It’s been great to hear about how people have been getting along with the small plants and seeds that were given out at our pop up seed shop in June. Houseplants have been flourishing, and tomatoes and chilli’s have been established. It has been a wonderful way to connect the Secret Garden with all the private gardens and balconies across the estate, together with the wider estate grounds. Next year we hope to run the seed shop earlier in the season so that all the plants have the best chance possible of producing a healthy harvest! Thank you to Clava and Betty for sharing the photographs below.

We are also pleased to announce the winners of the sunflower growing competition… Amy and Halima at Mary Datchelor Close! We don’t have an exact height for the sunflowers, and when the pictures were taken the flower on the second plant hadn’t quite come through but, as you can see from the photographs below, both plants are really very tall! The winners will receive a packet of bulbs to plant out this Autumn. Congratulations to Amy and Halima!

It has been a busy summer so far in the secret garden. We have started working with our new community gardener, Paul Gwilliam, and in early June we ran a Pop Up Seed Shop, giving away seeds and small plants to residents across the estate.

Tayberries ripening on the branch

The vegetable patches planted up in Spring are now starting to bear produce and we have lettuces, tomatoes, courgettes and dwarf beans nearly ready to harvest. In the flower garden, we have cut back some over-eager nasturtiums to make room for existing stock, and have let in more light around the herb bed by removing tree branches. We have also started taking cuttings of plants from within the garden to plant out around the estate.

Hopefully it won’t be long before the garden can open again for all residents to enjoy. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy these photographs and, remember, if you are interested in the secret garden or the work of the Gardening and Grounds Committee, please do be in touch!

The propagation station in the greenhouse, with cuttings from the secret garden
Some of the vegetable beds, planted with onions, lettuce, tomatoes, beans and beetroot
A beautiful jasmine, in flower
A rosette of lettuce
The tomato bed, with lettuce in the foreground and beans at the back
Tomatoes developing on the vine
The majestic olive tree in the flower garden, surrounded by euphorbia and adorned with geraniums in hanging baskets
Courgettes are doing very well!

Pop Up Seed Shop

Thank you to everyone who came out for the Gardening & Grounds Committee Pop Up Seed Shop on 6th June and made it such a success!

Despite the rain we had around a 100 visitors on the day, and gave away a total of around 50 gardening kits to those who dropped by as well as by delivery to residents who are self-isolating or in the sheltered unit. The chilli’s and cucumbers were especially popular – we can’t wait to see the results!

Paul, our estate community gardener, with volunteer ‘shopkeeper’ from the gardening and grounds committee

Hopefully everyone’s seeds are now in the ground and doing well. But if you haven’t yet taken the plunge, or need to refer back to information on how to grow the seeds, photographs of all the packets can be found below…

You may have noticed that updates from the D’Eynsford Estate Secret Garden have been quiet for a while. But at this moment in time, when we are all staying at home, it seems more important than ever to try and find a way to share the sights and sounds of the Garden with everyone.

Since the lockdown began in March, a small team have been getting seeds going on their balconies and digging over the beds in the Secret Garden, in the hope that it can soon be open again for all to enjoy. We have started off tomatoes, courgettes, French beans and parsley in the greenhouse and on sunny windowsills, while cabbage, spinach and onions are already in the ground. The herb beds have started to be cleared of overgrown brambles to allow the beautiful rosemary and sage bushes (plus a hidden gooseberry!) to flourish, and the flower garden has had a much needed tidy up after the winter. Raspberries are ripening on the branch, hops are racing up the wall in the vegetable garden, and the nasturtiums are blooming.

As the garden grows over the summer, we will be sharing regular updates with what is happening inside. In the meantime, please keep an eye on the events and activities pages – we will be doing our best to bring the garden to you, starting with a pop-up seed shop on June 6th where we will be giving away free seeds and small plants for residents to grow on their balconies. And remember, if you would like to be involved with the work of the TMO Gardening and Grounds Committee in any way, please do get in touch.

