Come Rain or Shine We Declare This Garden (almost) Open!!

July 18, 2011 at 1:24 pm (Uncategorized)

Perfect Growing Weather…

Not even the heavy rainstorms managed to dampen the enthusiasm of a group of local revellers on this launch day of the Robin Hood Community Garden on Sunday.

Situated at the bottom of Big Hill in Clapton, next to the River Lea, the garden has been in development since April last year, when clearance of the derelict site began.

We are shortly to open our gates to the public, and held the event to celebrate the progress already made in the garden, which has been transformed by the hard work and dedication of a group of local people keen to see the site brought back into use.

Over a hundred people turned out to join us, and were treated to a packed afternoon of entertainment : Visitors were treated to home made cake, mint tea picked from the garden, and home made elderflower champagne : music by the many talented members of the group, as well as local all-girl punk ukelele band the pUKES : traditional play from Universal Board Games; the story of the garden in photos; samples of honey and news of sustainable beekeeping by local beekeeper Tim; a talk on medicinal herbs; a workshop to design a sustainable shed for the garden; the imaginary archeology of the garden, and Luke’s Bits and Bobs stall.

The star of the show, of course, was the garden itself : local people have designed, built, dug and planted, and now the site is a beautiful sanctuary of wildlife areas, and meadows, an orchard, and raised beds brimming with vegetables and herbs.

If you haven’t already visited the garden, summer is the perfect time : the garden will be holding a series of workshops and talks, on themes from art to ecology, for all ages, and the groups work days, if you want to get involved will continue on thursdays and sundays 10am-1pm.

Racel Frances

Photos Dianna Hamilton & Christine Marshall

Luke plays Stand by Me, and we sing for all we’re worth!

The incredible pUKES! Ukelele punk renditions of Hong Kong Garden & Sheena is …

Mr Wooden Spoon …

The fabulous Janice… ” They flew just for a second they soared…”

If the kids, are united – we will never be divided. . .

Keyo sings winged poetry

Chloe ends the day with some fantastic african drumming to chase the rain away

“It was a really brilliant day. Thanks to everyone”   Sophie

” Sunday was a great celebration of all our achievements. Despite it tipping with rain over 4 sustained occasions, nobody wanted to leave! We had herb walks and activities, Lukes famous ‘Bits and Bobs’ stall, Universal Board Games in the Orchard, Tim the bee man dishing out fragant honey, our Imaginary Archiving Museum Project and fabulous structures arose from our Design our Robin Hood Garden Shed project. Pete and Bea served up the most wonderfull hot chocolate and we shared some scrumptious cakes. Our music programme saw, amongst others, the incredible all girl ukelele punk band the pUKES entertain us with delights such as ‘Hong Kong Garden’, local lad Luke played a very moving ‘Stand by Me’, and Keyo played his beautiful songs full of poetry. Janice rocked with their accordian numbers and Wooden Spoon saw a stage invasion as the thunder broke over head… local lass Chloe gave us a drumming solo South American style and in the late sun, John, Keyo and Owen played on until everthing had been dismantled and packed away. Throughout the day children were running in and out of the vegetable plots, munching on peapods and raspberries. It was a day to treasure, and one to repeat very soon!”  Nikky.

“Just to say what a wonderful day it was yesterday. So many people said how much they enjoyed it and  many made comments on how this is just the beginning as there is so much potential for the site/local community. There was a real feeling of positivity and enjoyment. A big thank you goes out to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen. We are lucky to have such an enthusiastic and talented group of people involved.” Kath

“I LOVED it- had such a great day.” Christine

“I agree it was a very good day and alot of work went into making it such a good day. Pete as well as building the pallet fence around the wood etc in the far corner, kept the kelly kettle on the boil – no mean feat; Bea serving all the cups of tea and coffee; people who brought all sorts of edibles etc, the erecting and dismantling of the gazibos, the carrying of the tables and chairs, the music the games and lots more. I had a friend who travelled from Birmingham and she really enjoyed it”.  Sari.

We also have a fantastic programme of events over the summer holidays, see poster for details.

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Robin Hood Community Garden Opening Picnic !!! Sunday 17th July.

July 2, 2011 at 12:40 pm (Uncategorized)

Tell your friends and families, its going to be quite a day down the garden… Plants and herb walks, live carving, bee experts, music and arts projects to really engage your minds and tickle your fancies: Universal Board Games, ‘Designing the RHCG Shed’ competition,  ‘Lukes Bits n Bobs” and Imaginary Archiving’  with our collection of underground treasure to name a few. With 6 music acts already confirmed and more in the pipe line, its already being dubbed ‘Clapstonbury’ . . .


Thursday June 23, what a great day in the garden. This was the first session with the new fence and it looks even better from the inside. Everyone worked hard as usual watering, weeding, and pulling brambles. Sari cooked up a feast over the fire with her comfrey fritters and we harvested the  leaves and herbs for a delicious salad. The council cut the orchard grass and Gary came along to continue discussing plans for the table. Later in the evening Hackney 63rd Scouts and Cubs were on site for over 2 hours, and planted up a new herb bed full of mediterranean herbs which can be harvested by the local community. They also got stuck into compost renovation, weeding and clearing logs to the back of the site. The herbs came from Sheila Pool who runs the herb stall at Stoke Newington Farmers Market, and she also supplied us with some free lavender and parsley plants and packets of basil seeds. It all felt like a great community effort.

The original Robin Hood tavern sign goes up, lovingly renovated by Keyo.

The new fence goes up!

Planting up the new herb beds

“The cup of tea in the garden is the best cup of tea of my week”  quote from rhuggie Christine

Wood craft folk

Don’t mess with the Herb Spiral Posse. .

Happy Herb Planting.

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