We hope you are enjoying the joys of the best spring ever, and staying well.
During this lockdown period, we have been concentrating on our communal gardens and helping develop community projects to keep everyone as inspired and connected to nature, as possible.
Last autumn, as part of a new community gardening project: Rewilding Camden, we planted a lovely sinuous strip of wildflower turf at a local housing estate in NW5. Look how gorgeous it is looking in its first season. We look forward to creating wildflower meadows in many more public spaces in the future.
With 97% of all wildflowers having disappeared in the UK since the second world war, it is so important that we all do our bit. From planting a handful of wildflowers in a pot, to laying wildflower turf like above, we can all create mini wildflower meadows! We are working with Camden Council and our local community groups: Thinkanddocamden.org.uk and @tkentishtown to encourage local folk to cultivate tree pits! See below an example of how to sow wildflowers into compacted tree pit. Please note that if you want flowers this summer – stick to annual seeds. We have been buying from the fab pictorialmeadows.co.uk – pick their classic mix.
Be prepared! It’s hard work digging over the tree pit – but a great idea for your daily exercise.
The other way we can help our councils at the moment, is by watering street trees.
Another community project we will be launching later this year is ‘Putting the park back into parking!’ If you have an unused car park space outside your home – and would like to turn it into a parklet… watch this space!
We have also been busy giving our clients FREE, virtual garden maintenance advise. If you would like some free advise of how to look after your garden, perhaps grow some veg, or some design ideas for buying a few new plants, do get in touch. We will be happy to help. We are prioritising gardens in the borough of Camden, Islington and Harringey, London.
In terms of growing veg, by sowing rocket seeds now, you could be eating peppery rocket in 3 weeks. If you have kids at home and some rocket seeds, give everyone a pot (or old bucket with holes in it) fill with compost or top soil, scatter the seeds, water – and have a rocket race.
Another veg we love to grow is runner beans. We love the image of the gorgeous red flowers growing on a pot on our doorstep. Followed by plump beans. Who needs a climbing rose, or clematis when we can all have runner beans. If you only have a window ledge, try growing some pea seeds (you can even use dried peas from your food cupboard) Simply get hold of a pot/juice carton with holes… or anything you can find, add some soil/compost, and sow the peas: We say give peas a chance! Within 2 weeks you will have tasty pea shoots to eat.
Here’s a question for you? Who can identify this gorgeous yellow flower?
If you look closely at the leaf, you might be able to guess the answer?…. It’s a kale plant that has bolted and gone to seed! When growing veg, we all have to accept that sometimes we will have failures…but what a lovely failure this is! A secret design tip of mine is to grow rocket seed and deliberately let it bolt. You will get the most gorgeous cream coloured delicate flowers!
And here’s another of my current fave flowers… what is it?
It’s ramson – wild garlic gone to flower. Red Campion, below is just coming into a flower. It’s a shade lover, and oh so pretty.
Please do get in touch if you need any inspiration. You don’t have to have a garden, to get growing.
From the team here, we wish you well. Enjoy the sunshine and the birdsong.