We hope you enjoy these photos, taken over the last couple of weeks, and look forward to welcoming everyone back in to the Secret Garden soon!

Beds are prepared in the vegetable garden
Rhubarb doing well!
Getting seeds started in the greenhouse
Courgettes and French Beans ready to give away at the pop-up seed shop
The flower garden
Roses in bloom
Foxgloves and Figwort
Cutting back the brambles to let in light
Weeding and mulching around the estate

Blossom on D'Eynsford

Spring is finally here, the daffodils are out in force, there’s blossom on the trees all round the estate. It can only mean one thing: The Secret Garden is opening up again for the season.

To celebrate, and to get the garden ready for the year, we are taking part in the BIG DIG again, organised by Capital Growth .

We will be open on Saturday 22nd March 2014, from 11am-3pm and everyone is welcome.

We will be planting plenty of seeds in the vegetable beds, and in the green house, as well as tidying up around the garden. Our focus this year is to improve the front section of the garden, the bit that most people can see, so it’s more welcoming.

Please come along, the entrance is off Kimpton Road, behind the KFC on Camberwell Church St.

Don’t forget we are also open on Fridays from 3-5pm and on Sunday’s from 11-2pm (but not this Sunday, because of the Big Dig).

Big dig

This Saturday, the Big Lunch returns to the D’Eynsford Estate for the 4 year.

We are not in the garden this year, but on the green by the football pitch. Millwall FC are coming along to do some sessions for kids.

It’s still rather lovely around there, and worth a visit.

This event gets bigger and bigger every year. This year, we are celebrating the mix of nationalities we have on the D’Eynsford Estate by asking people to bring a national dish from their country.

After the Big Lunch, people who live on the estate will also get an opportunity to get a photograph taken by our resident photographer, Tom Leighton (he who did the 36 Reasons To Love Camberwell exhibition at the Hermit’s Cave). The series is called Picture The Block and he will be taking pictures of neighbours and residents of the D’Eynsford estate on the 2nd floor corridor of Belham Walk. The photos will then be exhibited in Belham Walk during the Camberwell Arts Festival. More details at: www.picturetheblock.tumblr.com or @photosbytomtom

Also, don’t forget, the garden is open every Friday from 3pm-5pm. Everyone is welcome.

The sun is finally shining. The grass is growing. The daisies are popping up all over the place. And in the Secret Garden things are starting to look gorgeous.

We were kindly donated lots of plants recently by James’ mum (ahhh!), so in went lots of bluebells, and flowers, and other things that a Londoner wouldn’t even begin to know the name of.

We’ve also had lots of people becoming Friends of the Secret Garden. Some of them even pay £5 to do so! And who are we to discourage them. It means we can get more flowers. And what’s not to like about that?

So here they are, something to warm your cockles on a cold Summer’s day. Some flowers and stuff in the Secret Garden.

Don’t forget, we are open every Friday from 3pm-5pm (Unless you are punctual type in which case, shall we say 3.30pm).

Tom Leighton Photography Tom Leighton Photography Tom Leighton Photography Tom Leighton Photography Tom Leighton Photography Tom Leighton Photography

Tom Leighton

Spring in the Secret Garden

Well, 2013 is turning out to be a bit of a cold one. However, don’t dispair! In March we were part of Capital Growth’s event to get people into the garden: the Big Dig.

We had a lot planned, and after the winter, there was a lot to do. David, our friendly master gardener volunteer gave lots of advice on what to do and what needed to be done. Jordana wrote it all down on a very organised spreadsheet, and off we went.

It was bitterly cold on the 16th March, but that didn’t stop about 10 people taking part, even if it was only for a cup of tea, and about 10 people came to visit who had never been before. So that’s pretty good going!

We are now ready for the growing season and have lots arranged. As well as clearing up, we did quite a bit of pruning, and the latest edition are 12 raspberry plants, that will hopefully give us some juicy fruit in the Summer.

