Growing an organic garden together

As the first funding period for our Saxon Court community gardening project has ended, we thought we would update you on how things are going. Saxon Court is a mixed residential block in King's Cross that includes supported housing and shared ownership flats. 

We began back in mid-May with a very shady garden, lots of ferns and a solitary apple tree. My colleague Emma started off the first session as an ‘imagination session’, encouraging the children (and adults) to imagine what their garden might look like. The children did some drawings inspired by artists' representations of the garden while the whole group discussed what they would like to see growing in their garden.

Over the next weeks, we began on improving the conditions of the garden. As the soil level was quite low in some places, we filled up the beds to give more space for roots of anything we might put in. We dug in beautifully dark and crumbly compost in order to improve the soil quality and give our plants some extra nutrition to help them grow.

A shady garden is always a challenge for any experienced gardener. We chose an area that was partially sunny and not completely shaded for our vegetable patch. We planted things that will grow well, such as leafy greens and salads as well as some tomatoes and even cucumbers for the sunnier patches.

We have also begun a flower meadow for bees and pollinators and an edible fruit forest for us and the birds too, and we're starting on our insect hotel to attract all the beneficial insects, and putting up bird feeders for the birds. 

Thanks to Argent and the People’s Postcode Lottery, we have continued funding until October to make our garden even more bountiful and to train residents to look after it over the winter. We are planning a Harvest Festival in October to mark the end of the scheme and celebrate all our achievements.