The story of MaryGold Grows

Written by Mary Murphy

MaryGold Grows
Ideas, Herbs, Salads, Vegetables, Edible Flowers & People

I am Mary of MaryGold Grows

In summer 2016 I took a City & Guilds course in practical horticulture skills. I learned many new skills including how to grow vegetables from seed. As part of the course I went to Normandy and worked in my group creating a kitchen garden.

I also learned many new skills and my self confidence and self belief increased massively.

I was so inspired by the teaching on the course and the skills I learned. I have been applying the skills I learned ever since,

My physical health and well being have improved by cooking & eating a wider range of healthy foods and by growing my own organic vegetables and herbs from seed.

I have also noticed a definite increase in my mental well being including improved self worth, self confidence and self esteem found in the joy of seeing the crops I plant actually grow.

I get a feeling of childlike wonderment when I see the seeds I planted sprouting into seedlings then continuing to grow into healthy salads, herbs and vegetables

I get to do my small part in helping the planet by giving bees butterflies and other insects flowers to pollinate

I help the crops that I plant by planting companions such as marigolds alongside tomatoes – the marigolds attract the insects that would normally eat the tomatoes, so the insects get a meal and the tomatoes stay healthy.

I found myself wanting to share the skills I learned and took some social enterprise training to support myself to do so. I trained in the Community Connecters S.E. programme provided by Rise in Brighton and I continue to have mentorship and other support from a mentor @ Community Connectors

I have opened a new social enterprise project called MaryGold Grows Community Interest Company

It is an urban organic container garden growing offering the opportunity for children and adults of all ages (from 2 upwards) to learn to grow herbs, salads, edible flowers and vegetables from organic seed, in organic compost, in tubs, buckets and other containers

There are also other opportunities on offer all based around the growing experience to create drawings and paintings, to take photographs and short films using the project camera, to write about the experience in short story form/poetry form

We create opportunities for uploading photos & short films of the gardening experience and of art and written expressions of the experience onto a dedicated Facebook page, so that anyone who participates will be able to look back at this living record of their garden time and interact with other people sharing the same experience.

Throughout the duration of the project we will display art & written work and photographs on the walls of the Circular Space and aim to have our own show in a local art gallery at the end of the project, displaying some of the written work, the paintings, drawings and photographs to share with friends, family, local media and the public.

Later on in the growing season we will be inviting everyone who has taken part to a shared giving celebration where we will present one another with their “I did really well” certificate, and cook and eat a meal together from whatever we have growing at that time

We will also print some of the photographs taken for the people who took part to keep, along with their drawings, paintings, shorts stories and poems

MaryGold Grows is funded by the National Lottery and is based in the garden @ The Circular Space in Middle Road, Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex

Growing sessions for adults with learning difficulties are held weekly on Tuesdays from 1-3

Growing sessions for children age from 2 – 18 (accompanied by an adult) are held weekly on Tuesdays from 3.30 till 5

To book in for growing sessions for adults with learning difficulties or for children visit

For more information about MaryGold Grows see

The Circular Space houses the MaryGold Grows project in its garden

The Circular Space brings people together in creative, sustainable, affordable activities for all ages and is run by local community arts non profit, Over the Moon. It has a focus on creative reuse and houses both space for indoor and outdoor activities and a scrapstore, ‘The Scrap Space’, open to anyone to join and access low cost donated resources for art, craft, play, theatre and DIY.

For more information about The Circular Space visit

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