London, as vastly populated and developed that it is, also has some of the most beautiful and wonderful community-run green spaces, some of which are tucked away in the middle of busy areas, offering respite, protection and harmony from city life.
Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is a free-to-enter neighbourhood garden in east London’s Hackney providing an oasis of plants, connection to nature and a community gathering place for local residents.
Hackney is the third most densely populated borough in the capital, with a majority of Dalston residents living in flats where few have access to their own garden.
Dalston Eastern Curve Garden was created in 2010, on the old Eastern Curve railway line, to address Dalston’s deficiency in quality public space.
The Garden has been planted with wildlife-friendly trees and shrubs, including hazel, hawthorn and birch alongside butterfly bushes, bracken and other plants that were already growing on the derelict site. Since opening, many more raised planters have been added at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden for growing herbs and vegetables, and more flowers and plants to support bees, butterflies and wildlife have been planted.
Like many community gardens in London, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden provides numerous social, economic, environmental and health benefits to all sections of the local population, as well as a cafe for residents and passers-by. The garden also runs creative workshops, and is a hub for music events.
This month, Dalston Eastern Curve Garden plays host to the annual Festival of Light, illuminating the darkness of winter, when the Garden is lit up with hand-crafted jam-jar lanterns, as well as lanterns made from paper, fruit and vegetables.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea