The London Open Squares event was on this weekend. I heard about it on the news on Friday and decided to go to a few in my area yesterday, rather than sitting at home all day checking reports. It was well worth it. I only visited three gardens in the end, as I was much longer at each one than I thought. The first was a local primary school. Their garden was established seven years ago and is amazing. It has chickens, bees, a bird hide, a large greenhouse, a circular lawn surrounded by raised beds and pergolas, a pond, an area of box hedging, logs for insects, vegetables, flowers and trees. The children work on it in their lunchtimes and use it whenever possible for other activities. it is a really peaceful space and did feel secret, as the gate suggests. They also have an allotment on a local farm. They have won awards and shown at Chelsea. I got lots of ideas to share at school, as we will be developing our outside areas next year once the building work has finished.
Pekin chickens running around loose and they were most comical. (They were the black and white variety) They have little ball shaped bodies, wide feathered feet and seem to spin on the spot to change direction. One of the TAs who was showing us around and telling us about the garden, got one and put it up her t-shirt (a black t-shirt) It instantly stopped moving as apparently it thought it was time to go to sleep!
Ballast Quay and is one I have peeped into and been curious about for a long time. It is small, right on the river, with lots of animal sculptures by two local artists, run down old sheds, and the best thing-one of the sheds was an artist's studio. I didn't really talk to anyone at this garden, apart from a woman who had been at the school garden too so I don't know much about it. The studio was full of plants, drawings, photos and strange large felty/woven looking blankets. It was hard to tell if all the stuff in it was recent or had been tacked up like that for years. I would love to have that space to go and use. Right on the river, private from everyone and very cosy.
namely mass slaughter as a preventative measure.
Rusty old chaos in the shed.
A great spot for an evening of food and wine.
Gloucester Circus in Greenwich, which is right next to the park and has large Georgian houses on one side and council flats complete with a 1960s style drying green behind them. All residents have access. It has lots of different species of trees including two of the oldest and largest London Plane trees that were probably planted when the houses were built. I talked to one man, had a glass of cordial and then was looking around and taking pictures when another man rushed up to me with a plan of the trees and lots to say. He lives on the square and said he does not use the garden much as he has a garden of his own which takes all his time. He videoed me walking under a tree! He also took a picture of me holding the local newspaper which apparently he has lots of photos published in. All very funny really. I looked round with him and we identified most of the trees from his plan. It is a very peaceful place and another that I have looked into often as we always park near there when we go to Greenwich.