I was invited by friends to visit Rochester Square Gardens in Camden, north London yesterday as this community garden project was celebrating its first birthday. Tucked away in a small, quiet square only five minutes walk from Camden Road station, this lovely space was once a plant nursery. Its current caretakers have transformed what had been a derelict site into a place where both plants and people grow sustainably. On their Facebook page (see below), they explain their ethos and invite people to get involved:
We currently facilitate workshops and events promoting environmental awareness and action, Art/Crafts/Music/Film/Photography and Movement. The space welcomes you to tune in with the rhythms of collective awakening, evolution and harmony on our planet.
If you have ideas for the space or would like to run a workshop / presentation / event, get in touch and be a part of the garden! :)
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this peaceful urban oasis and recommend you pop by if you’re in the area! If you’d like a taster of the place, you can see some of the photographs I took during my visit in the slideshow above…
Like a number of other countries, Britain is currently sweltering in the midst of a heatwave. It’s hard enough for humans to cope in the hot weather (personally, I hate it – when it’s freezing cold you can always put another jumper on, but in this heat you can’t take your skin off!), but imagine what it must be like for our wildlife, which has already been battered by the strange weather we’ve been having so far this year.
Fortunately, anyone can help keep an eye on our wildlife during this heatwave – and here’s some simple and really good advice on how to do just that from Val Osborne, who is the head of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ wildlife enquiries team:
While we all revel in an unusually sunny summer, our garden wildlife might not be having such a good time. The hot weather could be causing natural water sources to dry up, meaning birds and hedgehogs could be left without anything to drink.
Turning your outside space into a home for nature by doing simple things like topping up your birdbath, creating a make-shift pond from a washing-up tub or putting down a saucer filled with water could offer a vital lifeline to some of our garden favourites that are already fighting against declines.
Some critters are going to need extra food too, as Osborne also notes:
When it’s particularly dry, worms tunnel right down into the soil, meaning they become out of reach to the wildlife that usually feasts on them, such as blackbirds, robins, hedgehogs and frogs.
If the hot, dry conditions carry on we may see wild plants start to die, meaning bees and butterflies will find it hard. If that happens, our gardens and the well-watered plants in them will become even more important to these insects.
You can find some more good advice on looking after wildlife in hot weather here.
Plus, if you have pets, there’s some great info from the Battersea Cats & Dogs Home on keeping them safe during a heatwave here.
Oh, and if you’re out and about, you can bring me back an ice lolly please!
Stay safe and stay cool…
It may still be distinctly chilly in London, but there are already signs of spring in the air. And this means that Syon Lane Community Allotment is beginning to come out of its winter hibernation at last. If you look very closely, you can see new growth appearing everywhere as the cycle of the seasons repeats…
Interested in what we’re doing at the allotment? You’re in luck. Spring also means that the Syon Lane Sunday open days are back each week from 12pm. All are welcome!
You can find more of my photographs from Syon Lane here.
Last weekend saw me at Syon Lane Community Allotment again. Naturally, I brought my camera along, and managed to get some great pictures of the site coming into its summer colours – and beautiful they are too… (click on any of the images above to see a larger version).
If you’d like to visit, there is an open day every Sunday from 12pm and all are welcome. For details of how to get to the Allotment, see the map and travel info on the Syon Lane website here.
You can find more of my photos from Syon Lane here.
Despite the pouring rain putting off a few visitors and volunteers, the Syon Lane Community Allotment Big Dig Open Day turned out to be a fun and productive afternoon. You can see some of the things we got up to (including making hundreds of seed-balls, filling up the greenhouse with lots of newly-planted seeds in pots, and getting our bathtub wormery up and running!) in the photos above.
We were also visited by a photographer from the local paper, and you can see some of his photos here.
Thanks to everyone who came down and made it such an enjoyable day!
Spring has definitely arrived at Syon Lane, as you can see from the photos above (which were taken yesterday afternoon). Preparations are well underway for the Big Dig Spring Open Day, which is happening at the community allotment on Saturday 17th March from midday until 6pm.
Come along and get involved in sowing and planting out in the forest garden and market garden areas, learn how to make seed balls and discover how to construct a wormery – as well as lots of other useful garden activities and workshops. And once you’ve built up an appetite, there will be free vegan food and hot and cold drinks on offer all day too.
All are welcome!
For more information and details of how to get there, visit the Syon Lane Community Allotment Facebook group.