In summer 2017, IEL’s judges and writer/photographer Elaine Kramer visited gardens nominated by gardeners, friends and neighbours. Lambeth’s Mayor, Cllr Marcia Cameron, presented 18 of the borough’s best gardens and gardening communities with awards in a ceremony at the recently-reopened Museum of Garden History. Every garden won £100 to invest in growing better next year.
Word from the Council
Cllr Marcia Cameron, Mayor of Lambeth said:
“Sometimes as a Councillor you hear bad things about Lambeth – but I know so much to be proud of: the busy-ness of Waterloo Station, open-air swimming at the Lido, a working windmill, the Black Cultural Archives. Here we are at the world’s first garden museum – and it’s in Lambeth.
“And something we can be particularly proud of is this – so many community activists growing food, growing communities, all doing something to help Lambeth be a better place.”
Agnes Riley Community Gardens
Formerly an allotment site Agnes Riley Gardens community garden now has no individual plots. All of the produce is grown to share from year round ‘pick-your-own-salads’, to plenty of herbs, salad, fruit and vegetables.A new poly tunnel means the garden is more productive providing all year round growing opportunities and they are constantly experimenting and trying out new things using saved seed. There’s also a nearby small community orchard to maintain.
The garden is a haven for local wildlife with foraging plants for the bees kept nearby, and lots of spaces for frogs and newts to overwinter. Importantly there’s a large stag beetle area for the UK’s largest land beetle, one of Greater London’s priority species. Recently upgraded signage means people know what they are picking. There are also plants for sale and extra salad is sold to a nearby restaurant.
For more information
- Food growing is getting bigger and bigger on Lambeth estates. It brings communities and generations together and inspires healthy eating. A trained Community Gardener from Urban Growth will help get your project up and running. You’ll have opportunities to get involved in cooking (or cookery lessons) and other food workshops. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Incredible Edible Lambeth (IEL) is a network of food growers and activists working to improve our communities. We exist to re-localise the food system in Lambeth so that it nurtures us and strengthens our communities. See a map of what’s growing where and read more about our campaigns on our news pages.
- Get in touch with the Friends of Agnes Riley Gardens on Facebook or Twitter@agnesrileygdns
Thank you to photographer Elaine Kramer for the words and pictures on the ‘Blooming Lambeth’ pages.