(Photo: David Lowe)
This award-winning community garden is located within a peaceful tree-lined residential square situated between Haggerston Park and Regent's Canal, on to which it opens.
Regent’s Canal was built by the architect John Nash between 1812 and 1820 to link the Grand Junction Canal’s Paddington Arm to the Thames at Limehouse. In the late 19th century, Gloucester Square was the site of workers' cottages serving the nearby factories and gasworks. After suffering bombing in WW2, the site became an electricity power station.
In 1987 the square was redeveloped with affordable housing and today is all privately owned. It is unusual for the locality in its character and style, due to its low housing density.
The developers allowed ample space for gardens, but over the years these spaces slowly became neglected until 2009, when residents decided to rejuvenate the flowerbeds and modernise the landscaping. This process is still in progress and there are now four established garden areas located within the square.
The gardens are split into different themes and styles to reflect residents' interests in plants and gardening aesthetics. There is a small woodland garden, a central planted landscaped area which is used as a recreational space and two flowerbeds themed as 'English cottage garden meets French potager', where plants, herbs and vegetables are seamlessly planted within borders.
A strong emphasis is placed on gardening economically, so the majority of the plants have either been propagated from seed, division or cuttings, or rescued off the streets.
The garden achieved Gold in the Best Community Project (Non-Professional) category in 'Hackney in Bloom' 2013 and was awarded Bronze for Best Community Garden 2014 by the East London Gardening Society.
Voluntary Head Gardener: