ian-and-charles  gardening_centre404Yesterday was our last gardening session of the year and it was a busy one that involved not only gardening but learning how to make Christmas table decorations using flowers and leaves from the garden. Elsa kindly brought in a mix of rose buds, white blossoms, ivy leaves and lavender alongside the materials to make a lovely piece for the Christmas table.

We had Christmas songs playing alongside some mince pies and chocolate treats whilst we made the beautiful decorations and they were surprisingly so easy to make!

All you need is:

  • Toilet roll
  • Elastic bands
  • Glue
  • Aluminium foil
  • Flowers, branches, leaves

To make:

  • Wrap some aluminium foil around the toilet roll and fix in place with either glue or an elastic band
  • Place a couple of elastic bands in different places along the roll
  • Place in the flowers and leaves through the elastic bands
  • Decorate with ribbon & any other materials

And there you have a Christmas table decoration!


It was really good fun and the gardening volunteers loved it. We were also treated to Elsa’s cake concoction which this week was a rich chocolate and raisin cake.


We’ve had a busy and productive year working in the Centre 404 garden. We were very fortunate to have six sessions with Chris from the Royal Horticultural Society who taught us about cuttings, seed sowings and dry shade planting and were featured in their Autumn Grass Roots magazine in the gardening and the community section. You can read the article in our winter newsletter.


In addition to this the Gardening group won Volunteering Team of the Year award which was an amazing achievement and we will look forward to celebrating our reward of a meal at Marco Pierre White’s restaurant in the New Year.

We have planted sunflowers, broad beans, strawberries and potatoes which we picked and ate alongside tomatoes. We purchased a new green house and have planted mint, lavender, sage and kale which are all blossoming well and should be ready to use in recipes in the new year. We have welcomed new members and have worked hard to keep the garden in the best shape it can be. We’re looking forward to continuing our weekly gardening sessions and will keep you posted for our plans for 2017!