We believe that cities are great places for growing food and attracting wildlife. We like to convert concrete spaces into growing spaces involving the local community, whether it be an old bus park, a rooftop or a terrace. We work with local businesses, restaurants, community groups and schools to help them create their own unique growing space.
The Office Group rooftop
Our first rooftop garden was on the Office Group roof back in 2006. Three spaces were developed which enabled us to develop a bio-diverse garden made with materials from Hampstead Heath, recycled poo pellets from Thames water and crushed glass from Canary Wharf; a water recycling system which filtered waste water through a reed bed system which was used for flushing toilets in the building; and food growing in lightweight woven baskets.
The roof provided a break out space for the businesses who occupied the building and an educational space for Global Generation workshops. Since then we have developed five other rooftop gardens.
We created and maintain the planters around the terrace of Grain Store on Granary Square. Grain Store were looking for productive crops with an allotment feel, so we grow a mixture of herbs, vegetables and decorative, but bee friendly, flowering plants. Tomatoes, chilies, gherkins and some specialty mini squashes produced good crops along with herbs such as parsley, sage and mint. In the winter, we’ve planted some pretty Ruby Kale, Rhubarb Chard and Tri-colour sage. Everywhere we’ve scatter-planted smiley faced Viola and plenty of spring flowering bulbs – to give early flying bees a treat.
Next door to Grain Store on Granary Square, we also created and maintain the planters of Caravan. They asked for a lush but low-maintenance planting scheme. We chose to mix thyme with a range of beautiful Hebe – both are Bee friendly. To give added interest we’ve also planted bronze fennel, cranesbills and some miniature bamboo.
Rotunda asked us to create a Secret Garden for their terrace overlooking the canal. Global Generation chose to make five benches with planters on each side built of up-cycled wood and backed with a trellis – just right for ‘canoodling ‘. Each set of planters along with their trellis was planted with a simple colour theme – blue, white, red, yellow and ‘exotic’, along with herbs for their kitchen. : good old standby herbs such as sage, sweet bay, thyme along with marjoram and hyssop did well but what liked it best was the curly-leaved parsley which thrived. A local Mallard duck so like the red themed bench set she moved in and raised a family. A local Duck so liked the red themed bench set she moved in and raised a family.
New tearoom Yumchaa, also on Granary Square, asked Global Generation to plant their five terrace planters for them. This was a great opportunity to choose fragrant and heavily scented plants to beguile customers while they sip their beverages. Daphne and Viburnum will soon be scenting the air. Tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis so we thought it appropriate that come springtime other species of camellias (along with their cousins azaleas and rhododendrons) with give a flush of welcome colour along with some highly scented Narcissus.
Biodiversity of King's Cross Rooftops
Global Generation has been asked by Argent to help increase the biodiversity on the King's Cross development site rooftops. We are working with young people in every phase of the project, from design and implementation to documentation, to increase plant diversity and shelter for wildlife. This gives young people the opportunity to learn more about ecology and to develop practical skills such as land art, basic carpentry, team working, journalism and photography. Young volunteers will become green ambassadors of the project with the wider goal of fostering a land ethic within the emerging King's Cross community of business occupiers and residents.