Thursday, June 5, 2014

5th June, World Environment Day

World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment." from the United Nations Environment Programme
Our responsibility is to take care of our environment, but it is good to have a date as a reminder, and celebration.

Botanical Garden, Ghent, Belgium

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Chelsea Fringe event at Oxford House, London

The Chelsea Fringe is the “alternative gardening festival” parallel to the Chelsea Garden Show, happening in different cities until June 8th, featuring a great diversity of events.  One of them was the presentation of the project ‘Where the Wild things Grow’,with journalist Alys Fowler; painter and photographer Lynn Keddie and the photographer Paul Debois in collaboration with Oh!, to document and celebrate the ordinary everyday weed or wildling in the urban context.

It was a great pleasure to have a walk in Weavers Fields Park, with journalist and author Alys Fowler who talked about foraging and wildling in urban parks and how to discover and benefit and of abundance in urban contexts. 

The closing of the event was with the opening of the exhibition of photographies and paintings and a taste food and drinks prepared by Urban Harvest, that offered recipes created with foraged food.  They were really delicious!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Exquisite Magnolia

These images are form some weeks ago, but I love the pictorial quality of the tree and magnolia buds and flowers on camera.  The tree seats on a pot in the front entrance of Siobhan Dance Studio, London.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dalston Eastern Eastern Curve Garden, Hackney

Spring is here and is bringing some gorgeous days for photography.  Some days ago I was working on a reportage about a community garden in Dalston, in the council of Hackney.  In this area there are several interesting initiatives exploring  local possibilities and measures to develop sustainable city landscapes, but also the involvement of the communities living in those boroughs in creating liveable town and cities.

This is the case of the Dalston Eastern Curve Garden,  a real green oasis in the middle of buildings and a noisy city.  This garden was created some years ago in a plot part of the railway that time ago linked Dalston with North London. In 2009 exyzt, a collective of architecture activists, designed and built a temporary garden and in 2010, extended their action to build a pavilion and some wooden structures.  From there the garden begun to take shape and is still continuing growing on an undefined  permanence.

The place was conceived as a space for residents in the area, but immediately was opened to welcome all visitants who want to enjoy a calm and relaxed time in the company of wild life, trees, shrubs, flowers, a herbs garden and some dedicated beds and pots to growing vegs.

It is a community garden but is now becoming more a statement of the values of preserving green spaces within cities, and the use of organic techniques for growing vegetation, food and wild life.  A perfect example of what can be achieved if there is a solid decision from a dedicated group of volunteers directed by a team of master gardeners, who work hard to maintain the garden.

There is also a very nice cafe that serves organic products and a calendar of events was launched at the beginning of spring with sustainability as the main concept, it offers a promise of a very joyful summer.

Definitely it's an inspirational proposal for others to follow.

This is the tour to the garden.  The welcoming entrance

The inviting cafe

The herbs garden using all type of containers, here a sample of a heathy rosemary in bloom.

The wooden structures were added in 2010

Groups of volunteers tend the garden in organised schedules

Beds filled with new organic compost that are ready to be planted. In the past days there has been a "compost give away2 event together in cooperation with London Waste - Eco Park Compost, to promote the use of organic compost in gardening

This the multipurpose greenhouse used for events, workshops, etc.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Creating a Mobile Meadow, with Richard Reynolds, Simon Whitehead and Siobhan Davies Studios

I am working on documenting a series of projects about urban nature, urban gardening and sustainability in Greater London.  In the past weeks I was participating in a new project by Richard Reynolds, guerilla gardener based in London's Elephant and Castle area, where he is exhorting to become a gardener in odds places, and he has partnered with movement artist Simon Whitehead and Siobhan Davies Studios to create a Mobile Meadow in several steps.

The first event was a gathering at Siobhan Davies Studios yard, where you would be instructed by Richard on how to plant for creating a meadow.

And you were to choose which seeds you wanted to plant out of four identified as the best to nurture wildlife in the area. 

Once planted the pot with your name/seed on it, you are to decide if you want to take home with you until the next event in the calendar, or leave it to be tended with the organisers and on site, also until the next event.

The second part of the event was the day after at the at the actual site of the mobile meadow, where more guests were invited and to plant more pots, under Richard's instructions.

The site is a plot of neglected land in between two new developments, it is a mobile garden since there are no plans for how long "the garden" will last.  To "take" the neglected urban land and make it productive is one of the statements of Reynold's activities and especially this project's main goal and interest.

On June 29th, there the second phase of the project will gather gardeners to bring from home or take the ones at the site, and have a walk in the area and plant them as part of the regeneration of the area.  This will be part of the London Festival of Architecture 2014

A third part of the project will take part sometime in coming October, to collect seeds for the next year's planting.  There will be more images about the next phases of the project.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Amsterdam's Flower Market in the Singel canal

The Flower Market in Amsterdam, located on the Singel canal is the only floating one in the world, as it states the official site for Amsterdam tourist information. 

Last year in late February I visited the market, while working a project about museums and I could not resist buying some bulbs.  Unfortunately, they did not did well in Majorca.  

What more Dutch can it be? Tulips and bikes!!

In  conversation with the owner if this stall and he assured me they deliver all over the world.  Tulip mania spreading!

But, in London with so not mild but warm weather we are having these days, tulips are already in bloom in many gardens and parks and I am really enjoying the colourful urban landscape.