Miriam’s not-so-secret garden party


Miriam posted this on 19/08/2015

How good it was to hold an open garden afternoon/belated house-warming with a One25-charity twist this summer!

We moved in two years ago but summer is our busiest period and the garden needed a big overhaul. Then a field was sold over the fence and a new development sprang up – all these new neighbours to say ‘hi’ to! It took a tip from my sister-in-law “Just do a charity theme – people will come”, for things to click, and One25 was the obvious charity choice.

A memory lingers from before One25. We’d moved into St Paul’s (round the corner from where One25 now is) weeks ahead of the 1986 riots. My husband had gone to the corner shop for milk and essentials for our toddler one night, and instead gave (all) the money to a hungry working-woman neighbour we’d got to know. She gave him a smacking kiss right there in the shop after she’d bought her food, raising the shop-owner’s eyebrows – these Christians!  We were broke students at the time and that had been our last tenner…until we found a fiver hidden by the telephone later that night – enough to tide us over.

We’d moved away by the time One25 was birthed (Happy 20th) but myself and the now adult daughter were glad to volunteer when we came back to Bristol: drop-in, van outreach, and a two-year experiment, the Artspace.

"Few charities give such unstinted, committed, loving care and support to those they exist to serve and to those that volunteer. Supporting One25 really was a no-brainer."


The Party was a last-minute scramble. Invites were emailed or distributed to friends and neighbours, the greengrocer (W.F Buss of Keynsham) gave a great discount on fruit bought which we turned into soft drinks and fruit sticks. Not forgetting the three carloads of garden waste that were generated for recycling as my daughter liberated Yuccas and put a new seating area in!

Family pitched in, neighbours came with a gazebo (“could you use this?”), as well as plants, herbs, homemade conserves, bottled drinks and cakes and lavender shortbread to donate. The hammock was well-used, the garden (flowers, fruit and veg and other nooks and crannies) was wandered in, and throughout there was a relaxing atmosphere which grew as the sun won over early morning showers and wind, and people settled to sit and chat in earnest, the last leaving around 7pm. So, John didn’t get to play his trombone for us, but old friends and new, and neighbours connected, some that hadn’t for a long while.

  • mum daughter
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  • Miriam

Just under £300 was made, people giving generously. Thanks to all of them – not forgetting One25’s Claire, facilitating from behind. We can hopefully hear that jazz next year, John, when we do it again. Because we hope to!

Thanks to Adam Butcher who is the talented animator who kindly drew the picture of Miriam’s garden party in full swing.

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