1. We are taking part in the Big Dig day on Saturday, March 16 between 11am-3pm. The ‘Big Dig’ is all about getting people down to their local community gardens to get growing.
At our event, Steve Alton, horticulturist from Flowerscape, will be running a workshop on wildflower sowing and how to attract bees to your garden. He will give a talk and then there will be digging and wildflower seed
sowing in the street planter in Wilcox Close, opposite the library.
So bring your garden gloves, trowels and a packed lunch for a fun day.
2. Library Garden Team launched – Be on the phone list and we will send you a text message when we are having a gardening session.
3. Group receives accreditation under the Capital Growth Scheme (see the plaque in the garden). This gives us access to support such as advice and discounts for seed purchasing. The scheme aims to have 2,012 community growing spaces in London this year: www.capitalgrowth.org
About the Group
The Friends of Tate South Lambeth Library (FTSLL) gardening group launched on 12th May 2012.
The objective of the group is to share local skills; seeds; cuttings and produce.
We also regularly garden in ‘Tradescant’s Retreat’ garden, located at the back of the library.
We hope to support each other with our own garden planting concerns and to support the local vicinity community / street gardening initiatives.
We meet every second and fourth Saturdays of the month, between 3.00pm -4.00pm.
If required, some people meeting or gardening at ‘Tradescant’s Retreat’ garden on a more regular basis.
We are also on the London-wide ‘Project Dirt’ site as Tradescant’s Retreat Gardening Group . We will be using this site for wider discussions, tips and so on.
How Tradescant’s Retreat was founded
In 2010 FTSLL obtained funds from Lambeth Council’s Ward Purse (a programme of grants to community projects endorsed by ward councillors) for the renovation of the then decrepit courtyard.
The whole area was repaved and a garden are installed at one end , with a water butt fed by a downpipe from the library roof. An outdoor table was also installed. FTSLL contributed money to buy plants, compost, a watering can and a yard brush. Members also kindly donated plants.
Named Tradescant’s Retreat the courtyard was ready for use in Spring 2010. Gerry Holtham – husband of Friend’s chairman established and previously tended the garden.
Some information about the great plant collectors, the Tradescants:-
According to the the Vauxhall Society’s “A guide to the church of St Mary-at-Lambeth, London” by Francis Terry:
John Tradescant the Elder first settled in Lambeth over 350 years ago. With his son, also named John, he was responsible for introducing so many new trees, shrubs, herbaceous and climbing plants into England, that he can truly be said to have founded English gardening as we know it.
The library is very near to Tradescant Road which was built on the location of the gardens of the John Tradescants’ house in Lambeth.
Plants from the Tradescant Plant List Planted
With funding from the New Covent Garden Market, we have started adding plants from the list of plants collected and brought to England by the Tradescants, as well as adding some others.
- 4 x Lavender Blue – Lavandula angustifolio (syn. L. Spica)
- 3 x Chamomile – Chamaemelum nobile (syn. Anthemis nobilis)
- 3 x Winter Savory – satureja montana
- 3 x Hyssop – Hyssoppus officinalis
- 3 x Heartsease – Viola tricolor
- 5 x Wild Strawberries – Fragaria vesca
- Passion flower
- Common daisy
We are also supported by the Garden Museum, who have provided us with compost, Tradescant Area Residents Association for transporting the compost, and the South London Master Gardeners who will provide on going coaching support.
The group is just starting up and we are working out what it will do, so please come along or leave a comment here with a suggestion.
Some ideas so far:
- Growing you own
- Growing and propagating the Tradescant plants
- Getting involved in street plantings (the Tradescant Area Residents Association has been doing a lot this spring)
- Talks and workshops
- Gardening for dry areas
- Plant uses
- Garden coaching support, swapping tips, seeds etc
It’s early days for the group as we need more planters, tools, access to water (without going through the library to the kitchen!), access when the library isn’t open and, most importantly, more participants!
Google map of the area showing community gardens and other places of interest to gardeners
Note, to view the details of each place easily, click on the ‘View Tradescant’s Retreat Gardening Group Map in a larger map’ link to open a larger version.
View Tradescant’s Retreat Gardening Group Map in a larger map