Over the last year and a half Annalisa has set up & led community gardening groups on the Martin’s Estate. Initially starting with an underutilised area on Abbots Park, transforming it with various shrubs and flowers, then moving on to plant flowers, vegetables & tress on Challice Way as well as a small orchard there and fruit trees across the estate. Most recently she has organised planters to be built and planted with flowers & shrubs on the vacant corner site at the junction of Roupell Rd & Christchurch Road and then a vision for an orchard and locations for other fruit trees around the estate which we call Huggins Corner. She has worked tirelessly to seek the permission, help and donations of labour & materials from the three housing associations on the estate, as well as securing other funding, organising & promoting the many planting events & volunteers. Her efforts have made a tremendous difference to our estate and has engendered a real sense of community. Residents young and old are delighted with the results and keen to help, especially children, many of whom do not have access to their own gardens, who have learnt so much about planting and growing food and are fabulously enthusiastic little gardeners!
David is a keystone in the Loughborough Park volunteer gardening community. He gardens in the park several times a week and is involved with every gardening project, from transforming the community garden to creating a food forest in an overgrown corner of the park. As a former botanist at Kew Gardens (now retired) his expertise is has been hugely valuable to those of us who are novice gardeners. While extremely modest, he is generous with his time and expertise. He turns out in all weathers to support gardening activities around the park – including planting bulbs on Boxing Day as we raced to get 1000 bulbs in the ground! He also quietly tends corners of the park in his own time, training the fruit trees in the community garden and pruning the ornamental bushes around the park. He puts other volunteers at ease with his welcoming and kind nature.
Since the first project we did with IEL, Jackie was an essential contributor. She brought energy and optimism, and A LOT of practical help. She offered her garden as a storage place for the community gardening, her kitchen crookery, her amazing vegan cakes , teas and coffees for everyone to enjoy. She is now looking after the chalice Way garden, plus the mini orchard and the allotment she planted herself. She is also incredibly crafty and has made some wonderful signage for the spaces. I’ve rarely met anyone so selfless and so enthusiastic about fighting climate change.
In just a short time living in Lambeth, Jody has transformed the Ethelred TMO estate gardens while also bringing members of the community together. I’ve lived here for nearly 10 years but have met more neighbours through gardening with him in just a few months than ever before, and I know I’m not the only one. Through his work as a landscaper, Jody saw how many plants were being wasted and thrown in the bin. He immediately took action and began bringing these plants home, to be planted around the estate and gifted to neighbours. So far he has salvaged hundreds of plants – from flowers, hedge rows and even whole trees! Jody single-handedly brought these plants to the estate and has worked during evenings and weekends to create a beautiful new community meeting place in Marylee Way. He’s shared many of these plants with neighbours, allowing others to begin growing for the first time in their own gardens. Jody also enjoys thinking long-term, and has created a wonderful curved design that breaks up the harsh rectilinear brickwork that dominates our estate. Over time, the plants selected will grow up to create a cosy and sheltered community space away from the car park. Many of the species flower and bloom at different times over the year, so he has left a series of delights for residents to enjoy all year round! Jody has not only created a nice garden space, he has empowered a community to get involved, enjoy the beauty of nature all around us, and work hard together to care for our area.
I am nominating the Gipsy Hill Station Buffer Stop Garden and John Chenery for our community gardener award. Since the 1st Covid lock down John has spent a lot of his time volunteering in the Gipsy Hill station garden and making it a calm, relaxing and blooming space for the community to enjoy. He has systematically worked around the garden and set out the planting to give the best aspects of the plants and flowers from the different views of the garden. Where people walk by on the street side he has made sure the tall flowers are visible and the creeper plants are growing through the fence to soften the harsh chain link barrier with foliage and flowers. From the station he has placed the trees and shrubs so they are visible as passengers come down the stairs on to the platform to come face to face with a wildflower meadow. His work to establish the wildflower meadow last year was immense due lot due to the heat and the need for watering the seeds until the meadow became established. Around the Gipsy Hill station signs he worked to plant bulbs in readiness for the spring so that as the temperatures rose the tulips and daffodils would give that shock of colour to the garden to signify that spring has sprung. He has worked on establishing the fruitery and thinning out the strawberries and managing the raspberry canes to ensure they are in the best condition for the coming growing season. It is the amount of time he has spent in the garden volunteering his time to keep on top of the maintenance and to keep the flowers blooming is the reason John deserves an award. He also befriended another local gentleman (Lionel) who was made redundant from his job and they both work together on the garden to keep it looking tip top. The garden is a safe space for them to work in and to enjoy each other’s company and to also engage with passers by means that they are seen by the local community and are our, Friends of Gipsy Hill, ambassadors that shows we care for our local area. While John says he doesn’t like to be bothered in the garden he likes having the social contact with others and working in the garden he can show his skills by creating, what everyone agrees, is a beautiful space that makes people happy. To see the well cared for garden and grounds around Gipsy Hill makes people appreciate the area that they live in and the reduction in anti-social behaviour, by having the beautiful garden, means people enjoy walking past and the great plants, flowers and trees that John and the gardeners have so lovingly tended to over the past year. It is a huge amount of work John has put in, while working with Lionel, is the reason I have nominate John for this award. He has done the lions share of the work on the garden and has established it so it is the pride of Gipsy Hill and makes the station and surrounding area a welcome place to visit.
The gardens on Scarlette Manor Way between the houses with even numbers on one side of the block and flats with odd numbers on the other side of the block. These has been managed and planted with a variety of plants, shrubs and edibles. The variety of colour in the flowering plants and diversity of leaf shape and hue is simply beautiful. There is colour all year round. It’s is for me not just a beautiful display but to see growing things when I leave my flat in great for my mood and mental health. Shaun has worked with Chrissy has worked hard to give us all on the block this gift of a connection with the natural world. He was responsible for creating new growing spaces by taking old pallets and adapting and The gardens on Scarlette Manor Way between the houses with even numbers on one side of the block and flats with odd numbers on the other side of the block. These has been managed and planted with a variety of plants, shrubs and edibles. The variety of colour in the flowering plants and diversity of leaf shape and hue is simply beautiful. There is colour all year round. It’s is for me not just a beautiful display but to see growing things when I leave my flat in great for my mood and mental health. Shaun has worked hard with Chrissy and others to give us all on the block this gift of a connection with the natural world. He provided the block with new growing spaces by taking old pallets, adapting, painting and a fixing them to the railing on the block.
Simon has helped us completely change our garden from somewhere that resembled a wasteland to a place where we regularly let residents, community members and service users of the soup kitchen can come and garden in a therapeutic way as well as grow food for consumption especially for those who are struggling financially. It has blossomed and we are now growing a whole array of international fruit and veg that we use to feed many people all around. He has trained some of our most vulnerable clients to grow in confidence and become accomplished gardeners as well as getting us corporate support from people like Citibank who continue to support us in the upkeep and maintenance of the garden
Siobhan and Lisa have been the driving force behind the creation and development of the Boiler Garden on Myatts Field South Estate. They have both put in hours of work, creativity, thought and love into transforming this derelict temporary Boiler site to a beautiful community garden. Working collaboratively is not always easy and I respect and admire Siobhan and Lisa’s persistence for making the Boiler Garden a inclusive vibrant garden.