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A Celebration of Community Gardening

Community gardening

1 June 2024 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St Mary’s Churchyard, Walthamstow

Some of you will remember the Chelsea Fringe, which ran alongside the Chelsea Flower Show for twelve years, supporting many fantastic community projects.

In Walthamstow, for three years, guided walks were offered around street gardens created by local residents, with gardeners in attendance to talk about the challenges of theft, vehicles driving over the gardens, rubbish and dog mess etc, but also to bask in the appreciative comments from our walking groups.

The hope was that visitors would be enthused at seeing what can be done in the most inhospitable of locations and that anyone can have a go. Some people did indeed go home and start up their own little patches.

The walks always ended up at St Mary’s churchyard and after Covid it was decided to give the walks a rest and focus on an event based at the churchyard. Some of you will know that Head Gardener, Tim Hewitt, has done wonders there and is trialling all sorts of things, including a very successful dry bed around a group of gravestones.

The churchyard is managed to promote biodiversity and is a far cry from the tightly mown lawns we’ve all seen elsewhere.

The Chelsea Fringe team (all volunteers) have now ‘retired’ but it has been decided to continue what has become a very successful event for all ages. There will be free tours by the Head Gardener, Burials in Bloom tours of untended graves adopted by volunteers, tours of the gravestones (some have fascinating stories), and Bee Safaris.

The café in the church will be open and it is hoped to have a food van as well. Churchyard honey will be on sale and of course there will be plant stalls.

Tours can be booked on arrival and if you want to be sure of getting on one, don’t come too late!