Guerilla Gardening awards

Guest blog by Karen Liebreich MBE

In 2016 Abundance London decided to create an award for the person or group that had done most to improve or create an unofficial garden around the Chiswick area. “Guerrilla gardening” includes tree pits, small dilapidated areas, and also gardens where the local community has asked permission from the council or landowner and taken responsibility to create something of worth – beautiful and biodiverse, that could create pleasure for passersby and maybe a tiny habitat for wildlife.

We invited people to send in nominations if they have noticed a worthy contender, and we were delighted to receive information. You can send in suggestions for next year at any time.

This year’s nominations include: 

–          Sutton Court Road: The planted tree pits at the railway corner. Planting includes bedding plants, small bushes and yuccas.

–          Deans Lane, a small alleyway running between Herbert and Ernest Gardens, looked after by the local community. There is a long thin strip of earth that runs the length of the alleyway, which is planted up with a bright and diverse selection. This has turned a potentially threatening narrow alleyway into a pleasant and friendly walk, and has also brought the community together. (Above left)

–          The herbaceous borders at St Michael and All Angels Church. Susan Hunt organises the gardeners at St Michael & All Angels, who together keep the wide herbaceous borders alongside the church and the entry path looking beautiful and welcoming. (Above right)

–          Outsider Tart. Years ago the raised bed outside this cafe was just a boring mass of ivy. A very unpromising piece of ground – under a large tree that shaded the area completely – was transformed by the local cafe owners with suitable planting suggested by garden designer Christine Wilkie. The bed has year-round interest and is beautifully maintained. Not only must this have cost the cafe a considerable amount of money, but it clearly took a lot of time-consuming negotiation with the council to gain permission. (Above left)

–          Dianne’s memorial garden, Strand-on-the-Green. This small garden transformed a corner of the Strand-on-the-Green towpath in memory of a local lady. Instead of boring green bushes filled with discarded cans and worse, there is now a lovely tiny garden. (Above centre)

–          Stile Hall Gardens. A long wide strip alongside the pavement and railway at the Kew Bridge end of Stile Hall Gardens has been transformed into a garden with a variety of  planting – alliums, day lilies, geraniums, honesty, santolina, echinops, tulips and much more ensure a constant display of lush colour with plenty for passing people and insects to enjoy. Gardened by the community this provides a very welcome oasis. (Above right)

Karen Liebreich is a co-founder and director of Abundance London

Read more about Karen and about Abundance London

See our profile of Karen Liebreich here

Read a feature about the work of Abundance London here