Our much loved June walkabout felt more like winter last night. It was very inspiring despite the damp and the cold. Its always wonderful to get a glimpse into real gardens.
Cec came up with a great tour which included quintessential front and back de Beauvoir gardens – each one an oasis of green in the city. There were roses and honeysuckle rambling up walls. A garden dedicated to Jerusalem that spilled into the street and a pretty planting scheme made magic with candle light.
It was really interesting to see what is happening by the canal. The raised beds by the residents of the de Beauvoir estate have doubled in number. They now have fruit tees, a wild meadow area, and seating. It’s a great story about the transformative power of growing to bring a community together.
On the canal itself we saw the continued efforts of Gideon Corby and The Wildlife Gardeners of Haggerston who spoke at our AGM. They’ve made and planted banks along the canal, gradually greening and softening the hard landscaping of the Kingsland Basin which is surrounded by new developments. Native water plants are now becoming well established and providing a rich, diverse wildlife habitat whilst cleaning the canal.
It was a barge filled with soil that was the highlight of the tour. In the middle of the basin a community of barges have their own allotment boat complete with apple trees, berries, artichokes, all manner of vegetables and even a duck house!
It was a fabulous evening made all the more special when attended by some of our older members. They are evidence that gardeners are the hardiest (and the happiest) of souls.
THE GOOD BEE
For those of you who missed our February meeting Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum will be giving a talk about their book at the Islington Waterstones on Wednesday 15th June at 18.30pm. Book HERE.
Without the bees, the landscape, as well as every aisle in our supermarkets, would look radically different. The Good Bee explains the part bees play in the natural world and their relationship with us, how they are coming under threat, and what we can do to help.
Alison, a Guardian journalist, and Brian, a former government bee inspector, share their infectious awe for this most vital and mysterious of nature’s creatures, showcasing their habits, habitats and honey intricacies in all their magnificent forms, and providing ways we can help the bee population thrive and survive.