Monster pineapple lily and plants you love to hate
IWANTED to share the work and passion put into transforming some abandoned land and turning it into a wonderfully productive vegetable patch in the East End of London.
Last year the owners of Phoenix gym asked if anyone was interested in turning the abandoned steps around the gym into a garden as the owners were considering concreting them over. This piece of land is terraced between a series of steps going upwards like an amphitheatre. The steps are made of breeze blocks filled with earth and there are 50 across and 30 deep at the highest and longest point.
I jumped at the idea and did a little pilot study last year on a few of the breeze blocks. The experience and result was so good that this year I have taken over the entire area. Strips of land are planted with larger items such as potatoes, tomatoes, beans, cauliflowers, peas and pumpkins with the breeze blocks being filled with soil and used for onions, lettuce, peppers, beetroot and herbs.
Harvesting is in full swing now, under the watchful eye of the many aeroplanes from the City Airport that fly past the garden a few hundred yards away.
It just goes to show that any old piece of deserted inner-city land can be taken on and turned into a beautiful community garden with a little planning, hard work and love for gardening. Our herb garden on the bottom row is easily accessible for gym members who also contribute to the project. And proceeds are split between the local hospice in Beckton and funds for new seeds and equipment.
What an ambitious project, Michael, and it looks like all your hard work has paid off.
Michael and his fantastic vegetable plot in the East End