Archive for April, 2012

So you want to grow vegetables in your pop up garden…..

Maybe flowers aren’t your thing, maybe you enjoy growing for reasons of your own edible benefit. Have you ever thought about growing veg in a pop up garden? Don’t be put off the idea, as long as you are growing at a raised level, there is no reason not to try. Our very own wonderfully knowledgeable Diana Weir has suggested checking out BBC radio 4’s ‘Gardeners’ Question Time‘ this week as the question is raised, ‘How does one create raised beds on paved areas?’ Scan 24 minutes into the programme where it is pointed out that ideally a container for growing vegetables is:

  • At the very minimum, 12 inches high (on top of 6 inches of large rocks or other coarse material to drain water.)
  • Has at least 6 inches of rubble and coarse draining material.
  • Makes good use of a barrier layer such as an old net cutain to stop the soil particles washing down and blocking up the drainage.
It was suggested that in this kind of container, one could grow; root crops such as carrots and parsnips, as well as a wide range of beans- for example, climbing, French and runner. An extra tip being that pinching off the top of the plant will stunt it’s growth so that your beans don’t get too tall!
Listen to the programme in its entirety here.
Have you got any advice for easy growing vegetables in containers? Leave a comment below or contact us at

Stop the press!

There has been a flutter of interest among the local press with our project this week. One newspaper sent a reporter to interview and photograph, another has requested photographs for their article. So keep your eyes peeled for us in the news! I thought I’d share a few photos taken for the occasion… Make sure your friends and neighbours hear about our project, as no input is too small; maybe you want to plant some bulbs, scatter some wildflower seeds or maybe you are willing to jump in and set up a ‘pop up garden’ yourself. I’m going to upload a how to article next to inspire and encourage you!

Behind the scenes:

A neighbour and I with a collection of seedlings all coming along for the show.


 Growing in the green house, among a range of other plants are, a mix of salads, mange touts, cosmos, wildflowers and sweet peas.

Wanting to show how easily a pop up could be made using the free compost we have and a Hackney garden waste bag, I put together a ‘garden’ for the camera..

Hackney or Islington… can you guess where?

On my ride home from work last Friday (cycling from Islington to Hackney), I noticed as I crossed the border, how different the street planting situation is. So I snapped a few photos just to prove a point that as resident of Hackney (or anywhere, as everyone is welcome) you really should get involved in helping us set up a few pop up gardens on the streets.

So this game is called ‘Hackney or Islington’ and as the title rather obviously gives away, you have to guess which borough these tree pits are in…

Tree pit no.1

Had a guess? Yes this rather neglected tree pit is in Hackney…

Tree pit no.2

Quietly stunning isn’t it?… Yes this on Newington Green in Islington.

Tree pit no.3

Yes, somebody on Southgate Road loves this tree pit, and indeed it’s on the Islington side.

Tree pit no.4

Yes, another tree that we a few bulbs or wildflower seeds could really be brightened up, its a Hackney pit on Northchurch Terrace.

Tree pit no.5

It’s another Newington Green beauty…. an Islington tree pit- check out that mulching!

Tree pit no.6

Yes, we’re finding a theme here. This time one of the famous and fabulous Ockendon Road pits.

Tree pit no.7

Another Ockendon Road delight…

Tree pit no.8

And finally, another sad Southgate Road, Hackney number.

People of Hackney…. your streets need you!

Hackney horse trough that neighbours are set to do up for the show!


Some of our neighbours have seen the delightful opportunity to plant a pop up in this horse water trough on De Beauvoir Road. Already a charming piece of street furniture, I am so excited to see what they do with it 🙂 Have you seen a site begging for a pop up garden? Contact us at

Sustainable Hackney ask the question- will there be a pop up garden near you?

Sustainable Hackney is a network of groups and individuals committed to change in our borough. Visit their site here, and to see the map of proposed sites click here… maybe you can answer their question; is there one planned near you yet? Contact us if you fancy putting up a ‘pop up’ garden near you, doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something that you think might bring a smile to your neighbours’ faces on these wet grey mornings!

Local school children share their ideas for some tree surround pop ups.

I showed some children at a local primary school these depressing tree surrounds just off Southgate Road in Hackney,


When I asked them what they thought, they shared their fantastic ideas with me, which are beautiful! What do you think? Can you help make these dreams a reality? Get in touch at



DBG chelsea fringe pop ups make the ‘most read’ on Loving Dalston

Diana Weir gets interviewed by ‘Loving Dalston’ read the full article here, it is their most read article this month! Check it out…..