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Kennington Park Estate garden builds community spirit

Posted on 21 July 2020

Kennington Park Estate residents have created a green sanctuary at the heart of their estate, providing a space to relax, as well as somewhere to grow flowers and vegetables.

“The idea for the community garden grew out of the ‘Kennington in Bloom’ project that Hyde Foundation Project Manager Julie Costley and I set up at the end of 2018, to help bring back a sense of community on the estate, which I’ve always loved and felt needed a bit of a boost,” explained our Property Manager Matt Hopkins.

At the end of 2018, residents, along with our staff and a team from our grounds maintenance contractor Cleanscapes, planted 2,000 daffodils, tulips and crocuses, as well as lavender and herbs around the estate.

"By the next spring there were lots of flowers, which made the estate look amazing,” Matt said. “And, in July 2019, Julie and I organised a ‘Work, Rest and Play’ event on the estate, which included a drive to recruit residents to help create a community garden.

“The event drummed up a lot of interest and, in December last year, residents, Cleanscapes and Hyde staff cleared the area we’d chosen, trimming hedges and planting some winter vegetables, such as onions and garlic.​

Berkeley Homes approached us earlier this year to get involved and, as well as providing funding, 20 of its staff joined us in February for a planting day, when we dug new flower beds and tidied things up. Even the local police lent a hand!”

Residents have continued to tending to the garden during lockdown, Matt said. “I was carrying out an estate inspection the other day and the garden looks great, with lots of wild flowers and vegetables being grown. The best part, for me, is that a previously unused green space is now being used by residents and the sense of community that I saw nearly 20 years ago is back.”