How volunteers are making Kirkstall even more blooming marvellous


The seasons roll by in every garden, and Kirksall in Bloom are certainly feeling time’s quick passage, writes James Corah.

It feels like only yesterday we held out 2017 AGM, though this fell at the end of February and so much has happened since.

Our community garden is supported by a team of Kirkstall volunteers and as such have to accommodate work alongside our community activities (as secretary I would rather like to devote my time working on community projects than working at work).

The Drink and Be Grateful Fountain in Kirkstall

April Sessions

Kirkstall in Bloom started its Spring preparations at the end of March, tending to the plants in the Drink and Be Grateful Fountain Garden (now on Google Maps if you want to find it) and attempting to dig up the ivy roots at the ‘library’ end of the Garden.

We’ve got big plans for this end of the Garden now that the ivy has been cleared back (thanks to a friendly gardener called Dave). Aside from planting shrubs, we’re looking at installing a water-butt, composting, and a rockery (which I can’t read without thinking of Monty Python). But before all that happens there’s many years of roots to dig out.

Our first April Session will take place on Saturday 22 April 2017, and we’re doing a second goit clean-up. Last year we had a great deal of fun and make a massive impact on the goit and the pavement from Bridge Road towards the Abbey ground.

Later this year we’re going to be planting bulbs along the pathway, so it will be good to tackle some of preparation for this.

We’ll be trying to fish out some of the rubbish in the goit (water does not dissolve shopping baskets) and litter picking.

My experiences of last year’s goit clean-up (high-point meeting Rachel Reeves MP, low-point wet feet), if anyone has any waders we could borrow that would be incredibly awesome.

The second April session will be on Sunday 30 April 2017, and is one of our normal sessions. We’ll be working in the Drink and Be Grateful Fountain Garden, tending the winter and spring plants ahead of replacing them in May with summer plants.

Everyone is more than welcome at our sessions, no experience is necessary and we’ll supply knowledge, tools, and cake when necessary.

Volunteers at Kirkstall in Bloom

While we are doing well with our projects, more volunteers would help us achieve more and make Kirkstall even more blooming marvellous.


Kirkstall in Bloom AGMs always take place in February, and 2017 was well attended by our committee, Mandy Long (St Stephen’s Well Garden), and Cllr Lucinda Yeadon.

Aside from firming up our plans for the year ahead, Chair Hannah Corah thanked everyone for their involvement in Kirkstall in Bloom.

We’ve agreed to work closer with the St Stephen’s Well volunteers, both on the ground and sharing knowledge.

One of the things I would like to achieve as Kirkstall in Bloom’s Secretary is working with other community groups to establish ‘in Blooms’.

Over winter I started making arrangements with Burley Top Community Association on such a project. Earlier in March we received notification from Leeds City Council our project got their go-ahead, and I’m hoping to start inviting more volunteers to work on the Burley Secret Garden.

Best thing about it, the site is not secret, it’s by the Village Green next to Burley Road. 😉






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