Category Archives: Leafy London

Exploring the green

Resist | The Community Garden

Protected by cat & fox

The fox and the cat watching the entrance

A young garden in the hood. A young community-built garden tucked away behind old houses, with a recent eviction notice attached to it.

Most times I walk to Greenwich village I take the longer route via Royal Hill street simply because this neighborhood still feels like a community. People don’t rush, they stop for a chat, try the fresh produce in the local shop, greet and smile. It still looks like a residential area with a bit of heart, a flower shop, a couple of family friendly pubs, grocers.

The community garden popped up a few months ago. When I discovered it, on a grey late January Sunday, it still looked lovely. A big yard where everyone chipped in, brought a flower pot, a rake, a bench. And the less visible, but easily detectable additions: attention, time, patience, and care. The eviction note and ensuing quarrel on the walls is not in the least surprising. By most standards, this is a good location, and in London, that’s both a curse and a blessing.  

Given similar examples in other parts of the city, it’s a matter of time until the whole row of independent shops will be pulled down or “cosmeticized” to look like any row of stores in the western world. You know,  hotel-supermarket-hotel-corporate-flats-chain-cafe-hotel-supermarket-overpriced-fast-built-flats like.

I can only hope those in power realize that this city needs maintenance too, not just building (thank you, Mr. Vonnegut).
Oh yeah, I do know Greenwich park is nearby. It does close at sunset though, and you can’t have any humans tell stories around an open fire. Or plant mint.
This too is a form of resistance.
I hope they win.

Green fingers
Bringing the community together

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Leafless in Winter

Winter in the park

Solitary tree in Greenwich Park

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Our kind of lane

Walk in London

Carbon free Greenwich walk

#walk #London #green #Greenwich#spring #sidestreets #urban #nature

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Zooming out

Trees upon sky

Sweet chestnut tree @ Greenwich Park

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Epic Forest. I mean, Epping Forest.

February sunset

Winter sunset @ Connaught Waters

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Meet Chelsea Bloom

St

@ St Luke’s

We followed one of those twisted routes when you change course according to the clouds, the green patches and the hordes of people in shades soaking up the sun. That’s how we ended up in St Luke’s Gardens. Again. We talked about Dickens (he got married in the adjacent church), ate oat biscuits and played with a Bichon Frisé.

Tip: If it’s sunny and you’re walking through Chelsea for the first time, don’t miss St Luke’s Gardens. You’ll keep going back for more. Sweet colorful must.

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A Tree Story

Sweet Chestnut in Greenwich

Sweet Chestnut in Greenwich

My gate to Greenwich Park is the Vanbrugh Park one, near the southeast corner. I usually cut diagonally across the rolling landscape to get to the village. For a few months now, I’ve been making a detour because I need to see a particular someone every time I’m in this neighbourhood.

On a winding path, between Maze Hill Gate and One Tree Hill, there stands an ancient sweet chestnut descended (for sure) from one of Tolkien’s books. There it is, sturdy and shrewd, nonchalantly confronting the winds. Of course, there are many venerable 400 year olds in Greenwich, but what makes this one even more special is the path next to him.
The concrete path had been broken down and moved about a half meter away from its roots.

I’d like to think the tree got a doctor’s appointment and this was the prescribed cure for sore roots. Or that some pixies that wake up after 6 pm, when the park gates close, have mended the path because this tree is their favourite hangout.

But I’m afraid it’s just the work of a couple of path builders summoned by worried gardeners. And for me, this is magic, because a tree holding its ground for centuries deserves to spread its tired roots. It’s magic because I know cities in this world where they would have done everything possible to save the path.

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Early autumn in Walthamstow Marshes

The joys of Zone 3 walks

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Smuggling – Fitzrovia style

What does that make me? I mean… if I go to this pub.

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