I was looking for somewhere outdoors to spend the 2019 summer solstice. I had been wanting to visit the Nomadic Community Gardens in Shoreditch for some time, so we took the opportunity to go and have a look.
Just behind Brick Lane you go past a lovely park and playground, and then this entrance just next to the railway line.
On the other side of the entrance it felt like we had left London and were in a festival. There was a relaxed atmosphere. People were building things, gardening, playing instruments, chatting, eating and drinking.
We walked around all the beds, that had been planted with flowers, vegetables, and also wild flowers and grasses.
The planters are all transportable, so if they need to leave the site they can pick it up and move somewhere else (hence the ‘nomadic’ name)
There were some wonderful art pieces made from scraps. Even a boat that had been converted to a little climbing frame for children with a slide. Between all that were seats mainly made from wooden pallets.
It was a wonderful community space.
In one part of the garden there was a place selling pizza and another selling cans of beer. Or you could bring in your own food and drink.
We sat in this area and watched some great bands. A French punk band played one of their hits “My cat is so fat” to lots of cheers, laughter and dancing. They had a stage and decent sound system.
There was a great mix of people – from suits arriving after work to students, quite a few tourists unsurprisingly, and all ages. Quite a few small children were running around and everyone was helping to keep a bonfire burning.
I was charmed by this space right in the middle of London. It’s special to have somewhere like this that is free to all.
All this and easy access to a fantastic curry in Brick Lane too! It did however seem to be more about the party than gardening in the evening. We will definitely be visiting again in the day. I may even bring my trowel and seeds. And possibly wood, hammer, nails and some paint!
We should treasure this space now as we heard this site is soon to be built on by a property developer.