However, good news is that the blossom is coming out and the daffodils are finally blooming around the D’eynsford Estate and in the garden. And I think I even saw some sun somewhere too.

The garden is now open every Friday from 3pm-5pm. If you get there and there’s no one there. Just be patient, we are never good at getting there on time! For more details, including how to find us and contact details, click on the links on the right of this page.

Finally, we now have a twitter account (@Deynsford). This serves for the whole D’Eynsford Estate, but will be useful for announcing opening times and any last minute changes. Please follow us!

The Secret Garden has been asleep over the winter but now that Spring is here, we are opening again. From Thursday 7th April the garden will be open to all from 2pm – 6pm, and will be open every Thursday. We will hopefully be open on Saturdays as well.

Last year we achieved a great amount. The garden was completely reformed and we held several events over the year. During the D’Eynsford estate fun day there was a barbeque in the garden with samples of food from the veg patch and healthy chicken replaced burgers and sausages.

We also had a very sweet evening of carols, mince pies and mulled wine at Christmas, with the a small concert by the Pop-Up Choir www.popupchoir.co.uk.

And finally, the bulbs we planted around the garden and all over the estate last autumn are coming up and are looking fantastic. The hops and hostas are starting to come through as well in the garden. (I personally, am looking forward very much to the hops)

Informally, some people have been coming in and doing a lot of weeding and tidying up. In fact, the garden is starting to look great, even if I do say so myself. James’ mum and dad came over a month or so ago and did a lot of weeding and clearing up so thank you to them. Many thanks too and a big welcome back go to Carlo and Kasia- and Sara and Eric (the viking) of course- who have spent the last few days blitzing the garden and getting the front section looking a little more presentable. We have also been cleaning up the greenhouse and the area around the water but and the willow gazebo which was getting a bit shabby.

Laura is planning a planting scheme for the vegetable beds that will provide us with lots of food, we hope, and be a bit more organised than last year! It will be based on crop rotation so as not to drain the nutrients in the soil and prevent disease.

There are also plans in place for activities over the summer. We have received funding for some training seminars on sustainable gardening that everyone will be welcome to attend. Talking of funding, we are planning some events over the summer. We are looking to have a pop-up tea shop on several afternoons and hopefully some open air cinema screenings. The idea is to raise money to help pay for new plants and other bits and pieces we need.

So watch this space, and please come and visit. No experience is necessary

Things are growing

If you haven’t been to the garden for a while, you’re in for a treat.

Not only are the flowers settling in nicely thank you very much, but the shed and the gazebo are up. More and more people are coming in, helping or just being plain curious and having a look.

Morrisons, the repairs contractor for the estate, have kindly donated lots of new tools, including smaller children’s tools (very cute they are too!).

But above all we are growing as a community. More and more people are starting to discover that they actually have friends as well as neighbours. With this in mind, we have a few events coming up over the summer and everyone is welcome. All the events are in the garden.

Monday 21st June 7pm: Social meeting. Come and have a drink and relax after work. There will also be some feedback from about fund-raising.

Sunday 18th July: Big Lunch. Have lunch with your neighbours. Bring along a dish (maybe a national dish from your country if you like) and share it with everyone else. This is part of The Eden Project’s Big Lunch Event.

Monday 19th July 7pm: Garden meeting to discuss the remaining spending from the Cleaner, Greener, Safer fund.

Monday 16th August 7pm: Social meeting. Come and have a drink and relax after work.

Saturday 21st Aug: Estate funday. This is an annual event on the estate. We will be having a barbecue in the garden with fresh food from the garden and demonstrations on healthy cooking. There won’t be a frozen hamburger in sight. And yes, you will be able to taste everything too.

Monday 20th Sept 7pm: Garden meeting.

Hopefully you will be able to come to some of the events during the summer. We are also talking to Camberwell Library to see if they can do some events for children…watch this space.