The permaculture garden at Cecil Sharp House in London has won first prize in the Camden in Bloom, best business entry.
The garden at Cecil Sharp House - home of English Folk Dance and Song Society, and the annual London Permaculture Festival - showcases the use of permaculture and sustainability in an urban setting. The entrance garden was transformed by permablitzlondon six months ago, with 20 volunteers creating the edible design.
Designer and founder of permablitzlondon, Kayode Olafimihan said: "I've created an ecological, edible and decorative design inspired by the old folk adage: one for the birds, one for the bugs and one for me, which chimes very well with the permaculture ethos of earth care, people care, fair shares."
Some of the judges commented, "…an inspired project – highly original…a rare example of “horticultural creativity”…great educational value."
The majority of plants are edible as well as decorative. In keeping with the folk ethos of Cecil Sharp House, the garden foregrounds a variety of different apple trees which are central to the English folk tradition, including a St Cecilia, Cecil Sharp’s birthday tree.
Kayode explains, "The planting is designed to create plant alliances that mimic natural eco-systems. Their foundation is a community of perennials in which each plant contributes something that the soil, the soil-food-web and the other plants need. Together they build fertile soil, attract pollinators and beneficial insects while providing an array of foods, flowers and herbs as well as creating a diversity of wildlife habitats."
Other plants include trees such as hazelnuts and a medlar, shrubs including blueberries and elderflowers, perennials such as sedum, annuals, herbs, ground cover plants such as strawberries and climbers including honeysuckle and tayberries. The garden also features a pond, herb spiral and complementary crescent-shaped compost raised bed; as well as gravel and slate pathways, rock and log piles, bird boxes, and bee and bug hotels to provide a further variety of wildlife habitats.
On receiving the award, Kayode said: "Cecil Sharp House generously hosts the annual London Permaculture Festival. It's been a pleasure to contribute a permaculture entrance garden by way of a 'thank you."
The London Permaculture Festival (every July) offers a huge range of activities on permaculture, sustainable living and growing. With workshops from leading teachers and experts in the field, to music, plant, book, and clothing stalls, children's games and local organic food, the festival is a great introduction into permaculture and a Cecil Sharp House is a fitting place for a permaculture garden.
"Each year Permaculture magazine attends the London Permaculture Festival and arriving this year was such a noticeable step forward" says Permaculture's Tony Rollinson. "The Permablitz team and the associated people helping them, some of whom we spent time with at this year's event, are both creating a beautiful, useful space and helping the Cecil Sharp House team appreciate the benefits of a permaculture reworking." You will be able to read more about the extraordinary variety of the people and projects the Permablitz team are reaching in forthcoming issues of Permaculture magazine.
To find out more about permablitzlondon or volunteer for an event, visit www.permablitzlondon.com
For more information on London Permaculture Festival visit www.londonpermaculturefestival.com
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