Cranbrook Community Garden & Open Garden Squares Weekend

Cranbrook Community Garden is on the Cranbrook Estate which was designed by Francis Skinner, Douglas Bailey and Berthold Lubetkin. The area was heavily bombed during the war and had much inadequate Victorian housing as well. After war damage was cleared the Council commissioned this ambitious new estate in 1955, opening in 1963. The Community Garden started c.10 years ago, alongside the children’s play area and is maintained and managed through the hard work of volunteers, residents of the estate. The shared aim of enjoying fresh air while producing food brings together people of diverse cultures and there are many stories to be told of the good things achieved through the site.

The Cranbrook Estate
The Cranbrook Estate
The Cranbrook Estate Children's Play Area & Community Garden
The Cranbrook Estate Children’s Play Area & Community Garden

The garden is a  compact site of raised planters, with a seating area, greenhouse, and composting bins. Vegetables and some fruit are grown – no space for flowers! This is a functional site which produces food, and fruit which can be preserved or jammed.

Cranbrook Estate Community Garden

Planters covered with netting to keep out squirrels!
Planters covered with netting to keep out squirrels!

There is even some art work brightening up the Wormery Corner!

Cranbrook Community Garden Cranbrook Community Garden

In the greenhouse the tomatoes and other tender plants are now ready for planting out – the greenhouse is well-used, with a clear planting schedule, as you can see!

Cranbrook Community Garden

Cranbrook Community Garden Cranbrook Community Garden

Cranbrook Community GardenDo visit during Open Garden Squares Weekend – and chat to the gardeners – they would love to talk to you! And when you are ready to move on pop round the corner and look at Elizabeth Frink’s statue of The Blind Beggar.

Further information
The history of the Cranbrook Estate
The Cranbrook Community Gardens

Approach Gardens & Open Garden Squares Weekend

Approach Community Gardens looks more like parkland than allotments – this is a must-visit on Sunday 10 June during Open Garden Squares Weekend! As you walk down the road towards the garden the roses are poking through the railings and you know it is going to be beautiful.

Approach Gardens

Approach GardensThe gardens were renovated just two years ago with a donation from the Lottery Fund which paid for new, sturdy planters, amongst other things. I visited a year ago and the growth and development over the past twelve months is just amazing! Like Cable Street Community Gardens this is about the community which uses the site, and it is about complexity and diversity. Flowers and vegetable live side by side quite happily, there is a wildflower ‘meadow’, a pond, a communal orchard, and lovely green grass with tables and chairs. And quiet corners with a bench or chair and table encourages people to visit, and linger. Just lovely!

Approach Gardens

Approach Gardens

Approach GardensThe wild flower garden is in a quiet corner, slightly hidden away, and a pleasure to find. A pond is also hidden!

Approach Gardens

Approach GardensApproach GardensDo visit during Open Garden Squares Weekend!