Five Community Gardens in South East London and how to get involved
Have you got a green thumb, but not much space to work with? Is your cacti dying, again? Or worse, you’ve only encountered a courgette in Sainsbury’s?
Having the space to appreciate, understand and learn from nature can de difficult when living in such a busy city. Thankfully community members have been appropriating space to cherish soil and vegetation for years. Here’s a quick list of some of my favourite community gardens and farms and how to get involved with them.
1. Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses
Situated in beautiful Brockwell Park between Brixton Hill and Herne Hill, this well developed community collective of green spaces offers so many opportunities to get involved. With their volunteer program open Thursday to Sunday 10 am to 4 pm, anyone is welcome to try their hand at gardening. Amongst musical events, workshops and markets, you can find yourself at Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses always with something to do and someone to talk to!
Address : BPCG Brockwell Hall, Brockwell Park, London SE24 0PA
2. Glengall Wharf Gardens
Situated on the edge of Burgess Park just as that lovely green walk to Peckham Starts, Glengall Wharf Gardens is an agricultural center dedicated to community and green space. There you can find chickens, bonfires, vegetable beds, forest gardens and even beehives. Established ten years ago, this group of volunteers have been working to spread understanding and appreciation for healthy locally sourced food and organic horticulture. Dedicated to their community, their produce gets donated to the southwark food bank. You can join the ranks as their volunteer hours have openned up again, with gardening sessions every Sunday 12 to 3:45 pm and Tuesday 10:30 am to 2:15pm, with an all hands on deck session every Wednesday 3pm to 7pm which doesn’t require any booking. So come drop in to get some dirt under your nails.
Address : 64 Glengall Rd, London SE15 6NF
3. John Evelyn Community garden
At the top of Deptford a few minutes walk from the Thames, nested among an estate, vibrates the John Evelyn Community Garden. Anyone is invited to become a friend of the John Evelyn Garden for free, open to the public every Sunday from 2pm to 6pm. One can plant in the vegetable beds or help de-weed the pond amongst many other gardening activities. Feel free to look into all the extra events going on in the space including, courses, workshops and group activities. John Evelyn Community Garden is a space to relax and enjoy nature while learning and aiding your community.
Address : Windlass Pl, London SE8 3QZ
4. Denmark Hill Community Gardens
Right at the top of Denmark Hill, a lovely group of individuals all sharing a council estate decided to establish their garden space as an environment for growth and collaboration. Open to all, catering to those neighboring, the garden aims to feed its community with organic and home grown food. Consolidated during the pandemic as neighbors found relief in growing produce. Supported by Grow Wild UK, this shows as another effort made by individuals in diversifying urban flora and making free local organic produce more accessible to urban communities.
Address : Denmark Hill Estate SE5 8HB
Link/ Social: @denmarkhillgarden
5. Common Growth Community Garden
For those perched up on the hills that rise next to New Cross station, look no further as Common Growth Community Garden offers a space for green thumbs to find dirt. Amongst the Bold Vision Charity which supports several projects in New Cross and Telegraph Hill, this garden is open to the public every sunday from 2pm to 5pm. Each year the garden volunteers work hard to make the space as practical as possible as several events and workshops are available throughout the year. Follow along on facebook to receive updates and find out how you can participate in the common growth.
Address : Common Growth Community Garden, Sandbourne Road, New Cross, SE4 2NS
The city needs green spaces, and its inhabitants need organic, locally grown and free food.
There are many opportunities for anyone to join and help in the development and maintenance of gardening and farming space. Help London’s communities grow starting with delicious organic and super healthy produce. Join the effort of sustainability and change through your local community garden.
Words and Illustration by Mona Neilson