Guest blog from the Core Landscapes Community Garden

A Core Arts Project

At Core Landscapes, we transform temporary sites into green havens to promote positive mental health for all. During Lockdown we have a skeleton staff and volunteer rota maintain our roof and street gardens and have shifted all learning engagement online. When the lock down began we worked quickly to create a series of  “how to” films on all aspects of horticulture films, spotlights on wild plants and seasonal garden updates. We are supporting our beneficiaries with calls, texts and whatsapp groups to share gardening information and to keep in touch with everyone and aim to deliver plant + compost packs to them in the near future. The films are fully accessible via our website link

Core Landscapes began in 2009 and has moved 4 times across 3 East London Boroughs since then. We’re currently situated on a roof in Hackney next to Core Arts’ award-winning mental health charity after relocating from Whitechapel last year. 

We work with people who have been referred to the project via health and social care professionals and also with community, support and corporate volunteers as well as the wider community and general public. We also support other community green projects with advice, support and training.

Whereever we are situated the project always has an orchard, teaching space, medicinal plants, pond, food growing area as well as a wide range of flowers, shrubs and other trees – all movable and container grown showcasing that the sky’s the limit with container growing. We demonstrate that just because you may not have much space or actual ground to grow into, you can still garden and create gardens to promote your mental health and wellbeing through gardening.

For more information – follow Core Landscapes at and or join our instagram @CoreLandscapesLondon or facebook group @communitymeanwhilegarden

Guest blog from the Hammersmith Community Gardens Association

Phoenix Farm in White City
We hope you all had a lovely Easter from all of us at Hammersmith Community Gardens Association.

One member of our team is still caring for the plants and animals at Phoenix Farm in White City, while our volunteer gardening sessions are postponed, to keep everyone safe. One of our amazing volunteers, Lydia, made a short film of Phoenix Farm over the Easter weekend. We hope you enjoy this 90 second video of peacefulness and calm as much as we did! Here is the link to the video:

This month, our head gardener, Cath, has had a lot to do in the garden! She has been busy sowing a huge variety of seeds in the greenhouse, such as: tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins, French beans, coriander, basil and outside she has been sowing broad beans, sunflowers, peas, carrots, lettuce, rocket and spinach! If you are looking for some fun, food growing and nature craft ideas you can check out our website or sign up to the HCGA newsletter:​

Over the last week, we have given away over one hundred free ‘growing kits’ at Ravenscourt Park (outside the cafe) and on the White City Estate! Next week, we will be giving away more growing kits in Queen’s Park Gardens.

Keep an eye on our Twitter page for updates: @HCGAGardens. Inside the growing kit you will find sunflower seeds and other vegetable seeds, instructions on how to sow and plant them, small pots, compost and ideas for things you can grow at home from your store cupboard or from your food waste. Happy growing!

We have also launched our annual sunflower growing competition so if you would like to enter, sow some sunflower seeds now! You don’t need a garden, why not grow them in pots on your windowsill?! Follow the instructions below to help

A new green space for London- a view of the Grand Surrey Canal Linear Park

The London Parks & Gardens Trust is all about protecting London’s historic green landscapes and celebrating them.  It does this in many ways including through active research and recording to document the significance of each space.  The Trust invited one of our intrepid volunteers Candy Blackham to photograph and investigate a new space that is currently not on our Inventory and report back. Candy is a keen photographer when she isn’t helping the Trust and she has taken all the photos in this article. Below are her findings!Read More »

The Gardens Trust: Know It, Love It Project

The Gardens Trust, an organisation with similar aims as the LPGT, has been commissioned to deliver the  Know It, Love It Project.

This project will train volunteers to research and record local historic parks and gardens and then help conserve them by surveying and writing Statements of Significance. It is part of the Land of the Fanns Landscape Partnership Scheme – a 5 year programme seeking to restore, discover and celebrate one of the last remaining landscapes of London and Essex as it once was.

The workshops are designed to be entry-level and will teach the role that research can play in conserving parks and gardens, to find and use historic documents, to recognise and survey a historic designed landscape and its features as you walk around it, and to write-up your knowledge so it can help protect the site in future. They will be followed by work over the next two years to write Statements of Significance for other sites in the Land of the Fanns area.

The workshops are free of charge, but places are limited to 30 so please book by emailing as soon as possible or by 31st July at the latest. 

For some of the workshops we will be splitting volunteers into smaller groups looking at Dagnam, Belhus, Thorndon and Warley Place – please indicate your preference and we will do our best to accommodate it.

Workshop dates (please note that they are designed as a package so you should aim to attend all five):


9th September 2019


Stubbers Adventure Centre, Upminster Workshop 1: Know It, Love It How research and recording volunteers can help

conserve historic parks and gardens

17th September 2019

10am-5pm (depending on your group)

Essex Record Office, Chelmsford Workshop 2: Historic Document Detectives Learning how to find and use historic archive material
23rd September 2019


NB volunteers are only requested to attend one Workshop 3.

Dagnam Park, Harold Hill Workshop 3: Reading a Landscape on the Ground How to recognise key features in historic parks and gardens
24th September 2019



Belhus Park, South Ockendon Workshop 3: Reading a Landscape on the Ground How to recognise key features in historic parks and gardens
25th September 2019




Country Park, Brentwood

Workshop 3: Reading a Landscape on the Ground How to recognise key features in historic parks and gardens
7th October 2019



Warley Place, Brentwood Workshop 3: Reading a Landscape on the Ground: How to recognise key features in historic parks and gardens
15th October 2019


Thames Chase Forest Centre,

Broadfields, Pike Lane, Upminster RM14 3NS

Workshop 4: The Significance of Your Research Using research and recording to conserve landscapes through surveys and Statements of Significance
5th November 2019


Thames Chase Forest Centre, Broadfields, Pike Lane, Upminster RM14 3NS Workshop 5: You Can Do It! Mop-Up Session


Hoop’s Top Picks for Families at Open Garden Squares Weekend 2019

With just a few days to go until Open Garden Squares Weekend returns to the capital, the team at Hoop (the UK’s #1 place to discover and book family activities) have picked out their top events for families at this year’s Weekend.

“At Hoop, we’re always working to help families to explore their local area and connect with their community in new ways. That’s why we’re super excited for Open Garden Squares Weekend 2019. London’s hidden gardens will be opening their gates and filled with amazing activities for the whole family. We’re delighted to bring you our picks for families at this year’s Weekend.”

The Hoop team’s top choices are:

  1. Meet Jess French and Make a Bird Feeder
    Oasis Farm Waterloo, SE1 | Saturday 08 June

    Join Jess French, vet, explorer and Cbeebies presenter, to hear how children can attract more wildlife into their gardens and about her latest book ‘How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear’.

  2. Meet ‘Grow Your Own Sensation’ Huw Richards
    Approach Gardens, E2 & Regent’s Park Allotment Gardens, NW1 | Sunday 09 June

    Meet Huw Richards, celebrated as the ‘future of gardening’, for a workshop where you can learn all about growing your own plants. Huw started gardening at just 3 years old and uploaded his first gardening video at just 12!

  3. Wellness Talk with Catherine Arnold
    Bell House, SE21 | Sunday 09 June

    Ever wondered which foods help keep you healthy or look after your gut? Join Catherine Arnold for expert advice for the whole family on keeping your gut healthy, including a sauerkraut demonstration and tasting.

Hoop is the UK’s #1 place to discover and book family activities and is trusted by over one million families. Listing over 80,000 different family activities each week from exciting talks and workshops, like those at the Open Garden Squares Weekend, to local baby and toddler groups, dance classes, sports clubs and more.