SAW Garden Design

Over the past few years we have been flourishing the SAW garden together as a community, with the fantastic work of Shieldfield Grows. SAW has now successfully received funding in order to further develop the rest of the space in our back garden as a further embodiment of our core values. A space for hospitality, enquiry and activism, where we can continue to flourish our community together.

June 2022 // Garden Opening

We opened the garden on Friday 24th June with crafts, a bring and share feast, speeches and commemorative planting of some climbers by Alison Wilkinson, Tracey Hume, Ken Mallon, Mayor Jamie Driscoll and Lydia Hiorns. We ended the evening with some incredible live music.

Photo credit: Adam Dixon

February and March 2022 // Garden Build

Week One // Heavy lifting, wheelbarrowing, patio slab lifting and forming flower banks.

Week Two // Patio laying, hedge gully digging, polytunnel, stone circle, pergola, veg beds, seats and archways.

Week Three // Tree planting, flower beds, hedge planting, Shieldfield brick laying, new entrance.

February and March 2022 // Garden Build Plan

Here are the completed garden designs. We are really excited to turn these drawings into reality, but we need your help! We will be building the garden space over three consecutive weeks. This will be a chance for you to learn how to build a garden space, to work in a team, to be upskilled in different techniques and to join together as a community to flourish our area, providing an outside space for the community to enjoy.

2 – 3 March, 10am – 5pm: this is the heavy lifting week, come and join us in wheelbarrowing, patio slab lifting and forming flower banks.

7 – 10 March, 10am – 5pm: this is the woodwork week, come and learn how to build a pergola, veg beds, seats and archways.

14 – 17 March, 10am – 5pm: this is the planting week, come and learn how to plant trees and flower beds and lay hedges.

You don’t need any former knowledge to come and help. This is about getting stuck in and working together. You are very welcome to just turn up on the day but it would also be great to know if you are coming by emailing You can come for an hour, the whole day or all three weeks. If you have gardening gloves they would be really helpful to bring, other than that we will provide all tools needed. Bring a packed lunch and proficient snacks (there will be hot drinks available and maybe even cake). Please wear sensible sturdy shoes (boots are best), you will be unable to help if you come in flimsy shoes as we want to keep all feet safe! It is also advisable to wear warm and waterproof clothes, you know what our weather is like in Newcastle! Any children MUST come with a responsible adult.

Please be aware that these dates depend on the weather. We will keep you updated on any changes here and on our social media platforms.

An impressionistic view of the mown wildflower labyrinth by Linda Wilcox.

January 2022 // Garden Design Workshops

Our garden designer, Mike Hunter, was keen to meet the people who will use the garden to get an idea of all of the communities that we are involved with at SAW to inform his garden design. Therefore, we held 3 workshops to gather voices, thoughts and ideas.

During the workshops we had a chance to meet Mike, to say what we want from this garden space, to create a model of our ideas and to hear about how you can get involved in the garden build going forward. Here are some photos of the models we made together.