The Rosendale Community Orchard was planted in February 2016 with support of the Orchard Project and Lambeth Council. The site was a patch of land on the estate that was previously not used.
Through outreach we invited people to help choose the trees that were planted and to design the layout of the Orchard, taking into consideration the number of trees, how big they were going to grow and what sort of feel people wanted.
The planting day was a great success with over 50 people coming along. Later on, that year with funding granted by Incredible Edible, the Rosendale Gardens community 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. 5 years on, and the Orchard has grown more beautiful, and is increasingly becoming a tranquil and fun space that is well used by the community and has become a 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! https://www.theorchardproject.org.uk/news/new-helping-britain-blossom-video/ Follow this link to see us featured in the video with Ben Willis learning green woodwork skills and making benches.
In 2019 with the help of Edible Living and Urban Growth we created four raised beds at the front of the Orchard to create a community kitchen garden.
In 2020 throughout the corona virus pandemic the Orchard and its volunteers have supported residents on the estate to grow food and flowers on their balconies, providing planters, compost, seeds and seedlings. We hope to build more individual veg growing beds with residents, next to Kitchen Garden to increase growing space and create mini individual allotments.
The Rosendale Gardens Orchard and Community Kitchen was a winner in Blooming Lambeth Awards 2018 for best community garden on an estate.
Have a virtual tour of the garden by visiting our YouTube channel