Community Gardens and Growing

With all the hustle and bustle of the city, sometimes it’s important to have somewhere quiet to relax – did you know there are lots of community gardens throughout the capital? These community garden projects provide all kinds of support to visitors, volunteers and the people that use them – find out more about the work they do!

Glengall Wharf Garden and Burgess Park Food Project

Glengall Wharf Garden and Burgess Park Food Project share how permaculture primciples can transform tarmac for the benefit of humans and wildlife! They’ve made their own soil, collect rain water using purpose built containers and distribute fresh produce locally through Grown In Peckham. This film was produced by Sam Sapin.

Glengall Wharf Garden is a peaceful green oasis at the east side of Burgess Park, in north Peckham, managed by and for local people using sustainable growing techniques and permaculture to develop the site as a place to build skills, community and well being for all our gardeners.

Find them online at burgessparkfoodproject.org.uk.

Billets Heart Allotments

Paul Savident takes us on a friendly early morning tour of this traditional allotment near the banks of the Brent in Ealing. The allotment is 98 years old, which brings diversity of both plants and growing experience. For example small ponds are created from household items to attract toads and frogs, which will eat slugs. Froglife will be pleased!

The allotment land is owned by the charity of William Hobbayne which was formed in 1484. As well as running two allotment sites in Ealing, the charity also supports individuals and families with grants and runs a much loved community centre.

Find more about their work online at williamhobbaynecharity.co.uk.

Katherine Buchan Meadow

A quick tour highlighting the plants of this green flag open access meadow site for the people of Hanwell, Ealing.

You can find out what’s happening at Katherine Buchan Meadow by following them on Facebook.

St John Waterloo Churchyard Garden

Here we are introduced to the volunteers of this oasis of calm amongst the high rises and bustling roads of Waterloo. St John Waterloo Churchyard garden is a self seeding garden, and the volunteers carefully move plants within the space.

The garden is a popular place for homeless people to relax and feel welcome. This charming film is complete with a bit of traditional slapstick comedy!

You can find out more about St John’s and the work their doing creating accessible greenspaces online at stjohnswaterloo.org.

St Mary’s Secret Garden

Siobhan leads us around the herb garden, sensory garden and vegetable area of this site in Hackney. They’ve been busy throughout the coronavirus lockdown delivering vegetable plants to local growers! We also get to meet the resident bees. The workers are preventing the drones getting back into the hive – all very dramatic!

For over 25 years St Mary’s Secret Garden has offered a safe space where people with support needs and the local community can get hands-on experience of gardening, gain a sense of inclusion and receive the benefits of horticulture and other ecotherapy activities.

You can find them online at stmaryssecretgarden.org.uk.

Hackney Herbal

Nat from Hackney Herbal takes us to visit the herbs of Hackney in a friendly tour of their new arden space. If you have the same herbs at home, you could even make it a smelly sensory tour!

Hackney Herbal is a social enterprise that offers wellbeing through herbs, they deliver lots of workshops on all sorts of topics as well as making delicious tea!

You can find out more about their work at hackneyherbal.com.

Cranbrook Community Garden

Cranbrook Community explain how the garden is a space for anyone who works or lives in Tower Hamlets to get involved however they want, whenever they want, with members sharing the produce. 

Check out the mini cactus garden and relaxing pergola and pop in and say hello if you’re in the area!

You can keep up to date with what they’re up too by following them on Facebook.

Forest Gate Community Garden

A poetic stroll around the garden, brilliantly narrated by Dereck Smith, accompanied by beautiful, loud birdsong.

See how various cereals grow, including barley, wheat and cord, and be transported 10,000 years back in time to the beginning of arable farming on the banks of the ancient Nile!

Work began creating the Forest Gate Community Garden in 2013 on an overgrown corner of Newham, they officially opened to the public 3 years later in 2016. You can find them online at fgcommunitygarden.org.

The Three Sisters System at Calthorpe Community Garden

Cecilla Cruz shares the ancient Three Sisters planting technique for corn, beans and pumpkins, in which the plants work together to look after each other! This is a technique developed by the people of Turtle Island, now known as America.

The Calthorpe Project is a beautiful garden to visit, only a 10 minute walk from the hustle and bustle of Kings Cross and the Eurostar!

You can find more details about them online at calthorpecommunitygarden.org.uk.

Welcome to Castlehaven Community Park

This is a busy, welcoming, community-managed park just around the corner from Camden Lock. They train people in gardening skills and mindfulness, and if you’re feeling sporting you can play a game of football or netball too! Volunteers are always welcome

If you happen to be catching the train out from Camden Road, keep an eye out and you might catch a glimpse of them!

You can find them online at castlehaven.org.uk.

Hampstead Heath Overground Energy Garden

Volunteer Hugh shows us around and introduces us to the flowers, gourds, rainbows and urban wildlife of this garden, made on the London Overground station at Hampstead Heath!

Part of the Energy Garden movement, this garden, created and maintained by volunteers, is sister to other platform gardens and can be found next to the World Peace Garden, which you can see in the fence above the platform!

You can find more about the Energy Garden project online at energygarden.org.uk.

Teddy Bears Picnic at the World Peace Garden

Spot the bears!

This is a serene space with seating areas nestled in the tall plants and tees by Hampstead Heath Overground station, for passer-by’s to relax, listen to talks and music and occasionally join a spontaneous choir!

Filmed by Jonathan, who was instrumental in securing and transforming this community space, which was previously used as a dumping ground for many years.

You can find more about the garden at worldpeacegardencamden.org.

Teddy Bear Stitch at St Raphael’s Garden – Sufra NW London

Continuing with the theme of teddy bears, join Stitch they show us around this special garden, including a tipi and chickens and some pondering on where they might have come from!

St Raphael’s Garden is part of Sufra NW London, a dynamic food bank full of lively young Londoners supporting, signposting and welcoming the people of Brent.

Find out more about their organisation online at sufra-nwlondon.org.uk.

Alive Alive Oh!

St Raphael’s Garden Learning and Outreach Coordinator, Jim Sheeran, is an excellent singer. Here he’s singing at an event organised by Social Farms & Gardens and the Open University.

The theme was ‘Growing Food Passions’ and this spontaneous music was part of the evening social. Jim is accompanied by Les Levidow from the Open University.  This particular piece was recorded in 2018. 

Harlesden Town Gardens

A tour of a special green space where people can grow, plat and learn together in the heart of Harelesden in Brent! Though the sound quality isn’t very clear in this particular film, the art is amazing and certainly makes up for it!

You can find more about this project online at harlesdentowngarden.co.uk.

Barn Hill Conservation Group, Roe Green Welled Garden Harvest 2020

Honey, apples and gorgeous produce harvested by the Barn Hill Conservation Group. Their volunteers are also responsible for planting hundreds of fruit trees in Fryent Country Park in Brent!

The Barn Hill Conservation Group formed in 1984 to help conserve the beautiful Fryent Country Park, and hold regular projects throughout the year.

You can find more information about the work they do online at bhcg.btck.co.uk.

Holly Lodge Centre

The Holly Lodge Centre is a fun place in Richmond that welcomes families with disabled children. In this film, Anna King speaks about returning to the garden after lockdown, and how each family had their own safe access to the nature trail for a lot of fun and a little bit of magic!

The centre has nearly 8,500 visitors a year and is run by three staff and an enthusiastic team of volunteers.

You can find more about what they offer online at thehollylodgecentre.org.uk.

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