own” with a bee friendly garden, set up by a local bee group and a butterfly bed. Our range includes runner beans, climbing French beans, broad beans, rhubarb, kohl rabi, borlotti beans, artichokes, blackcurrants,  peas, garlic, onions, courgettes, sweetcorn, butternut squash, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes apples and various herbs.

The raised beds by the wall can be accessed from the pavement to pinch off a few herbs for soups etc. Anyone can pick their own and leave a donation or bring some of their own excess produce to swap for some from the garden. We welcome volunteers helping with garden tasks.

Runner beans
Swap and share
Donation box