Open Garden Squares weekend was incredible. What a wonderful event – over 200 gardens in 27 boroughs open for people to visit. The gardens range from the classic garden square to the quirky bonkers gardens – those on barges or gardens on rooftops accessed through plant rooms or a garden on a railway platform which is where our garden fits in. This is the real joy of OGSW – the fantastic variety.
On Saturday and Sunday between 11.00 – 15.30 our FoCG volunteers escorted prebooked groups of visitors onto the platform – in all we took 150 people onto the platform but must have spoken to at least another 100 who came to visit without
tickets and so saw the garden from the viewing platform. Our prebooked groups had a brief talk about the story behind the building of the garden and some of the bonkers figures involved – 35 concrete planters and soil weighing the same as a small elephant – all of which was carried down the stairs by hand! They then were escorted down onto the main platform to view the garden and hear from Mischa and Tom from Gensler about the ‘red wave’ design. Finally back upstairs and then onto the platform itself to walk within the garden. Everyone was amazed by the complexity of the planting, the different foliages and colours which can’t necessarily be seen from the opposite platform. They all loved the veg and enjoyed hearing about how we maintain and look after the garden. It was a celebration for all of us and simply great to have such wonderful feedback from the visitors.
Thanks to everyone involved in OGSW including Tom and Mischa from Gensler, Rob and Ann from TfL who answered so many visitor questions and all our wonderful volunteers who took visitors up and down the stairs so many times, logged them in, logged them out, talked about being a volunteer and then enthused about our trees, flowers and veg. Such is the life of the volunteer at OGSW – exhausting but great fun… And finally thanks to all the visitors who came to visit and celebrate with us the joy of our urban green pop up space.