St Mary's Secret Garden

St Mary's Secret Garden
(Photo: Gavin Gardiner)
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This community garden covers three-quarters of an acre. It offers horticultural therapy and training for people with mental-health issues, learning disabilities, physical disabilities and other health problems, so as to enhance everyone’s physical and mental well-being.

We provide gardening courses and training for the local community, specialising in food-growing initiatives. We also provide outreach services to other organisations and planting workshops at festivals and events.

There are herbaceous borders, a herb and sensory area, vegetable areas, a woodland with working honey beehives, a small orchard, a small pond, a wildlife meadow and a greenhouse - all maintained by service users, learners and volunteers. 

Our Wish You Well garden, created for and by people with experience of mental distress, is now open for everyone to enjoy. There are many areas of the garden for sitting and relaxing. Or, if you are more active, follow the mini-beast trail and watch our honey bees at work.

The garden has featured in the national press as one of the top 10 secret gardens in London. In 2012 we were cited as an example of good practice in food growing and urban agriculture projects research by City & Guilds. We have gained our Green Flag Community Award for the last 4 years. We won Gold for best voluntary garden (professional) in Hackney in Bloom in 2012 and 2013 (unfortunately this prestigious competition no longer exists!) and also feature in the book A-Z of London Gardens.

Director: Paula Yassine

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