Roll Out the Barrows

The outdoor space surrounding the Southbank Centre in London has plenty of growing on show at the moment as part of its Festival of Neighbourhood :)

I'd gone especially to see the Edible Bus Stop's latest incarnation which is called Roll Out the Barrows. As you can see it's a lot of fun. Volunteers are looking after the barrows over the summer and they have the chance to take theirs home when the festival ends for their own community growing project.

What I didn't know before I got there, was that Roll Out the Barrows is just one part of the wider festival. To my delight I also found...

... a mobile orchard with benches - this is  a joint initiative with the National Trust called Octavia's Orchard. Each tree is also 'twinned' with a National Trust property and is available for adoption. Round the corner there was...

... a giant herbal greenhouse ready for a Herbfest with the Company of Cooks. It was a bit of a surprise to hear John and Yoko Lennon's voices speaking out from behind the herbs though!

And last, but not least there was...

... a most wonderfully inventive walk called Queen's Walk Window Gardens by Wayward Plants. It's made from reclaimed windows and makes a very different stroll along bustling Southbank. Yes, it's rhubarb dangling down from those pots, if you were wondering. At night the sheds are illuminated :)

I particularly liked this juxtaposition of the growing vegetables and the fruit seller ;)

If you never thought Growing Your Own had street cred, then I hope these photos will help to change your mind. In view of its location (and some of the presentation), I wonder if these exhibits add another dimension to the age old gardens as art argument? I simply enjoyed them for their quirkiness and sense of fun.

They're well worth a visit if you're in London from now until September 8th.

This is my second post in celebration of National Allotments Week. There's also Monday's Plot Plan 2013 Style and Friday's For Seed.

Update: It's not just London which currently has GYO street cred. Anna over at Green Tapestry has a wonderful taster of this week's Dig the City, Manchester's urban gardening festival :)


  1. Brilliant! I love them all, but I think the colourful wheelbarrows are my favourite.

  2. That looks fantastic. Love the wheelbarrows

  3. That's amazing!! I love it! So original :) I love the fact you're celebrating National Allotments Week too!

  4. I think the colourful wheelbarrows are my favourite many thanks for sharing with us

  5. So cool! Especially love the mobile orchards. Just read this (via Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds on FB) Sound very scary. Will it impact home gardeners as bad as it sounds?

  6. The Southbank Festival looks great fun VP. Chuckling at the thought of John and Yoko's voices floating out from behind those herbs. Thanks for the link. I've now written a longer post about 'Dig The City'.

  7. I doubt those pots would hold the rhubarb if it grew to maturity!

  8. Thanks for your comments everyone, the wheelbarrows in particular look to be a real favourite :)

    Anna B - 1 more celebratory post to come!

    Petoskystone - I must look into that. There was a lot of hoo hah at the time the vote was due to be cast, but I seem to remember it didn't go though. I also wasn't clear (despite various articles) how it would affect initiatives like seed swaps and our Heritage Seed Library.

    Anna - seen it :)

    Sue - good point!

  9. Oh that's so much fun - and so inspiring too, what a lovely way to enhance an urban landscape, though I would be interested to know whether they have problems with theft and/or vandalism, those wheelbarrows are very tempting. Love the mobile orchard.

  10. Hi Janet - that's always a risk, but this is in one of the most bustling parts of London. Getting the barrows and trees adopted is probably a strategy to help prevent theft as well as being a jolly good idea anyway.


Post a Comment

I love hearing from you and welcome thoughtful conversations :)

Comments aiming to link back and give credence to commercial websites will be composted!

Your essential reads

Salad Days: Mastering Lettuce

Merry Christmas!

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day: 'Just Add Cream'

Happy Easter!

Jack Go To Bed At Noon

Wildflower Wednesday: There's an orchid in my lawn!

Please read if you follow this blog by email

Happy New Year!

Chelsea Fringe 2014: Shows of Hands - Episode I