How does your garden grow? Ours will double in size with plans for the Festival Wing

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Friday, July 26, 2013 - 12:48

The Festival Wing: Our Garden Plans

This summer, our Festival of Neighbourhood has transformed Southbank Centre into a giant urban garden cared for by community groups and volunteers. We plan to double our free green spaces as part of our Festival Wing transformation of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery. So if you’ve come enjoyed the calm tranquillity of Octavia’s Orchard or enjoyed the stunning views from Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, you’ll love what we’ve got planned. The new Festival Wing will house three more permanent roof gardens, all with incredible views across London for everyone to enjoy for free, including a sedum garden on top of the new proposed Glass Pavilion that will provide a preserved habitat for flora and fauna. So more people will be able to come along and get green fingers as we preserve space for London’s ecology, as well as being able to relax and take in the view from one of the most impressive spots in the city. Festival of Neighbourhood Gardens Festival of Neighbourhood has already extended the Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden with a Woodland Garden, as well as providing a home for new temporary garden installations. These include nine large allotments along the riverside Queen’s Walk, an orchard of 35 fruit trees, foliage-style sculptures, a wheelbarrow installation of mini gardens and a herb greenhouse. Check out the pictures of these below and come along to Southbank Centre yourself to wander through the gardens. The Queen Elizabeth Roof Garden, designed in partnership with the Eden Project and built by gardeners from Grounded Ecotherapy at Providence Row Housing Association, gives employment and training to people who have experienced homelessness, mental health problems and addiction. Under the proposed Festival Wing plans, more opportunities will be created for communities, including vulnerable adults and children, to work in the three new proposed green spaces. Paul Pulford, Head Gardener with Grounded Eco-therapy on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, said: “Gardening has changed my life and I’m chuffed to bits to have this job. Working with the earth and touching it, planting trees, flowers and vegetables and watching them grow: these are some of the most healing experiences in human life. I’m so proud of what me and the team have been able to create on the Queen Elizabeth Hall roof.” Through Festival of Neighbourhood, we are also providing many more opportunities for communities and individuals to be involved in gardening: from a collaboration with the National Trust in which community groups can adopt the fruit trees from Octavia’s Orchard to a micro-city of nine vegetable allotments built by Wayward Plants with community workshops and tended to by local residents, businesses and community organisations. The gardens are watered using an innovative and sustainable system which invites the community to pump and filter water from the Thames at high-tide. After the Festival, hundreds of community-built windows boxes, planted by schoolchildren, will be distributed through a Wayward Plants' adoption event. The mini gardens and wheel barrows of the Wheelbarrow Rollercoaster installation, created by The Edible Bus Stop who encourage guerrilla community gardening, will also be given away to the volunteers who helped tend them throughout the summer. So come along and check out our Festival of Neighbourhood gardens, have a tipple or a sunbathe on the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden, get stuck in with our volunteering opportunities and enjoy the summer. And look forward to much more as we develop our Festival Wing plans to create more free gardens on the South Bank for everyone to enjoy, participate in and benefit from. To find out more about our plans for the Festival Wing, see southbankforall.org, follow us on twitter @southbankforall or like us on facebook/southbankforall. And watch this space for more Festival Wing plans! [gallery ids="7975,7976,7977,7978,7979,7974"]