We all live in a very urban environment here in London and many of our children have never experienced eating an apple straight from a tree. Nor tasted herbs warm from the sun.

Our high street echoes this urbanity, with no green spaces and the nearest park over a mile away.

We decided that we needed to do something about that and so, with the help of some grants (which we are very grateful for), and some volunteer time, we are creating an edible, ecology garden around the Willesden Green High Street Library. The garden is open to the high road and has seats so you can sit and smell and touch the herbs and fruit, rest your weary legs and soothe your mind.

And of course there is the added bonus that planting will improve the environment, clean the pollution (our Library is situated at a very highly polluted spot), cool the air, provide a rain sink, provide forage for local wildlife, and even look good!

kindness apple tree1 Elayne Coakes

Recyling

Very aware of cost and robustness of materials we are using recycled water tanks and soil created from garden and meal waste by Veolia - our household waste collectors.

Edible

Into them we are planting English fruit trees - apples, pears, plums, cherries and medlars, and underneath are herbs and edible plants. Plants like chamomile which you can make into teas to help you sleep, or lavender to keep away moths but which is also anti-inflammatory and antiseptic! And then medlars which are like quinces but have been cultivated in England since Roman times, and you eat the fruit in winter unusually.

Tree Tanks

We are careful to ensure that our trees are watered by placing a water reservoir underneath their roots which can be easily topped up by a tube. And we water well initially to establish the plants. And get sponsors for each tank/s to maintain the planting and plant health.

Getting People Involved

We plan to invite local schools (interest has already been received) to come and visit these gardens for a guided tour and to provide some workshops for both children and adults where they can taste the plants. The first will be November 7th 2018.

 Find out more at Willesden Green Town.

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