ActivLives is working in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council as it changes its approach from using costly bedding plants, which are dug up and thrown out each year, to sustainable, environmentally friendly planting.

The venture was generously supported by local horticultural company Thompson and Morgan, who supplied the seed.

Volunteers of all ages and abilities worked together from early spring, planning the sowing schedule, preparing pots and seed trays, sowing annual varieties, tending the emerging seedlings, and keeping the plants watered and in peak condition ready for collection. 

The hundreds of sunflowers, marigolds, Lobelia, grasses, snapdragon, Nasturtium and other colourful blooms were then picked up from ActivLives walled garden in Chantry Park by IBC Parks team to plant out – bringing the parks alive with summer displays.

The plants had the added benefit of being grown in peat-free compost and travelling just a short distance to their final destination – meaning their carbon footprint was kept to a minimum compared to plants which are imported or travel from other parts of the UK on busy roads.

ActivLives is grateful to volunteers who dedicated time in challenging conditions, working safely under Covid-19 guidelines.

This year, ActivLives is hoping to grow perennial plants for permanent displays in our parks.

End of season plant sale:

  • ActivLives Chantry Walled Garden is holding a plant sale on Thursday 14 October 10am to 2pm.
  • The last of our stock will be available for sale at knock-down prices.
  • Our dedicated team of staff and volunteers will be on hand to show you round this community-run heritage site and help you pick something out to fill a gap in your garden.
  • In buying from us, you are supporting our charity, which helps local people build stronger, healthier communities and enables people of all ages and abilities to live full and active lives.
  • We do our bit for the environment too – growing varieties which are bee and butterfly-friendly to attract pollinators to your garden, and using environmentally friendly methods and peat-free compost. Customers can return our pots, trays and labels to us to use again to cut down plastic wastage (we only accept our pots, as other returns can become a waste issue for us).
  • All our plants are grown at ActivGardens as part of projects to nurture skills and build confidence. 

New Project Grow Your Future for young people :

  • Please find details here of our new course for young people aged 16-24 years not in employment, education or training Grow Your Future – ActivLives
  • It’s a great free opportunity for young people to learn skills outdoors as part of a community project.
  • We have 10 spaces left in Ipswich, and two more spaces available in Sudbury, so please get in touch asap if you would like to refer a young person.
  • ActivGardens needs more volunteers – please get in touch if you could spare some time each week, helping in our gardens and supporting our projects and services.

For more information, please contact Fundraising and Development Manager Susannah Robirosa (07530 407302) or email  ActivLives can be reached on 01473 345350