November 2016 Notes from the Garden Shed

November 2016 Notes from the Garden Shed

The gardens team (plus anyone else we could find to help) have been busy planting bulbs for the spring. This is one activity that really shows that gardeners have to think and work seasons ahead. These days, the choice of bulbs is wonderfully wide, enabling us to have something flowering from January to May. Beekeepers recommend that you plant large-flowered crocus to give early flying honeybees a boost. These days, suppliers helpfully print a bee logo on the bulb packets to show which are good for pollen and nectar. We only choose insect-friendly varieties.

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Revisiting Global Generation's History - 2013

Revisiting Global Generation's History - 2013

This was the year that a number of our long cherished dreams came to fruition, in large part through the interest and creativity of our young Generators and the generous support of our business collaborators. It was a big year for all things food related, writes Jane Riddiford

Two of the Generators Melanie and Gabrielle dreamed up the idea of having a Skip Garden cafe over a number of weekends in the Summer. With the support of a mentor from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP a business plan was drawn up and a funding pitch prepared. About the same time, Argent the King’s Cross developers offered to support us to create a food selling hatch that faced out into the public domain behind the Skip Garden which enabled us to keep the kitchen running and food selling during the week. Branding agency Karmarama worked with the Generators to create the identity and marketing materials for the cafe ... laid back and local. 

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Jan 2015: Notes from the Garden

Jan 2015: Notes from the Garden

We were honoured recently when the Skip garden was chosen by Alan Titchmarsh to appear as a special mention in his TV programme ‘Britain’s Best Back Gardens’.

Click here to watch the clip!

Which got me thinking ‘what are my favourite gardens?’

Paul's Top Ten Gardens (some cheating)

1.  I don't think I've ever met a botanic garden I didn't like - a heady mix of science and art. These are some of my favourites – I’ve cheated by lumping them all together.

Kew, Wakehurst, Logan (Scotland), Caernarvon (Wales), Brooklyn & Bronx NY, Berkeley (USA) and Tenerife.

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Sept 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Sept 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Nature knows it and plants are starting to show it - the tide has turned on summer tipping us towards autumn. Hedgerow Hawthorns are heavy with berries and the first few leaves of the Spindle trees are glowing red, writes Paul Richens.

In the Skip Garden the Corncockles planted for our project on wildflowers of the wheat field are full to bursting with ripe seed. Pristine Red Admiral and Peacock butterflies glide about our flowers feeding and preparing for their long hibernation ahead.

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Exploring Leadership with Eurostar

Exploring Leadership with Eurostar

Change is a slow and unpredictable thing. Lately I have been paying attention to how others are leading in Global Generation. As Donna Ladkin describes “leadership is a phenomenon, an art we can enact and explore together and support each other to do better”, writes Jane Riddiford.

As I was about to leave the Kings Cross Skip Garden I looked out of the office door, there was Silvia introducing a group of our twilight gardeners to the idea of finding silence in the heart of London.

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Completing our Universe Story Year with St Johns

Completing our Universe Story Year with St Johns

After 12 months of travelling through the journey of the universe with children and teachers from St John’s Primary School in Wallingford it was natural to finish with our responsibility for the future. To do this we chose to tell the story of the bees, writes Jane Riddiford.

During the morning assembly we learnt about the earliest bees who inhabited our planet 130 million years ago and now like the canary in the mine, bees are telling us we need to start paying attention to them and all of life on earth.

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August 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

August 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

“The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers”  The line from the poem ‘Naming of Parts’ by Henry Reed came to mind recently while watching our Skip Garden Honey Bees feeding on the flowers of our Blackcurrant Sage (Salvia microphylla) bush in the Orchard Skip, writes Paul Richens.

They’ve found a way of getting to the nectar sacks of these deep, slimline and rather beautiful cerise flowers. They do this by biting a hole near the base of the flower then poking their heads in and drinking the nectar.

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July 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

July 2014: Notes from the Garden Shed

Happy summertide to one and all, writes Paul Richens. I’ve been wondering what to write about – all our veggies are doing what veggies should be doing at this time of year – growing! We got our first aubergine flowers, first ripe cherry tomatoes some lovely lettuces and our first courgette – all of which are making our kitchen team very happy – phew!

But a visit by my daughter from Harrogate and one from a long-standing friend and family, all the way from Australia, has got me thinking about all the other lovely visitors to the Kings Cross Skip Garden.

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And then there was Silence…

And then there was Silence…

We opened our eyes, ready to start a full day in complete silence. The sound of the morning birds was filling our ears and bodies as if we were in a sound system. The idea was born one day at the Kings Cross Skip Garden, writes Silvia Pedretti.

"Through silence comes space. Into the space come those things that we have tried hard to find. Our nearest galaxy is the same size as the little speedwell flower if I am in between, looking at both. The universe is contained within both. My awareness of them connects the one to the other."

- Geraldine, Global Generation's Office Manager                       

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Revisiting Global Generation’s History - 2006

Revisiting Global Generation’s History - 2006

2006 was a landmark year. Thanks to funding from the City Bridge Trust, Global Generation took on our first group of young generators (14 – 18 year old youth leaders). Since then the Generators have provided the backbone for much of Global Generation’s work writes Jane Riddiford.

We wanted the Generators to experience that in unity between different sectors of society, e.g. business and young people there is creativity and strength. We aimed to give them practical opportunities to demonstrate with their own passion that it is “cool to care.”

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Revisiting Global Generation's History - 2005

Revisiting Global Generation's History - 2005

Whilst digging up saplings for a tree planting project down at Pertwood Farm back in 2005 I started imagining how we could bring the Pertwood experience to London. Our first real opportunity was thanks to Charlie Green; director of The Office Group, provider of office spaces for small businesses in central London, writes Jane Riddiford.

When we met Charlie he had recently purchased an Office Building on Grays Inn Road in Kings Cross. It had a flat roof and he had a sense that something special could happen there, although he didn’t know what.

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