A couple of sundays ago I took in a tour of London and it’s example growing projects. First stop: the Chelsea Fringe, which is an ‘alternative garden festival’ that took place from the 18th May till 9th June all around London. I took and afternoon to check out a couple of their events:
Growing Communities Open day
Up in Stoke Newington, Growing Communities (who have been running for around 10 years now) are doing all sorts in the land of growing. I started by spending a couple of hours volunteering with Sarah and her team at a new site that is soon to become the next growing space in their ‘patchwork farm‘ scheme.
Once we had run out of rubble sacks to pack the concrete into (phew!) I headed over to Clissold Park, where their original site was having an open day. With a polly tunnel and a number of raised beds on a rotation system, there wasn’t tonnes of space here but they had managed to fit a lot.
GrowUp: Aquaponics in a container
Next stop was just by London Bridge station to see the GrowUp box built by Kate Hofman in a container ship container with a green house on top. Aquaponics is the process of growing food using the symbiotic relationship between fish and plants (the fish waste feeds the plants, and the plants filter the water for the fish) which produces both crops and fish as an end produce.
Southbank Festival of Neighbourhood
These next to visits no longer part of the Chelsea Fringe festival but the Southbank Festival of Neighbourhood. The first is a green house space just infront of the footbridge to Embankment on the southbank side. It’s planted up with loads of herbs that have handy little tags that give flavour paring suggestions.
Queens Walk Gardens
I was excited to re-visit the Wayward Gardens project: ‘Queens Walk Gardens’, as I had previously volunteered for a day with them and wanted to see the finished piece! There’s a lot packed into the space they have down on the river bank, but it’s a lovely thing to walk around and through, looking at each plant family planted in each ‘room’. The windows and frames are lovely way to bring all the plants together through the theme of ‘the neighbourhood’.
On my way back to my bike, there were still yet more growing projects to discover in the form of large planters containing fruit trees and two giant statues…