Growing on – from Pop Farm to Caldwell Gardens
Urban Growth are a Lambeth social enterprise improving the well-being of Londoners through providing Education, Employment & Environmental Transformation.
We are a not-for-profit social enterprise which aims to improve people’s well being through connecting them with the natural world in the city. We use our commercial contracts, creating & maintaining gardens, to support community gardening and educational activities in them.
Growing the idea of a gardening career
We offer horticultural training programmes and everyone who works for Urban Growth has had that training. There’s still challenges to meet in people’s perception of gardening and horticulture as a career. It’s not a highly-paid sector, but we pay above London Living Wage, unlike most large landscaping companies, and we show people that this sort of work – outdoors in public spaces, learning about plants every day and contributing to communal spaces – is rewarding and sustainable employment accessible to all.
Chosen by Caldwell
Lambeth Council’s Estate Pride Team asked us to present ideas to create a garden space to the residents of Caldwell Gardens.
The space is currently all divided up by railings; we will remove those and recycling some into a pergola to support climbing plants. We will create over 50 square metres of growing space in raised beds constructed from timber sleepers. This will host a range of low-maintenance perennials to support biodiversity & provide year-round interest for residents. There will also be a space for an Edible Living food-growing project.
Transformation for spring
We very much hope that residents will join us planting in the first half of April.
We know there are talented gardeners there – someone is growing Echium, an amazing plant from the Canary Islands that attracts hundreds of pollinating insects – and we want them involved to show us how it’s done!
Getting into Lambeth food
The next step in our partnership with Lambeth is getting involved with the delivery of Edible Living food growing projects on estates. One of the things we want to add is measuring the financial value of the food communities are growing using Capital Growth’s Harvestometer
- For more on how Urban Growth have already transformed community spaces for south London tenants, see the case studies on line about Surrey Square & Edward Edwards House
- For more about Estate Pride projects to improve the environment on Lambeth estates, contact Linda Elliott
- See more about Edible Living