Gardening on the Brandon Estate
The Brandon Estate just south of Kennington Park, is named after a gardener, Thomas Brandon, who secured a let on land within the Walworth manor, on building leases for 99 years. This was back in 1774, but today the site has a thriving amount of gardening happening between the houses, by community-managed gardening groups tending to the raised beds and allotment space.
Unimpressed by the planting of the council on the front of the estate block’s entrances – residents obtained permission to make changes to the planting schemes. The result is entrances with six square beds, filled with young perennials, with an-1000 litre water butt in the centre slowly becoming concealed by climbers. Outside of Cruden House are three raised beds dedicated to herbs with a variety of thymes, chives, bay and sage growing alongside a small cold frame for propagation. In the central gardens of the estate curiously lies a Henry Moore sculpture, ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No.3’ on top of a sloping lawn, which has been turfed with a wildflower meadow. The sculpture had previously been targeted by metal thieves – to counteract the threats, raised beds were built to enclose the area, creating a circular formation. The raised beds filled with irises, tulips, nasturtiums, strawberries, etc are maintained by the residents gardening group which has been running since 2017.
Across the way, facing the TRA hall for the estate, lies the inconspicuous resident’s allotment. Brick beds, lasting decades, are filled with organic vegetables, herbs, soft fruits and an apple tree. A small composting bin is underway, bbq grills are nestled in by the beds and many propagation spots. Signs labelling plants have been cleverly made, from cutting upcycled wooden bed boards, then painting them with blackboard paint. Outside of the hall a new children’s area is being created for their gardening club, with the planters being carved out of oil drums. The strong foundation that’s been created by the residents of the estates is truly inspiring.
Link to Brandon TRA website – gardening section/info: https://brandontra.co.uk/gardening/