Whittington Estate, Camden

Brutalist architecture and backdrop to many TV shows and films, this housing estate hosts many beds that are neglected by the council. Some have been tended by the residents, but others need a lot of TLC and a bit of healthy soil added. Growing Green is taking over two beds, and we are hoping to inspire residents to get involved and slowly transform the whole estate into a site of beauty, biodiversity & sustainability.
Any help - financially and hands-on is greatly appreciated.
Update July '23: we are over the moon to receive free plants from the Hampton Court Garden Festival that we can use on the Estate.
Update October '23: we have now planted bulbs and perennials and built a log pile for insects. A bit of patience is required before we can enjoy any flowers. In Winter, we will add small apple trees and fruit shrubs.

Transformation checklist
  • Soil improvement
  • Drought-resistant plants
  • Pollinator friendly bulbs and perennials
  • Fruit trees & shrubs for residents to enjoy
  • Ollas as irrigation system
  • Before - poor soil and suffering evergreen shrubs
  • Our plans
  • The work has begun ...
  • We removed or pruned the shrubs
  • Adding bulbs and pollinator friendly perennials
  • Dead wood is being left for insects
  • Adding more and more spring bulbs
  • After - layer of straw
  • - We have to be patient until spring for a burst of colour
    After - additional layer of straw mulch - We have to be patient until spring for a burst of colour

Transformation Day, October '23

We started transforming plot number 1: 

  • removing or hard-pruning old shrubs
  • creating a pile of logs (donated by Wood That Works) that will be home and shelter for many insects
  • planting over a hundred spring and summer bulbs (from daffodils and tulips to alliums and triteleia)
  • planting many perennial flowers that will be loved by bees, butterflies and other pollinators
  • a layer of straw topped with a thick layer of straw mulch ('Strulch') will start healing the soil
  • Hungarian winter rye, a green manure plant, will grow over the colder months; the roots and green clippings in spring will improve the soil further
What's still to come: apple trees & fruit bushes (to be planted in winter)

What's next?

A lot of beds are tended by the residents but others need some love and care. Below are a few examples that we would like to bring back to life. Please get in touch if you want to help or donate.

Plot 2

Wild rose shrubs need some hard-pruning, they could be moved to the back of the border and make space for pollinator-friendly perennials at the front.

Plot 3

All this marvellous plot needs are some more sun-loving herbs or perennials to fill the gaps.

Plot 4

Another nice plot that just needs some extras: replacing the grass with some wildflowers for example.