In 2018 we were approached by Wimbledon Park Estate, a tenant managed estate that wanted to create a new colourful garden that residents could enjoy throughout the seasons. The plan was to spend one intensive week tackling a grassed area at the crossroads in the centre of the estate, to transform it into a colourful oasis of floral plants in a hot red-orange-pink and yellow colour scheme.
The secondary purpose of the project, as always, was to bring residents together, and to make an excuse for neighbours to meet each other and strengthen the community on the estate.
We chose a site on the estate at the crossroads of two main paths, in the sun yet sheltered by the surrounding blocks. Over three days we prepared the site, clearing turf, digging over some of the heaviest and most difficult soil we’ve ever come across (!) and incorporating lots of well-rotted manure into the ground.
We followed the site prep with two days of community planting, held across the bank holiday weekend of August 24th and 25th. Residents had requested plants in a hot and fiery colour scheme, so we brought down loads of Rudbeckia, Penstemon, Helenium, Crocosmia and Echinacea, all mixed in with grasses, fennels and small shrubs, surrounding a crab apple tree at the centre. We were well impressed with the turnout over the weekend, as we were joined by residents of all ages who get stuck in to creating their new garden.
Seven months later, in April 2019 during the Easter holidays, we returned to Wimbledon Park to meet up once again with the residents there, to hold a special garden maintenance event. Yet again we were delighted by the amount of residents who joined us at their new garden, to learn how to cut back, mulch, weed and water the garden correctly at this time of the year, to ensure it is ready for the new growing season.
With their new skills and their enthusiasm, we know the garden in Wimbledon Park is in safe hands, and will thrive in the coming years. And we hope the same goes for the new friendships that were struck up between neighbours during our visits to the estate!