Sunday, 3 April 2011

Spring is in the air and the Secret Garden is open.

The Secret Garden has been asleep over the winter but now that Spring is here, we are opening again. From Thursday 7th April the garden will be open to all from 2pm - 6pm, and will be open every Thursday. We will hopefully be open on Saturdays as well.

Last year we achieved a great amount. The garden was completely reformed and we held several events over the year. During the D'Eynsford estate fun day there was a barbeque in the garden with samples of food from the veg patch and healthy chicken replaced burgers and sausages.

We also had a very sweet evening of carols, mince pies and mulled wine at Christmas, with the a small concert by the Pop-Up Choir

And finally, the bulbs we planted around the garden and all over the estate last autumn are coming up and are looking fantastic. The hops and hostas are starting to come through as well in the garden. (I personally, am looking forward very much to the hops)

Informally, some people have been coming in and doing a lot of weeding and tidying up. In fact, the garden is starting to look great, even if I do say so myself. James' mum and dad came over a month or so ago and did a lot of weeding and clearing up so thank you to them. Many thanks too and a big welcome back go to Carlo and Kasia- and Sara and Eric (the viking) of course- who have spent the last few days blitzing the garden and getting the front section looking a little more presentable. We have also been cleaning up the greenhouse and the area around the water but and the willow gazebo which was getting a bit shabby.

Laura is planning a planting scheme for the vegetable beds that will provide us with lots of food, we hope, and be a bit more organised than last year! It will be based on crop rotation so as not to drain the nutrients in the soil and prevent disease.

There are also plans in place for activities over the summer. We have received funding for some training seminars on sustainable gardening that everyone will be welcome to attend. Talking of funding, we are planning some events over the summer. We are looking to have a pop-up tea shop on several afternoons and hopefully some open air cinema screenings. The idea is to raise money to help pay for new plants and other bits and pieces we need.

So watch this space, and please come and visit. No experience is necessary.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Things are growing


If you haven't been to the garden for a while, you're in for a treat.

Not only are the flowers settling in nicely thank you very much, but the shed and the gazebo are up. More and more people are coming in, helping or just being plain curious and having a look.

Morrisons, the repairs contractor for the estate, have kindly donated lots of new tools, including smaller children's tools (very cute they are too!).

But above all we are growing as a community. More and more people are starting to discover that they actually have friends as well as neighbours. With this in mind, we have a few events coming up over the summer and everyone is welcome. All the events are in the garden.

Monday 21st June 7pm: Social meeting. Come and have a drink and relax after work. There will also be some feedback from about fund-raising.

Sunday 18th July: Big Lunch. Have lunch with your neighbours. Bring along a dish (maybe a national dish from your country if you like) and share it with everyone else. This is part of The Eden Project's Big Lunch Event.

Monday 19th July 7pm: Garden meeting to discuss the remaining spending from the Cleaner, Greener, Safer fund.

Monday 16th August 7pm: Social meeting. Come and have a drink and relax after work.

Saturday 21st Aug: Estate funday. This is an annual event on the estate. We will be having a barbecue in the garden with fresh food from the garden and demonstrations on healthy cooking. There won't be a frozen hamburger in sight. And yes, you will be able to taste everything too.

Monday 20th Sept 7pm: Garden meeting.

Hopefully you will be able to come to some of the events during the summer. We are also talking to Camberwell Library to see if they can do some events for this space.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Our Secret Garden is nearly ready. We are having two planting and digging days on Thursday the 25th and Saturday the 27th March. Please come along and help make a difference to your community.

We are on the D'Eynsford estate off Kimpton Road. If you walk down Kimpton Road from Camberwell Church Street (By the KFC) you
will see us. It's about 15 metres on the right.

There will be free cakes and tea, and everyone is welcome, especially children.

With many thanks to the Walworth Garden Farm for all their help and work. Above is a photo of some of the crew and below a picture of the very shy artists who have designed the amazing new entrance.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Secret Garden. Progress so far

So It has been a long time since there have been any updates but work is galloping along.

