Gardeners wild

At the end of the summer people often remark that our garden must be heading into a quiet time – but there always seems to be plenty more to do here at Bandstand Beds. Usually because we’ve fundraised to have some work carried out in the garden in the autumn, and this year’s been no exception.

With funding secured from the National Lottery and money raised from donations and our events, this autumn work began on our eco loo project. Once we’d cleared the area to the side and behind the shipping container, TCV installed the new pathways ready for the toilet unit which was delivered at the beginning of December.

Ooh, look at that!

We’re pretty impressed with our new loo, but it’s not the only recent achievement we’re proud of. In 2018 we worked with CCMAC to create the amazing Colour Your Common project, made possible with a grant from the Mayor of London’s Greener City Fund and lots of volunteer labour.

A year on, these wildflowers became a haven for bees and other pollinators and the project recently received a Bees’ Needs Award. Spurred on by the success of Colour Your Common, when we heard the Mayor of London was giving away saplings to plant during National Tree Week, so we immediately applied for 50 for Clapham Common. Lots of volunteers, including Mayor Sadiq Kahn, turned up to help plant the whips along Windmill Drive, improving the Common’s biodiversity even more.

Time for a tree break

The work was soon done and after some refreshments, tea, cake and spicy squash and lentil soup, we cracked on with some work around the garden, including digging out a pond. 

You might be thinking, why does a garden need a pond? Well, because they’re fantastic for wildlife and in the last century 70% of ponds have been lost from the UK countryside. For us, though, it’s because we saved some frogspawn from a wetland area on the Common that was drying out earlier this year. We kept the tadpoles in a makeshift pond made from a broken plastic wheelbarrow and everyone was fascinated by the tadpoles – and even fed them…

In spring, adult frogs return to where they hatched to breed and our new pond will provide a home for our ‘tadpoles’ when they come back.

Watch this space

We’ve had a fantastic year in our garden but our Saturday morning sessions have finally come to an end, and a well-deserved festive break for everyone. We’ll be back in the garden in the new year, on Saturday 25 January!

For more information about events and activities in our community garden email

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