Any community gardening, container gardening, shared gardening has to be seen as a practical logistics operation.
There are many factors that play a role
- ability to maintain
- moving on
- water source
- light and space
- containers or ground based
These are just some factors playing a role.
The most classic form of community gardening is to have an allotment and there are some available through the council website, but I suppose there is a waiting list.
There are some newer initiatives on other local estates, which have had a very positive impact on the community and those estate based gardening projects usually utilise large lawn areas to grow container based gardens, whereby an individual gets a container to maintain.
Rocky Park on Hollybush Estate is our most famous local gardening project, visited by Prince Charles. There are three other local food gardens with Cranbrook being most relevant to us.
Cranbrook community garden volunteers. They have an event coming up on 25. April 2020, 11:30 – 14:30 on Cranbrook estate. See their Facebook page
Every gardening project needs to be highly maintained. It also needs to look pleasing and produce foods we are fond of. It can be quite labour intensive and time-consuming. So just putting up a few containers is not going to make a gardening project.
If you have a balcony, there are some great pot-based gardening items on sale currently in the local Lidl store. Like potato towers and herb or tomato kits.
Plus on council estates, people come and go. Most plants need at least one season to establish and those require regular watering and weeding. People actually need to have the strength time and space to do so. Where is the nearest water source and can you carry water containers from the source to the plants?
Planting fruit trees results in ripe fruits falling onto the ground and attracting wasps. Even though this is bug friendly, it is very unsightly on your lawn and produces the growth of seedlings and needs regular maintenance. Fruit trees also get considerable crowns and can take away a natural light source for residents in flats. Bees and wasps will swarm around the rotting fruit, not good if you have children in the vicinity.
Perhaps, if people look at the practical side of community gardening and consider how much time they actually have doing it, we are getting a good platform on which to discuss the subject for Parkview estate.
Parkview is a landscaped estate with small parcels of land around blocks, which are meant for shallow rooted rose bushes and similar plants, requiring regular pruning. Unfortunately the wrong type of trees were allowed to establish around some houses as explained in the previous post.
I think it needs a proper strategic meeting with trained specialists to come to a solution.
I tried to make use of some sunny spot on my north-facing front-garden and an up-stairs neighbour wanted to grow potatoes. Yet she never did more than putting the seed potatoes into the ground. She did not weed and even asked me to water them for her. Unfortunately it soon became an unsightly and overgrown mess. They have now moved away.
THH what is the point of having those containers there?
Reynolds House in Approach Road has six containers placed outside the house, on the pavement and those containers have been abandoned. They were put there by Tower Hamlets Homes and look awful now. Some have, provided by Tower Hamlets Homes, plagues on but they are not exactly a glowing advertisement for THH community gardening in such a prominent location with plenty of footfall to and from the park.