• Inns Court Kitchen & Wildlife Garden 

    The fruit and vegetable growing at Inns Court Community & Family Centre is managed by Knowle West Edible Gardens C.I.C. The gardening is done by volunteers, and a morning's work usually ends with us sharing a cooked lunch.


    Scroll down to find photos of some of the plants and animals (including some humans) found in the beautiful walled garden here since March 2021. We use purely organic methods: no pesticides, herbicides or artificial fertilisers. This is because we believe that the way to grow vigorous plants, get the most food from the land and also help make sure there's a future for the human race, is by working with nature and maintaining a healthy environment.


    We are also convinced that the best way to feed people is with food that's grown on their doorsteps - then there is no need for packaging or transportation. In addition, it is now known that working outdoors with plants and soil is fantastic for physical and mental health. It's not only moving around in the fresh air; when you touch soil, the 'happy' chemical, serotonin, passes into your skin and increases your sense of wellbeing. So if you'd like to get happier and healthier - get in touch, come down and get your hands dirty!

  • In the garden...

    Pumpkin and flower

    Like its close relative the courgette, the pumpkin starts as a swelling of the stem behind/underneath the flower. Pumpkin plants ramble a long way across the ground and produce many fruits - they therefore require a lot of food and moisture from the soil. Hopefully this one will be a beauty by Halloween.

    Bumble bee on parsnip leaf

    Plenty of foliage means there should be a healthy root vegetable growing in the soil, but this bee must be on her way somewhere else as there are no flowers for her yet on this plant.

    Most of the plants here were given to us as seedlings by Bristol Council's Blaise Nursery.

    Potato flowers

    While the potatoes are growing in the soil, the above-ground parts of the plant grows big and bushy, makes flowers with yellow centres and purple or white outer petals, and sometimes makes fruit that look like small green tomatoes (the plants are part of the same family). But the leaves and fruits of a potato plant are poisonous to humans.

    Baby ladybird

    on broad bean plant

    Ladybird larvae are fantastic for getting rid of aphids (blackfly/greenfly). They are armour plated against ant attack. Ants farm aphids and 'milk' them for their honeydew - so they try to protect them against predators.

    Cherry tree

    We were donated five young fruit trees and six raspberry plants by Jo at Feeding Bristol. Fruit trees, particularly cherries, make beautiful blossom in the springtime.

    Mixed vegetables

    in a planter

    Leeks, carrots, pak choi (Chinese celery cabbage), spinach and cabbage in a planter/raised bed. These planters were built by carpenters from the local Man Alive group and put in place and filled - with lovely well-rotted horse manure from the nearby stables plus compost from Gloucester parks - by volunteers from City of Bristol College. 

    Peas with pumpkin and courgette plants

    Along with the peas inside, the pods themselves are also edible - sweet and tasty when they're young.

    Rose chafer on hop leaf

    The grubs (larvae) of these beetles are useful recyclers of nutrients in the in the compost heap, since they feed on decaying matter. The hop is beloved of many, since it is a vital ingredient of beer.

    Small tortoiseshell butterfly

    These are often the first butterflies to be seen in spring. Their caterpillars feed on nettles. Humans can also eat nettles, but usually only after boiling them in water.

    Spider and caterpillars on broccoli leaf

    These are the very hungry caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly, so the spider is a helping with pest control The bigger one (bottom, middle) has already been caught and paralysed by the spider, ready for lunch.  

    Flowers in the lawn

    Yellow - cat's ear ('false dandelion'), white - clover, purple - self heal. There are also  dandelions here which have already flowered. These flowers provide food for many species of insect.

    Honey bee on clover flower

    In the hive, the worker bees (all female) tell their colleagues (all sisters) where a particular flower patch is by doing a 'dance' and giving them a taste of the nectar. The flowers may be several miles from the hive.

    Bush cricket on tomato leaf

    This is a male (the female has a curved ovipositor - for laying eggs - protruding from her rear end). The males sing to the females by rubbing their wings together.

    Cinnabar moth

    The cinnabar's yellow and black striped caterpillars feed on ragwort leaves. Ragwort can be poisonous to horses if eaten in very large quantities. However, they tend to avoid it because it tastes bad. Like most wild plants, ragwort and its attendant insects are an important part of the natural world.

    Green shield bug

    Also called the green stink bug because it produces a pungent odour if handled or disturbed.

    Vital Volunteers

    From City of Bristol College.

    Crucial Carpenters

    From the Man Alive group.

    Young pumpkin plants

    From seeds planted by City of Bristol Duke of Edinburgh volunteers.

    Noel, Antonio, Mike & Frank

    Gardeners, carpenters and cooks.

    Building the potting shed

    Using reclaimed materials and a grant from Knowle West Alliance. In the background is our new polytunnel, which has an old frame donated by Redcatch Community Garden.

    Blackberry blossom

    This is a thornless blackberry - all the gain, no pain!


    Kashif & Chris



    Red admiral



    Soldier beetles

    Getting along famously on a broad bean leaf

    Rose chafer

    On a yellow poppy.

    Terms & Conditions