It started with a rethink of a little nursery garden.
This was a charming space, it took very little to imagine a natural playspace with climbing plants, a play house, water play sink and giant sandpit.
Working with a talented craftsman and gardener and his team, the work is now pretty much finished, there are some mirror tiles o add to an overhang, fairy lights, fruiting vines and resin to protect the jewelled step.
The project has grown and we have decided to use an alleyway that ran beside the building to create a play lane and village. It will wind it’s way down to the next playspaces used by the older children. In turn this can join to the gardens used by the after school club. On guerrilla sunflower planting day, the children made a sunflower circle. They will be able to sit in the middle of the circle surrounded by yellow flower heads.
While we were finding ways of transforming the nursery garden, we began to see a wonderful way to open the use of the space at the bottom of the steep bank, where the wetland and the rugby pitch are.
We will make more shallow the largest of the wetland pools so that children can play safely around it. We have already repaired the swings and Ariel runways, put bleacher seating in the banks, there will be an edible garden, a bridge, hedges, swinging gates, grass settees, all sorts of design ideas to make the space easy for families to linger in the beautiful space. Time to stop and relax and be, take in the quietness and the gentle noises. Find a way for people to re-create themselves and their experience of the Isle of Dogs.
This is the largest City Farm in London, it needs to offer more than animals and nature trails and education and lovely caves. It needs to offer a snippet of a taste of what it is like to live in the country. Instead of living surrounded by angles and unnatural harshness, families will breathe in the cow parsley and may trees,, look at green not grey.
Urban Grey. Village Green