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The Voice - December 2020

Comment by Geoff

Geoff Juden

We have experienced a very strange year indeed and we hope we will never see the pain of 2020 again.

Like many others, The East London Garden Society had plans for 2020 which had to be put aside. However, as we look forward to 2021 we hope it will be a more interesting year.

The environment, in all its stages, seems to be more prominent in 2021. It is therefore up to all of us to keep the passion burning and ensure that every garden, whether natural or managed, leads us to a better environment in which to live.

If you value having someone campaign on your behalf to protect the environment and having access to useful articles about gardening and local environmental matters, please make a donation to help us with the cost of maintaining The East London Garden Society.

Why it Matters

It may seem that I am consumed by trees and the urban Environment. If so, for those who are not urban dwellers, I’d like to explain why. In a major city such as London, the threat is ever-present, whether from developers or local authorities.

Tree removal

Those who manage our London Boroughs usually have their own agenda, irrespective of political party. The recent survey which The East London Garden Society completed on the protected trees of London shows the variance of opinion as to how individual London Boroughs interpret their environment. See Protected Tree List for London for full details.

Developers are well experienced in manipulating the systems to gain maximum financial and strategic advantage and if allowed to do so there would be little of the urban environment remaining,

We also see that local Authorities, who have the law on their side, manipulate environmental laws for gain. The laws are there to protect what precious green space is present in towns and cities throughout the UK so, when manipulation takes place it will lead to the death of urban landscaping except, possibly, for hard landscaping.

The East London Garden Society campaigned for five years to have what most consider is the largest forest garden in Europe created in Bishopsgate, central London. As a resident in central London I am now in the position where I need to placate and badger Tower Hamlets Council to not manipulate present laws for the purpose of allowing private development in a community park, private development in a conservation area, or reducing The Limehouse Triangle, a once loved nature reserve, to wasteland by the felling of eighteen mature trees.

In addition, a very much loved and used community garden will soon lose fifteen mature trees. Should we as citizens not protest against these bodies who destroy our environment for the sake of development? Apparently, for the Council Members of Tower Hamlets it is a choice between trees and homes. As such, the rot has set in.

What developers and Councils need to remember is that when these mature and much-loved trees have gone, we will not get them back and we will all suffer from a poorer urban environment.

Geoff Juden, Chairman, The East London Garden Society

Air Potatoes

Air Potatoes

Air potato bulbils are medium to large in size, oblong and irregularly shaped, averaging fifteen centimetres in length and grow on an herbaceous twining vine, meaning it uses other vegetation to cling to and support its weight.

They are best suited for cooked applications such as frying, sautéing, and roasting and should be treated and prepared like a yam.

Read More

Weed Tea

Weed Tea

Did you know you can make a fertilizer from weeds in your garden?

Weed tea is easy to make and puts those pesky weeds to good use. Apply this simple fertilizer to any plant in your garden to give them a boost of important nutrients without turning to commercial products.

Read More

The Prolific Gardener


Alessandro Vitale, 29, from Walthamstow, has grown thirty different vegetables, including cabbage, carrots, garlic, fennel, leeks, cauliflower, and broccoli.

He has been so successful in growing his greens that he has not bought a single fruit or vegetable from the supermarket since lockdown began in March 2020. In addition, he’s grown 35kg of tomatoes from just six plants and 10kg of seventeen different types of chilli; a true gardener in every sense.

After moving to the UK from Italy six years ago, Alessandro spent the past few years growing chillies and herbs on bedroom and kitchen side windows. He was finally blessed with a garden (although shared) when he moved into his flat in Walthamstow last year.

Read his full story

Cooking in a Different Way ‐ Brussels Sprouts

Spice up your brusselss sprouts this Christmas.


Brussel sprouts


Finally ...

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