Drab roof transformed into community garden
- Credit: Nemone Mercer
Two hundred volunteers grafted for five months to transform a bland Homerton roof into a community rooftop garden – and the results are stunning.
The garden oasis has been created by Core Landscapes, the green-fingered branch of not-for-profit social business Core Arts - an organisation working to improve wellbeing and mental health through creative learning.
Core Landscapes takes vacant land in the city and turns it into green spaces and community hubs.
"It's so nice the space is being used - so beautiful. I love the idea of roof gardens in London and the artists get to look out into the garden now," said Emily who works next door at Core Arts.
For the last eight years most of the sites Core Landscapes have made into sustainable gardens have been temporary. This new spot, however, off Wardle Street, will be Core Landscapes new permanent home. The new garden will be used for workshops to teach adults with mental health issues about gardening and have open days and volunteering opportunities to involve the wider community.
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Core Landscapes is already connecting and engaging with other community gardens in Hackney and plan to help communities build more green havens in the borough.
Nemone Mercer, landscape manager, said: "Anything like gardening or yoga, singing or art can be used as a way of enabling people to have some kind of mental respite and gardening together can give a sense of community."
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Before moving to Homerton, Nemone and her team worked to transform unused bits of land in Whitechapel and Canning Town.
Nemone added: "We're keen to replicate the sustainability we had at the Whitechapel site by using solar power and water harvesting - we used 17,000 litres of harvested rainwater to irrigate that site.
"We're also keen to keep our carbon footprint low and get as much wildlife into the space. The birds have already discovered us and we've spotted some lovely beetles and things. It's really exciting.
"Our energies can be now be focused on making connections and bringing people to the space and connecting with other projects going on. Hackney's great for that."