This category will be judged by a panel of Lambeth food growers
Nominated by Laura Parsons
Barnwell Gardens was created as a space for the whole community to gather together and reflects the rich diversity of the street. There are five main planters and two lower ones for children to plant up. The planters, seats, teenagers bench and toddler seat have been made out of old beds, garden benches and pallets, also timber that has been fly-tipped in the vicinity. ‘Reuse and remake’ is the motto of the community garden. The whole community has donated time, plants and expertise to create a beautiful communal space for those on the street and further afield to enjoy, we have a rota for watering. The planting was designed to appeal to bees, with cerinthe, salvia and borage. There is a ‘tropical’ planter with cannas, lilies and dahlia and edible planting including kale, spinach, strawberries and tomato plants It is enjoyed by the whole community, including road sweepers, parents with young babies, people on their lunch break or on work calls. Barnwell Road is a main thoroughfare for people heading to Brockwell Park, each day people complement us on our garden as they pass up the road. Barnwell Community Garden is an inclusive and diverse space for everyone to enjoy.
Nominated by Jermone & Nicola
Up to 10 raised beds for residents to grow their own. Fruit orchard and shrubs including gooseberry, red currants, black currants and raspberries. lots of herbaceous perrenials, new greenhouse and lots of planting to increase and support biodiversity.
Nominated by Simon Taylor
Thorlands Gardens Club celebrates its second Summer Of Love Amazingly, Thorlands Gardens Club has choo-chooed along steadily since its inauguration in 2019 and its first Winter session in February 2020. Right now it is celebrating ‘a second summer of love,’ with the Summer Sessions. The Club is based in the old rent collection office, now known as Thorlands Gardens Clubhouse, near Elsinore House. The Club was initiated by Thorlands Tenants Management Society (TMO) in partnership with Camberwell resident and horticultural consultant Simon J Taylor. The idea of Thorlands Gardens Club was to bring back to use spaces neglected by time, and provide some safe spaces for learning about growing food and herbs, setting up an affordable market stall and creating some much needed local work. Then, believe it or not, the work did start In mid Winter February 2020 ! A team of die-hard residents and locals set about clearing the various spaces of about half an acre. They started with two unloved and shackled areas known as the kick-a-bout and the playground. They cleared spiny brambles, twiggy bushes and exposed the layout so a design and build could be envisioned. The gardens are now widely known by their newly coined names. The Walled Garden and the Forest Food Garden. The former has raised beds on legs mainly growing fresh produce and herbs and the latter is slowly becoming a fruiting garden for bio-diversity and humans a-like, as well as a green events space. A newly adopted area rests next to the garden building and is called The Clubhouse Kitchen Garden. Each space offers slightly different skill learning. Some light and some more heavy manual work, but all about high quality organic food production. The project is also encouraging media and digital skilled individuals to come forward and help with the design, branding and promotion of the Club. Sessions currently run on Tuesdays 10am until 1pm. And on Saturdays 2pm until 5pm. Please pop by and sign up or email. The Club also runs D.I.Y. Sundays where they build wooden troughs and beds. And during hot spells they run an evening watering rota . All by arrangement . So if you think you have the ‘green fingers’ or would just like some outdoor exercise come and safely re-socialise.
Nominated by Diane Skidmore
Tulse Hill Nature Garden has been a beautiful space for many years but it needed help. The growth of wild life has been wonderful but the decking was falling apart and the raised beds were pretty much coming to the end of their days too. Then the pandemic set in. The whole area was closed off to everyone, let alone the Nature Garden – even the person with the key couldn’t get in to use the compost bin. However, the corona virus brought out the best in people and a group of younger (but grown-up) residents offered to help. They delivered food to older and vulnerable people and basically got really involved with the estate. They got to know people. As time went by and they became more active, they showed an interest in gardening. They were looking for a space that they could use to grow stuff. And having had conversations and entry into the Nature Garden, what they have done has been magnificent. First of all they completely demolished the dangerous decking. (Why wait for a replacement floor when we can stand on the ground?) They also removed just one of the raised beds creating a large space that provides access to the remaining beds as well as making the whole area feel much more friendly. They did go for some funding (and received some too) so now there is a bench with a seat that opens to make space for tools as well as somewhere to sit. The area is so much more welcoming now! They built another bed too – great!! Of course, they were happy to buy peat-free compost with the funding. And then they started planting – beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, sweetcorn, chillies – so much growth. It’s AMAZING!! And to see the joy of a group of all sorts of people, ages, races, colours and creeds, along with quite a few children, all working together, sharing home-made cookies and playing happily – it’s just an INSPIRATION!! They used woodchip as flooring for the space in the middle. They installed a water butt as there is no direct access to water – essential for the summer. We have even had conversations on whether or not to make a pond; Gardeners World showed how to do a very simple, very small, child-friendly pond that will add soooooo much to our newly rejuvenated Nature Garden!! It’s just BRILLIANT!! There is still a space that has completely wildlife growing in there – essentially it’s still a Nature Garden with nettles and comfrey and wild blackberries and more. There is a pear tree and a hawthorn tree and even some grape vines but…………… Overall, it’s not just about the food being grown. It’s about the fun that can be had and the community spirit. It feels as if finally we are growing a REAL community!! And that’s the best of all!!!
Nominated by Jamie Bulloch
In spring 2019 Urban Growth installed a polytunnel, several raised beds and a pond at the far end of Slade Gardens Adventure Playground, where previously a handful of neglected raised beds had stood. In 2020 a local volunteer group took over the management of the space, adding an ornamental garden and several extra vegetable beds. The Edible Playground also has three beehives, a quail house, and a number of fruit trees at various stages of maturity. During the first lockdown in 2020, we grew a large number of ornamental and vegetable plants from seed, which were sold to the local community. Throughout the summer, vegetables grown on site – in particular salad, potatoes, courgettes and tomatoes – and honey were also sold locally. Total sales for 2020 came to almost £2000. This year the Edible Playground has also been used to host workshop sessions for Michael Tippett school and the Baytree Centre. Our lead gardener has also run sessions for parents with younger children at the integrated One O’Clock Club, while a children’s gardening club is now up and running on Saturdays. At present around half a dozen volunteers are helping to maintain and develop the garden. Recent projects include redesigning the pond garden, planting an edible hedge alongside one of our fences and installing a system for water capture. We continue to sell plants and produce, and in the longer term hope to produce vegetables for the proposed cafe in our new building. We also aim to increase engagement with the growing area, both from volunteers and younger people for educational purposes. Much contemporary research points to the positive effects that nature and gardening can have on mental health, and the Edible Playground aims to make a major contribution in this area, especially for those who otherwise have limited access to outdoor space.
Nominated by Eleanor Bailey
Public space between Halsmere and Flodden Road – previously a neglected, wild dumping ground attracting unsocial behaviour, now transformed by local residents working together over the last 5 years into a lovely green space which positively represents our community.