The Rosendale Community Orchard was planted in February 2016 on the Rosendale Gardens Estate.
It was planted with support from Lambeth Council, The Orchard project and the residents of the Rosendale Gardens Estate. The trees were chosen and the planting was carefully designed by the residents in a series of open consultation meetings, taking into consideration the spread and height of the trees when they would be fully grown.
The planting day was a great success with over 50 people attending and joining in. Later on that year with funding granted by Incredible Edible, as a community we planted six climbing berry bushes , some currants, raspberries, strawberries and herbs. These have been a great help in providing something sweet and delicious to harvest whilst we have been waiting for the trees to establish themselves.
For the first two summers, residents on the estate fostered individual trees, to ensure they were watered weekly, and grew strongly as a result. Two years on the Orchard has grown more beautiful, and is increasingly becoming a really tranquil space that is well used by the community, and has become a really positive focus for residents.
We received further funding from the Orchard project in 2017 to run two days of green woodworking workshops. Under the expert guidance of Ben Willis we made 6 benches from green sweet chestnut wood. These now are used in the Orchard as a place to sit down, relax, and have a chat with a neighbour, and rest whilst we eat a strawberry or two!
The Orchard is now used a few times a month for children from a local nursery to visit and experience gardening. With the help of Edible Living and Urban Growth this year we created four raised beds and some beds within old tyres at the front of the Orchard to give residents and especially children on the Estate the chance to grow vegetables.
Joint winner in Blooming Lambeth Awards 2018 for best community garden on an estate.