We spent a week transforming a barren concrete courtyard into a thriving community garden filled with over 60 square metres of edible and ornamental planting.

Here we see the 400 square metre courtyard with the first sleeper in position, after our collaborators at Action Now had removed the sequence of metal railings which criss-crossed the site, originally installed to prevent ball games being played.

Over two days, we positioned more than 400 linear metres of softwood sleepers, supplied to us pre-cut by the ever-accommodating Forestrall Timber.

We aligned the design to the existing brickwork grids on site, and re-used some of the railings to create a pergola framing an entrance in one corner.

We were able to host our newest recruit, a local young resident who came to us through the Divert Program when we created the Brixton Orchar, for a whole week of work paid above London Living Wage.

As ever, our growing media was supplied by Bourne Amenity, who custom-mixed a 50:50 blend of topsoil and compost into 30 bulk bags which we rolled onto site on a pallet truck.


We had to cut the old railings down to size in order to create a pergola for climbing plants.

This was Shaquille’s first garden creation and, as a nearby resident, he has continued to visit the completed garden to water and volunteer with the residents.

On the final two days we had community planting sessions, where residents came out to enjoy the incredible sunshine and put the final, and most important finishing touches to the project.

Two months on Caldwell Gardens is looking alive and thriving!

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