Bringing green space and community spirit to estates in Southampton

Our Plants for People team have been working non-stop with volunteers and local people to create green space, vegetable beds and social spaces for people living on social housing estates in Southampton. Take a look at what they have been up to recently...

Dempsey Close:

We are excited to announce the arrival of our new garden building at Dempsey Close, this building will provide a central hub for our developing garden at this location and we will soon be installing a green roof and living walls to make the building more environmentally friendly and to complement the objectives of Southamptons Green City Plan.

We have also installed timber vegetable beds which are being used by residents to growing their own fresh food and to green the neighbourhood.

Hightown Towers:

This is one of our newer sites and we have been working with local families to create some raised food growing beds onsite where residents can grow their own. Local families have been enjoying the recent sunshine out on the communal grass outside the block and we will be working alongside residents in the coming months to redesign this space with both ornamental and functional areas including a sun shelter for social events.

Oslo Towers:

Our established garden at Oslo Towers continues to grow and improve with the recent addition of a new shady border, with assistance from volunteers from the Welcome Stores chain (pictured). Volunteers have also assisted us with the creation of some new ornamental planting areas and we will be working with residents to plant these up with new ornamental and edible displays in the coming months to really improve the visual appearance of this garden on International Way.

We are also looking forward to the installation of some new elegant seating and tables which have been commissioned by our project partners the Decent Neighbourhoods Team at the City Council. This new seating is due for installation in the near future and will provide a great location for residents to socialise.

Canberra Towers:

Our new garden at Canberra Towers continues to improve and grow with local families joining us for food growing activities on a regular Tuesday afternoon. Volunteer have also been hard at work clearing an overgrown woodland copse which we will be working with residents to regenerate into the natural play and forest garden for local children to explore and get up close to nature. More works are planned at Canberra Garden in the months to come, including the installation of a sundial this September when the sun is in the optimum position, which will add another dimension to the garden.

Irving Road:

We have been working with residents at the Irving Road Millbrook estate to expand an existing garden around one of the blocks. Recent works have included the creation and planting of new ornamental beds as well as raised beds for food growing. We are hoping to see new fencing at this location soon and are planning in features such as green walling and a wildflower bank for the coming autumn.

Shirley Towers:

Another of our newer sites, Shirley Towers is developing into a thriving gardening group which is working in a small garden space below Shirley Towers itself. Volunteers have been busy installing new raised beds and improving individual gardens for local residents at the adjoining supported housing block which have got out of control and need regenerating. We have an adopt a bed scheme running at this site with residents having the opportunity to adopt their own raised garden where they can grow food for their family.

This site is also great for wildlife and we saw an abundance of bees using the site this summer. We have plans to improve the biodiversity even more with the creation and expansion of wildflowers areas across the site this coming autumn. 

Due to one of the residents having a keen interest in trees, we have also been developing a strategy to protect and enhance the trees on the estate, this has included adding mulching rings, conducting a regular irrigation programme and also recommending tree protection where needed due to recent or historical damage.

Challis Court, Holyrood:

We have recently expanded our work at Challis Court to provide additional raised food growing beds for residents who are not involved with the garden club, but would like to have their own growing area to grow fruit and veg. A number of resident have expressed an interest and we hope to see more beds installed in the future.

Our team have also been working on a new display for the front of Challis Court which we hope to see installed over the next month, to really brighten up the Holyrood Estate.

If you would like to get involved in any of these projects, please get in touch with Plants for People Service Manager Phil Paulo for more info: mobile: 07816 115 245 email: PPaulo@solentmind.org.uk
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