Community gardeners are bringing a taste of the Chelsea Flower Show south of the river this summer with a pop-up garden.
Herne Hill residents, shopkeepers and volunteers from Brockwell Greenhouses and Brockwell Park are coming together with Lambeth Council to create an exuberant garden display outside Brockwell Park’s Herne Hill Gate.
Planters will be designed, built and planted on Thursday evenings during the ‘Chelsea Fringe Festival’ and will remain in situ throughout the summer.
Community Gardener and Brixton Bugle columnist, Alison Alexander, said: “We’re really excited to plant this pop-up garden. We want everybody to get involved and come and help us plant – it’s a great way to get the community together and create something eye-catching and beautiful.”
Lambeth Council’s Freshview team will organise community support, scaffold boards and compost for the event. Brockwell Community Greenhouse will provide the plants.
The theme for the display is pollination. The UK is home to 23 species of bumblebee, 260 solitary bees, 2500 moths, 59 species of butterfly, 200 hoverflies and 7000 flies. The charity Buglife estimates 60% of them, many stunningly beautiful and a joy to behold, are in decline.
Urban gardeners can have a massive impact on pollinator health. The plants being grown at the Community Greenhouses for the Chelsea Fringe and for other displays in Brockwell Park will have a vast range of flower shapes and colours suited to different invertebrates’ eyes and mouthparts.
They’ll provide a long season of flowering, and therefore sustained pollen and nectar supply, into late autumn. And they’ll look extremely eye-catching for humans too.
The Chelsea Fringe Festival started two years ago as a pan-London gardening celebration to coincide with the Royal Horticultural Society’s long-established Chelsea Flower Show. Temporary gardens, many of them planted by community groups, will spring up again all over town from Saturday, May 17th To Sunday, June 8th.
The community build will take place on Thursday evenings from 5-7pm. The first session on May 22nd will be a design session in situ outside the park gates. During the second session on May 29th the planters will be constructed at the Greenhouses. On June 5th, planters will be transported to outside the gate and planted up there.
Everyone is welcome to take part in the fun. Contact Freshview@lambeth.gov.uk to register your interest.