Disability gardening project branches out

By on 15/06/2010 in News
A variety of plants grown by the project

A variety of plants grown by the project

Four Seasons, a Birmingham City Council funded gardening project for adults with learning disabilities, has been chosen to supply the gift shop at St Nicholas Place with plants and hanging baskets. They are now hoping to start selling plants and baskets at the city's farmers markets.

St Nicholas Place on Kings Norton Green is comprised of the Saracen’s Head and the Old Grammar School. Members of the public voted for the site to win the  BBC Two Restoration Series in 2004 and it opened to the public as St Nicolas Place in 2008. It is now used a heritage site, community buildings and as a venue for corporate and private functions.

Now in its thirteenth year, Four Seasons is based at Chamberlain House, Yew Tree Road, Moseley. The project is based in what used to be the kitchen garden of Highbury Hall, continuing a long tradition of gardening on the site.

The project encourages people with learning disabilities to grow plants and sell them at their small garden centre. There are currently two members of staff and 13 adults with learning disabilities ranging in age from 30 to 60 working on the project.

(From L to R), Andrea Forbes, Pete Haddon and Mark Morgan from Four Seasons

(From L to R), Andrea Forbes, Pete Haddon and Mark Morgan from Four Seasons

Four Seasons grow a variety of plants: bedding plants like Busy Lizzies, Marigolds and Petunias, perennials, and a wide range of herbs and vegetable plants including cucumbers and tomatoes, lettuce, French and Runner beans, butternut squash, pumpkins and courgettes.

Four Seasons are at their busiest during spring and summer, and also sell houseplant baskets and seasonal plants at Christmas. All profits made from selling plants are put back into the project.

Pete Haddon, Day Centre Officer, said:

“It's great that we get this chance to raise our profile by having another outlet for our plants and leaflets. We're hoping to expand our customer base further amongst the general public.

“The project is so important because it gives people with learning disabilities the opportunity to develop gardening and work related skills and to have a valued role in their local community. Members of the community also get a chance to buy good quality, reasonably priced locally grown plants.”

Four Seasons can be contacted on 0121 449 8775.

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