Edible Avenue SW8 is a community gardening group of local residents and volunteers of all ages and abilities. We get together to help green up balconies, gardens and community spaces across Patmore, Savona and Carey Gardens Estates.
We are passionate about improving our environment for the benefit of our community. Our area is changing and we can enhance our environment by looking after our green spaces. We have been working in the area for three years already, tending to residents’ gardens and public spaces, educating children and adults alike and acting as a community hub for our green-fingered friends.
So how did we get here?
In 2016, VINCI St Modwen (VSM), the developer of the nearby New Covent Garden Market, responded to research that residents of SW8 would like more opportunity to get involved in improving their local environment. They responded to our call for the need for a gardening hub and provided funding and support for us to take root in the community.
The first step was the creation of Edible Avenue on Thessaly Road. The landscape design company Edible Bus Stop worked collaboratively with developer VINCI St Modwen to realise their vision for a colourful, scent-filled street where local residents could come together. Commissioning local artist Mr. Dane, the length of Thessaly Road was painted with vibrant colours and designs, making the wall a much more pleasant place for all the community. Breaking up the structure are planters and built in seats which are filled with herbs, fruit trees and flowers, honouring the history of the area once bursting with market gardens and growing fields. These plants needed tending and nurturing, which is where we came in.
As our gardening group began to gather more interest, we learned more about how to grow vegetables and fruit, with the help of our funded Community Gardener. In 2017 and 2018 we were able to buy plants, tools and run regular workshops at the ROSE Community Centre, thanks to ongoing support from VINCI St. Modwen. We now grow vegetables, herbs and flowers in raised beds at the ROSE, creating a lovingly tended green oasis!
In 2018 we worked with local community gardeners, Urban Canopy, Patmore Estate and the Nine Elms team on their temporary Sundial Gardens installation for Chelsea Fringe. We also worked with Carey Gardens Co-op to do some much-needed planting on Carey Gardens estate. Early in 2019 we planted an orchard with support from the Orchard Project.
We wanted to build on this work and continue to expand our activities so we established Edible Avenue SW8 as a community organisation in its own right to develop our new projects.
The future is looking bright; from 2019 we have been given funding from Wandsworth Council to continue to run our regular Friday volunteering sessions.
- To enhance outside spaces on the three estates and public realm around Thessaly Road and Stewarts Road through gardening
- To grow food and flowers
- To enjoy cooking and eating healthy and sustainable food together
- To raise awareness of nature and the environment through outdoor engagement activities
- To benefit the health of the local community