We won a bid from Southwark Council's "Cleaner, Greener, Safer" fund for £25,000. We felt on the estate that since we had got such a large amount of money, much more than we expected, we should open the garden to all residents in Camberwell. The place is big enough and should be a respite to the sirens that wail along Camberwell Church Street!

During last summer and this winter we have been consulting with residents on the estate and co-ordinating with Southwark Council to get the best out of this large amount of money. We were worried that the garden would end up looking like a corporately build place with no input from us.

Luckily we found Walworth Garden Farm from up the road who, with a team led by Tatiana, have been doing a fantastic job. The work is in progress and should be completed by the end of March.

We have a stunning new entrance which has been designed by a local artist (who has also created a storage bench for the garden too). New paths are being laid to create a woodland section at the beginning of the garden. The second section will get a new gazebo, seating, shed and more flowers than you can imagine. There will be a herb garden and a specially designed raised bed for children, using the granite slabs that originally bordered another part of the garden.

The final part of the garden is the working section of the garden. Fruits and vegetables are grown here and the greenhouse will provide us with seedlings and all kinds of produce. The section has had new raised beds made which are wheelchair accessible, the wall along one side has been made safe and there will be a new compost bin area.

To get the new garden off the ground we are having two planting and digging days.

Please come along on Thursday 25th March from 2pm-6pm or on Saturday 27th March from 10am - 4pm to help plant all the new flowers, bushes and trees.

As well as this we will be putting up the new shed, the new willow gazebo and filling in the raised beds. There will also be some planting of seeds in the greenhouse and much, much more.

Children as always will be welcome and we have new tools specially designed for small hands, and gloves to protect them too. (don't worry, we have adult sizes as well!).

Someone I am sure will provide us with cups of tea and cakes.

After the initial planting sessions, the new opening times will be: Thursdays 2pm - 5pm Saturday 10am - 2pm. Once we have enough volunteers who can commit to opening at other times we will do so. So if you want to volunteer, please get in touch.

You can email us at: or call Tom on 7701 5633 or 07939 250935.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

So, what has been happening so far?

  • We got access to the area in January 2009.
  • We held a consultation period at the garden on the 25th January to ask people on the estate what they wanted in their garden (See photos below).
  • At the beginning of February we tried to visit 4 other local community gardens, but they were all closed!
  • We put in a bid for and won won £1000 from the O2 It's our Community fund. This money, given to the Tenants and Residents Association is purely for the Community Garden and will be spent on getting tools, seeds and a greenhouse.
  • Since March we have been going in every Sunday and clearing the area and preparing a space for the greenhouse.
  • We have put in a bid to the Cleaner, Greener, Safer project to improve the access and the security of the site. When there is some news, we will let you know.
  • We have also had Jane Blenkins from the Community Greenhouse in Brockwell Park, an expert in these matters, come and visit and give us novices lots of advice and ideas on how to get started and what to plant.
  • We have bought some tools, we have found some manure and compost, we have been digging and preparing the soil and we have seeds and have started growing our first plants. Some time soon you will see some herbs, flowers and later on some pumpkins growing in the garden.
  • We have been very busy and every week new people have been coming and joining in. But we still need your help...

What are our aims?

  • Create a beautiful garden.
  • To provide flowers and plants for residents’ balconies and window boxes.
  • Encourage everyone from children and parents to Pensioners to come together and learn more about where their food comes from and learn more about each other.
  • Provide education in practical gardening, food growing, environmental issues and healthy living.
  • Promote sharing and social cohesion.
  • Provide fresh food for the residents of the estate.
  • Be a place that people can come and relax.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

What can you do?

  • We would like you to get involved. If you live on the estate, come along. After all, it is your garden.
  • We need compost. Lots of compost. As much as we can make. Please save any food scraps, tea bags or rotten fruit and vegetables. Then bring it to our composters when the garden is open. However, PLEASE DO NOT PUT ANY MEAT IN THERE! Meat is not good for composting and will attract vermin.
  • Enjoy yourself!