From Rubble To Rhubarb

Stonehouse Time Bank at the Union Corner Garden

Stonehouse Timebank have always worked closely with Stonehouse Action so when they took on the lease of a dilapidated building and adjoining site in Union Street we were willing to help with whatever needed doing.

And there was a lot to be done! The shop there had been empty for 25 years and the garden had been taken over by ivy and was filled with buttressing for the black plastic covered wall.

The wall was rendered and the ground levelled allowing our members help Stonehouse Action to start to create a garden.

People brought in plants and pots. Our garden had started to grow. Crowdfunding raised money for a colourful fence with panels that opened. Volunteers from the Navy helped to finish painting it and continue building raised beds from donated scaffolding boards.

Plymouth City Council brought along top soil.

Urban Buzz contributed insect homes (we have enjoyed watching butterflies, birds and bees this summer.) Donations of horse manure and donkey poo meant plants have flourished.


People continue to give plants and time and share expertise. It’s lovely walking through the gate and discovering things have been done and seeing what has been gifted to us.

We have a Stonehouse Seedstore and many of the plants have grown from seeds sown from it. We have had some wonderful displays of poppies— and the seeds are collected so they can be given away to grace other gardens.

Sharing food is an important part of our Time Bank and now we can grow our own to share! We have enjoyed radishes, courgettes, strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes and green beans. There is also a good selection of herbs to be picked.

In July we hastily entered the Plymouth in Bloom competition which gave the impetus to tidy. We were delighted to have been awarded a Highly Commended in the Neighbourhood Awards. Union Corner have since received an Abercrombie Best Community Project Award for ‘Turning a derelict building into a community garden and a space for local people to use’. We are so proud to have been part of this and of helping to create a wonderful garden in a built-up, run-down part of town where people can garden or sit and enjoy the space.

When to find us

Stonehouse Time Bank is at Union Corner on Tuesdays from 9 am and 12.30 pm for Tea and Toast and on Wednesday Afternoons between 2 and 4 pm. We have lots more ideas for the garden and there are lots of other activities going on during the week. Why not call in and find out more?