This is the latest in a series of blog posts about community gardens and food projects. For me, community gardens show how people and spaces can be transformed and connected through the simple acts of gardening and growing food together. Whenever I travel I like to go and find some community gardens and edible spaces to visit, be in and if people are working in the garden have a chat with them about the garden and what it means to them and the community that they are a part of.
On my latest trip to London, I found time to visit Culpeper Community Garden. Culpeper Community Garden is an oasis of calm amongst the hustle and bustle of inner city London. It is located in the borough of Islington and is about a 5-7minute walk from Angel tube station.
In the middle of a British winter, you might be forgiven for thinking that there would be little to see and discover, however, that would be to overlook the everyday charm that is built into this particular community garden. This is what the gardens looked like in early February.
The garden held a charm all of its own as I had no idea what I would see next as I walked up and around the paths. This is one of the oldest community-run open spaces in the UK, and you can see the love and care that goes into maintaining this space. To read about this fascinating space click here.
One of the joys of Culpeper Community Garden is how it helps you to interpret and understand the garden. Dotted around the garden and tied onto branches and bushes are small tile sized paintings. These pictures help explain what you are looking or what you might see while visiting this garden. I loved them! They were images you discovered while walking around the garden – more guide posts than sign posts. They left a lasting impression on me, and I share some of the images I found on my walk below:
A Relaxing space
Culpeper Community Garden is clearly both a park space and an environmental project. The garden is organic and has lawns, edible growing spaces, raised beds, a pond, rose pergolas, a composting area, a small hut and a larger community building. It is a beautiful area to walk around and to be curious about what is going on in the different parts of the garden. Just sitting and observing was a way to feel my breathing slow and my body relax.
I could wonder who it was that worked each of the plots and what it was that they had harvested from last years produce and what might be the plans for this coming year.
Where to find Culpeper Community Garden
I took the Northern Line (Bank Branch) to Angel and then walked to the garden. The address is: 1 Cloudesley Road, Islington, London N1 0EG.
The Community Gardens run volunteer sessions on: Tuesday 2-4pm, Friday 11-1pm and hold a workday on the second Sunday of every month.
I loved this Community Garden, and it has a lot to offer the community and a casual visitor. Next time you are in London why not take time out to seek out a community garden to visit as part of your trip.
And finally…. If you know of a community garden project that you would like me to visit then drop me a line and let me know in the comments below.