National recognition for Grow Community – Sopwell’s Chair

We are incredibly proud to announce that Kate Swindells, the driving force behind Grow Community – Sopwell, has been included in the Independent newspaper’s Happy List 2020. The list celebrates people doing remarkable things to unite communities during the pandemic. Kate was secretly nominated by a local Sopwell resident for “all [she’s] done for so many of us in Sopwell, especially during Lockdown, and for what [she] will no doubt continue to do in the future”. We are so lucky to have someone of her heart, vision and determination to inspire the community. Well done Kate!

@independent #happylist2020 @GrowSopwell

Find out more here.

Community garden consultation: Have your say!

We’re so happy that finally the Council consultation has begun. Residents are invited to have their say on where best to locate our community garden, and any other views you have.
Please, please, please spare five minutes to complete the short survey and let us know your thoughts. 

We want this to be a positive community project in Sopwell, and will listen carefully to all views.

The survey and detailed information about the project can be found on the Council’s Open Consultations webpage:

The garden will be on St Albans City and District Council land, and is funded by a community grant.

For more information or any comments/questions contact:
Kate Swindells (Chair) at 
Peggy Sharpe, SADC Community Engagement Project Officer. Preferably by email: or telephone: 01727 819340

Abbots Avenue West planters

Grow Community – Sopwell at the Abbots Avenue West planters. Photo credit: Grow Community – Sopwell

The first stage of rejuvenating the Abbots Avenue planters kick-started in late May. A bit tricky with social distancing in mind so the core team took turns to weed, trim, dig and clean the beds.
We’re looking to repaint the planters soon, after consultation with local residents and Mandeville school, whose students painted the images on them quite a few years ago now.

We are slowly but surely introducing wonderful plants for the whole community to enjoy with an abundance of sage and oregano already on offer. We’ve added wild flowers for the local wildlife too!  Just waiting for some promised compost before we do any more planting.

If you’d like to be added to the watering rota for occasional watering duties, please join this WhatsApp group:

Thanks to our experts at Food Garden Question Time

On Thursday 18th June 2020, the Grow Community – Sopwell hosted an online event with panel of three experienced local gardeners: Michelle, Amanda and Ian. They answered a range of questions from local growers on topics including the best fruit trees for patio pots, how to grow asparagus and cauliflowers, and how best to compost. Some fascinating insights into growing your own fruit and veg for people to take away and use in their own gardens and allotments. Thank you to our panellists for their time and expertise!

April-June 2020 Seed and seedling giveaway

We’ve got a selection of edible and wildlife-friendly seeds and seedlings available to giveaway, and always appreciate donations (please label them!)

Seeds: Pumpkins and sunflowers

Seedlings: Pumpkins, sunflowers, French beans, carrots, leeks, lettuces, redcurrant, raspberries, cabbage, chives, tomatoes, chillies, aubergines, cucumber, runner beans, courgette.

Also still some sunflower seeds left for The Great St Albans Sunflower Challenge.

Go on, give it a grow. #GrowTogether

  • Come along and collect after 10 am and before 8pm, every day.
  • End of Leyland Avenue – walk right down to the cul de sac end.
  • Please follow coronavirus guidelines.
  • Check whether your selected seedling needs to be protected from frost.