Global Gardens



Global Gardens developed out of a previous project called Soil and Clay, and the group have been on their current site since August 2016. Soil and Clay received initial funding to support integration for refugees and asylum seekers and to encourage community integration. The group came together through both gardening and ceramics, and together made a range of tableware with which to enjoy a feast of local food. Every participant also received a veg box each week as part of their involvement.

As well as the Trinity Centre, Global Gardens now also work in partnership with Oasis, a local charity who help refugees and asylum seekers integrate into their new communities.

The group also operate a monthly supper club, which takes place at a local community centre.

“Build links with similar organisations, especially those with expertise in working with migrants. Work with them to find ways to connect with migrants. Think about ways that the garden can be more than just a gardening space, building in space for socialising and other activities as well. Think about how it can be sustainable (financially and also in terms of responsibility and power/management).”


Flaxland Allotment site, Whitchurch Road, Sachville Avenue, Cardiff

Garden description

The site is an allotment around 2km north of Cardiff City Centre, and until recently was run largely by volunteers. It is around 175m2, and was set up as a community garden that celebrates social and ecological diversity through gardening and cooking, and as a space for learning about organic growing and cultivating healthy, nourishing produce. It is on a rolling one year lease with the local authority. They grow mainly vegetables and herbs in communal beds, with some fruit bushes and have a polytunnel and greenhouse. They use a basic gas stove for hot drinks and for cooking.

At their supper clubs all the food is vegetarian or vegan, it is open to all, and usually around half of the 15-30 people who attend are sanctuary seekers. Generally people like to prepare food from their home countries, and some past dishes have been Lithuanian beetroot and Kurdish rice. Increasingly, produce from the garden is used in these suppers, and film screenings or talks are sometimes held on the same evening.

The project has been successful in applying for small grants, which has enabled them to run additional activities such as craft and ceramic workshops and talks on medicinal herbs and fungi.

Details of the Initiative

The garden developed around gardening and ceramics, and they work to increase community integration and celebrate social and ecological diversity.


There has been a clear therapeutic benefit to taking part in Global Garden sessions for the refugees and asylum seekers who have attended. Many have improved their English skills, made new friends and as well as learning new skills, have shared many of their own such as cooking particular dishes and horticultural methods. Two participants even gave a demonstration on carpet weaving for the rest of the group.

They have observed that taking part in the Global Gardens avtivities has helped participants socialise and make new friends. The group has also benefited because they have learnt new gardening and cooking techiques and barriers within the community around perceptions of migrants have been broken down. Being a participant of the garden also offers opportunities to initiate and facilitate a diverse range of workshops – participants have led cooking workshops and creative writing workshop.

Here are some quotes from participants:

“All my family are farmers and have big gardens. I come to use my skills and I meet different people and I have a good time”

“In the garden, with natural things, with nature, you feeling happy”


For a long time it took a lot of work to get refugees and asylum seekers to attend sessions, and volunteers from the project regularly went to the Trinity Centre to talk about the work they were doing. The ongoing partnerships with both Trinity and Oasis have been key in bringing sanctuary seekers to the site as they have established relationships with many of them and can support them to make that first step.

The garden does not yet have a toilet and for this reason there have not been very many women attending. The new Outreach Coordinator has been working to encourage women to attend, and they now hope to have a toilet installed in 2019.

The group regrets not taking more photos in the early days when the gardens were developing as so much has changed already and it is nice for new people to see how the space has been developed and by whom.