Talks

Unforgettable Gardens Lecture Series with The Gardens Trust

May 2021

Throughout the year, we organise a number of talks in order to bring together members of our community and discuss a range of issues. We are excited to bring you, in partnership with the Gardens Trust, a new series of four online lectures in May, from the comfort of your own home.

These lectures will take place on Wednesday evenings in May between 6pm and 7pm. In addition to the live stream, the lectures will be recorded and a link will be sent to ticket-holders the following day which will be available to view for one week.

All lectures and booking online. Tickets: £5 each bookable below.

LECTURE 3

Brompton – A Garden Cemetery reborn

Wesley Kerr OBE  – Trustee, The Royal Parks;  Broadcaster, writer, horticulturist and historian 

Andrew Williams –  Park Manager for Kensington Gardens and Brompton Cemetery

Wednesday 19th May 2021 6pm-7pm

credit Greywolf

Brompton Cemetery is located in West London and is one of Britain’s oldest and most distinguished garden cemeteries.  Grade 1 listed, it is one of the seven ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries that were built in London between 1833 and 1841 to meet the demands of a rising population, with Brompton being laid out and opening in 1840.  A resting place for over 206,000 people, it combines over 35,000 memorials, listed monuments & buildings with ornamental horticulture, trees and wildlife.  Alongside are the stories of the remarkable people buried here including Emmeline Pankhurst and John Snow, as well as the plant hunter Robert Fortune, botanist Thomas Moore and horticulturist James Veitch Jr.  It has long been managed by The Royal Parks who have transformed it through a recent Lottery funded restoration.  This illustrative talk will explore how the Charity conserves and enhances this magnificent working cemetery for people, heritage and nature.

LECTURE 4

Plants, People and Transformation – Stories from Community Gardens  

Sarah May Project Hip Hop Garden Reconnecting and transforming the lives of marginalised groups through nature Sarah Gregory, Co-Director 

 Lever Street Community Garden – Getting a lot from a little Rose Heatley, Chair 

 Paradise Cooperative – Rewards and challenges, before, during and coming out of the pandemic John D McHugh, Director of Operations 

Wednesday 26th May 2021 6pm-7pm

credit Abel and Cole

 May Project Hip Hop Garden – Reconnecting and transforming the lives of marginalised groups through nature Sarah Gregory, Co-Director 

“There are many pathways to community gardens and the important part is not how you get there, but that you do. This last year has shown us that May Project Gardens is not only a beautiful space where you can hear, smell, see and taste nature; it’s an essential life line for the communities we serve. In the fifteen years that we’ve been helping the most marginalised members of our community, we have learned the importance of access to green space; the empowerment that comes from learning how to grow your own food; how beneficial music is; and that reconnecting with nature can heal. We’re a small garden in Merton with a big vision. My talk for the London Gardens Trust will share our journey and our aspirations, plus some of the voices of the people we have helped along the way.” 

Lever Street Community Garden – Getting a lot from a little Rose Heatley, Chair 

Nestled among tech start-ups, skyscrapers and tall blocks of social housing, in an area once known for its hospitals caring first for plague victims and later, French Huguenots, is the small – but perfectly self-sufficent – Lever Street Community Garden, Islington. Its one metre square raised beds bring joy to a mixed community of local gardeners. This illustrated talk will look at its origin, workings and eight year evolution. 

Paradise Cooperative – Rewards and challenges, before, during and coming out of the pandemic 

John D McHugh, Director of Operations 

We believe a community that sows together grows together. Over the past seven years we have slowly transformed our site opposite Wandsworth Prison from a derelict, overgrown, and unloved wasteland into a beautiful oasis, with a wildlife pond, bees, an orchard, raised beds, and polytunnels. Before Coronavirus disrupted everything we ran weekly gardening sessions, developed a school companion curriculum and hosted multiple weekly primary year visits, ran our Paradise Wild after school club, and now that Covid regulations are loosening we are once again welcoming school groups, and have started green woodworking sessions and a nature-themed bookclub.