At the beginning of April last year I discovered The Edible Bus Stop, a community garden at a bus stop in South London, brilliantly conceived and led by local resident and fellow glamorous gardener Mak Gilchrist. They had only been gardening for about a fortnight at the time but, as it was one of the most inspiring concepts I had ever seen and imagining the enormous potential ahead, I posted a blog about this wonderful garden anyway, complete with rather boring photographs of seed-sown patches of empty soil. It looked like nothing at the time but I didn't care - I knew it was a fantastic idea!
I returned in August after Mother Nature had done her thing, and the gardeners had done theirs, and it looked amazing. The Edible Bus Stop has gone from strength to strength. Starting as guerilla gardeners, ‘outsiders’ who fought the local Council to keep this space green .... and won, there is now a second garden with three more planned, as they work to achieve London’s first ‘green route’, establishing many more such gardens along the 322 bus route. I was thrilled and excited to see their installation garden at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show where I spent a very busy Monday and Tuesday last week, unfortunately in the endlessly drizzling rain.
|With ultra-fabulous EBS founder Mak Gilchrist. See how I'd dressed for summer but thrown jeans and wellies on at the last minute. July - but it's cold and raining!|
|Will Sandy and Mak Gilchrist|
Entitled "A Riot of Colour" this garden is an interpretation of the after-effects of the London riots last year. It includes a vandalised, burnt out red telephone box and an overturned black taxicab. Nature’s got involved and is making the damaged space beautiful again. I loved it. It was such a pleasure to finally meet Mak and landscape architect and designer Will Sandy. It was disappointing to learn that this garden had not been included in the main judging category. I'd have given it Gold! I guess we have to be content that the EBS garden was there at all. Small steps.....
So much more to say about Hampton Court Flower Show. Another time.
Love The Edible Bus Stop