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Guerilla gardeners transform unloved flower bed near their London Fields office

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 July 2018

The Lady Eve Garden Project has transformed the flower bed in London Fields. Picture: Alessia Manzoni

The Lady Eve Garden Project has transformed the flower bed in London Fields. Picture: Alessia Manzoni

Archant

Lunchtime gardening by office workers has turned a littered patch near London Fields into a blooming community project.

The garden at the corner of Mentmore Terrace and London Lane was first noticed by staff at Year Here, which has its headquarter opposite the abandoned building.

“I used to walk past the beautiful old abandoned brick shop, which reads Ladyeve Ltd, and think it was a shame that it was in that state,” said Verena Wimmer, one of the guerrilla gardeners.

“I’ve always wanted a garden. Taking care of one is the best activity to get away for the computer for a while.”

After researching the area, Wimmer and some of her colleagues found out through the Gazette that the same garden had been targeted by guerrilla gardeners back in 2012.

Inspired by the project, one lunch time in April the group decided to wear their gardening gloves and started clearing up the area – forming The Lady Eve Garden Project.

“It was full of weeds and rubbish that people had been dumping there for years.

“It was really hard work and a little awkward at first, but then some more people joined in,” said Verena.

With donations from locals and workers, the group purchased their first plant, a bright purple flower.

Lavenders donated by two girls and a geranium plant given by an elderly resident soon followed.

The main supporter of the project has been Jim, a Hackney Council gardener, who provided excess flowers from the display around the corner.

The project had a slow start at first. The purple flower did not thrive in the soil and died, and the lavenders and the geranium were stolen.

“Luckily donations kept coming and people from the community started helping and supporting us.

“We even planted a couple of sunflowers from the seed that now reach up to our knees,” said Wimmer.

The group is now looking at ways to turn the project into a sustainable community garden and include the locals in the watering activities.

“It’s a great initiative. We love it!” said Marianna, who works at a nearby bakery.

“Some of the staff were involved in the first guerrilla gardening, so it’s great that someone has picked it up again.”

The gardeners are asking passers-by to help out too.

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