It may have been a while since we’ve written a blog – but we’ve had a very productive lockdown 1-2-3….etc!
Whilst we continue to work with lots of lovely local clients to help bring butterflies, bees and friendly wildlife into their gardens, as a social enterprise, it’s equally important to us, on a voluntary basis, to help create community gardens. We also have been developing a number of ecological projects in collaboration with Camden Council.
With 97% of wildflower meadows in the UK having disappeared since WW2, it’s vital that each one of us do our bit to welcome back wildflowers into our gardens – no matter how big or small.
For a big block of flats in NW3 we enjoyed laying wildflower turf to create an instant wildflower meadow. Lindum turf’s wildflower mat is a balanced mixture of wildflowers, herbs and flowering perennials growing in a moisture retentive plastic free biodegradable felt, to provide an instant wildflower area.
Down the road at a local primary school, we also created a wildflower meadow surrounding a chicken coop. We were very happy when the headteacher took up our suggestion for each of the school year groups to be named after a wildflower. We are hoping that this will link into literacy, science and art learning projects.
We love designing wildlife friendly gardens/habitats in a Piet Oudolf naturalistic style. Who says a wildlife friendly garden can’t look beautiful. For a client in Kentish Town the brief was also all about colours! Ooh we can’t wait to see the palette of bright oranges, pinks and reds bursting into bloom this year. For a client in Islington, the colour palette is reds, copper and brown. For another Camden client, an additional brief was to include a wildlife pond in our design. It’s often said that a wildlife garden without a pond is like a theatre without a stage!
With our motto being ‘out with the herbaceous border, in with the pollinator border,’ we are always encouraging clients to cut down on the amount of grass they have in a garden, and soften the edge between areas of planting and lawn, with a lot of low growing plants. How we love Erigeron, Thyme serp. ‘Pink Chintz’, & Corsican mint. We always liberally scatter a packet of red clover seeds wherever we go!
We are working on a very big project for a housing coop in Tower Hamlets. Our design brief is for an enchanting wildlife friendly garden which will encourage residents to come and enjoy the space previously planted with giant bamboos (boo!) We are creating a design using permaculture principles to plant across the canopy. From growing honeysuckle up trees like Birch, to birds for berries, like Rowan, to low growing woodlanders like Sweet Woodruff. And pretty planting in-between.
An easy intervention any of us can do this year in our gardens is to change our mowing regime. You would be surprised how within 3 weeks, pretty wildflowers appear. Put that mower away!
In terms of community projects, we have been very busy. One project we are working with local eco groups: thinkanddocamden.org.uk and @Tkentishtown (Transition Kentish Town) is to develop a Camden Forest – yes, you read right, a forest in Camden. Check out camdenforest2025.wordpress.com to see how together with the fab tcv.org.uk and tree dept at Camden Council, we have now managed to give over 700 bare-rooted tree whips to Camden residents in order for them to plant in their garden/balconies.
We are now embarking upon a project to giveaway small trees in pots to Camden residents on housing estates across the borough for them to pop them on walkways in housing estates and balconies. Let’s green up our borough.
We love working with schools. We have designed a whole greening plan for Parliament Hill girls school, a big secondary school in Camden. The brill girls have come up with an idea to plant an orchard, and name the trees after famous long forgotten feminists through out history: A feminist orchard! We are so digging this!
Other community projects we are working on include the building of a pop up allotment for the RefugeeCommunity Kitchen.com and Cooperation.town. Whilst we can never grow a meaningful amount of veg to supply the huge quantity of weekly meals these 2 fantastic groups cook for displaced folk, and people in need, we will grow some yummy herbs and provide an opp for the Refugee Community Kitchen chefs to get growing.
Also with our community caps on, we are turning our attention to working with the council on how we can co-design, with TRAs on housing estates, some lovely green spaces. We are looking forward to another lovely spring at our wildflower meadow on the Raglan Estate NW5. According to residents, the meadow provided a lot of joy last year during the the first lockdown.
More news soon…and pics!