AN UNLOVED patch of ground at Nouncells Cross in Stroud has been transformed into a little garden haven thanks to green-fingered volunteers.

Following some TLC, the area - formerly home to broken washing lines and not much else - has produced a rich harvest of fruit, herbs and vegetables.

The work was carried out by members of the Middle of the Hill Community Group, who aim to improve their neighbourhood, which includes Nouncells Cross, Middle Hill, plus parts of Bisley Old Road and Summer Street.

Middle of the Hill resident Sian set up a gardening group in March this year, expecting it just to focus on sprucing up the communal gardens at Nouncells Cross.

However, six months later, the project has exceeded her wildest expectations.

Sian credits the local community with coming up with the idea for the garden.

A group of ten volunteers helped out preparing and maintaining the site, but the garden would not have happened though without the support of many others.

Local residents donated seedlings, containers, garden furniture, and painted benches.

Stroud District Council funded the purchase of water-butts, which were essential this dry summer.

Karibu vegan restaurant supplied vegetable peelings for the compost bin.

One woman also provided an apple tree dedicated to the memory of her son, who lived nearby and sadly passed away this year.

The garden is completely organic, and has been enjoyed by both volunteers and local residents alike.

Excess produce from the garden has been donated to the local surplus food redistribution hub, run from the Community Room at Nouncells Cross by Middle of the Hill Community Group.

Food hub visitors have been able to make use of all these locally grown donations.

Nathan, who is chair of Middle of the Hill Community Group, said: “Sian and local volunteers have done an amazing job.

"This friendly grassroots group has really brought people together and benefitted both local residents and the wider environment.”

Next year, the garden promises to be even better.

The group plans to install raised beds and start using home-made compost.

There are also a couple of jobs with which the group would welcome specialist support.

"A key project will be extending the perimeter fence and installing a gate to make the garden more accessible for people with mobility challenges," said Nathan.

"If you have any fencing experience and would be willing to donate some time and expertise, the group would love to hear from you."

The gardening group is always keen to welcome new volunteers and people happy to take on one-off ‘construction’ jobs.

For further details email Sian via