Open Garden Squares Weekend 2018 – visit Hackney’s secret green spaces
Open Garden Squares Weekend is this weekend – 9 and 10 June. This delightful event is your chance to see into London’s best community gardens, many of which are open only to residents during the rest of the year.
Over the last two decades, Open Garden Square Weekend has expanded far beyond its Kensington and Chelsea roots to include gardens across the whole of London, including many in Hackney.
Hackney – one of the best places to live in London
More than any other part of the capital, East London is rich in community spirit, making it one of the best places to live in London. You can see this in the number of hidden corners that were rescued by local people and turned into well-used green space, for growing vegetables, cleaning up the London air and for the sheer enjoyment of being outside.
This year, the following gardens in Hackney will be involved, opening their gates to the public, as well as laying on refreshments, offering tours and selling plants.
Approach Gardens, E2
This community food garden was created in a forgotten space behind Russian Lane in Bethnal Green several years ago. As well as raised beds for vegetables, Approach Gardens now features fruit trees and a wildflower meadow, and is well used by local residents, schools and other community groups.
Cranbrook Community Food Garden
Built by residents of the Cranbrook estate in 2009, the Food Garden now has twenty-one raised beds and won an “outstanding” award in London In Bloom. They’ll be selling plants, seeds and refreshments – go along and show them some love!
Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
This award-winning secret garden is hidden behind a wooden doorway next to the Hackney Peace Carnival Mural. It was converted from a derelict railway line in 2010 and is now a hub for community and educational events. The on-site café cooks with produce grown in the garden, run by volunteer horticulturalists from the local community.
The square that inspired Eastenders, Fassett Square is a great example of Victorian garden design, restored to its former glory by a dedicated community gardeners. Garden tours and refreshments will be available over the weekend – expand your knowledge and sit down with a cuppa.
Gloucester Square is another great example of an affordable housing scheme in East London. Its garden is maintained in individual plots by the residents, and won Best Community Project in Hackney in Bloom 2013. Refreshments, plant sale and crafts – perfect.
St Joseph’s Hospice
The Hospice garden was created as a space for recreation and contemplation, designed to be used by patients, staff and visitors alike. Find out more about the hospice and the garden – and enjoy a cream tea as well.
St Mary’s Secret Garden
Situated on the corner of Pearson Street and Appleby Street, St Mary’s Secret Garden provides social and horticultural therapy, training and volunteering opportunities for people particularly those who are disabled or have ill health. It has its own wildflower area, sensory garden, beehives and more – an incredible achievement, especially in an inner city area. Refreshments, plants and jam for sale!
Open Garden Squares Weekend is a wonderful opportunity to visit gardens you never knew were there, and see some of the capital’s best-kept secret spaces! Visit the website here to for tickets and opening times – go and support your local gardens!
PS – you can read more about what green spaces mean for the East London property market here…