This fantastic article was co-written by Jude Bow, Friederike Huber and Vita Bow.
It seemed such a waste; a pocket woodland, at the heart of Stockwell’s Spurgeon Estate, locked and neglected. Apart from kids climbing over the railings occasionally and a fox feeling very much at home, the garden was unused and falling into disrepair. It was particularly tragic to see this in inner London, where green spaces are so valuable.
Residents of the estate had been excluded from the garden for over 20 years, and nobody quite remembers why it was locked in the first place. A core group of Spurgeon residents resolved to open the garden again, calling it ‘The Secret Garden’ and raised sufficient funds to refurbish and replant the dilapidated plot. Longer-term plans include community composting schemes and beekeeping!
On July 21st the Secret Garden Garden Party, part of London National Park City Festival, celebrated the reopening of this vital green space to all residents of the estate. There will be an area for growing vegetables with raised beds and a wildlife garden. In addition any residents interested in growing veg for the kitchen will be able to join free “edible growing” workshops being run during the garden party by the community gardener.
The activity around the garden is already changing lives on the estate as more residents join the gardening crew and begin to connect with each other. One keen gardener from Kelvedon House couldn’t wait for the raised beds and has begun cultivating veg in a carved out space at the foot of the residential block.
The Secret Garden gives an opportunity for neighbours to nurture their environment, get more connected and share skills – totally Incredible!