Nature-ist: Culpeper Community Garden

Londonist takes a walk on the wilder side

What is it? Culpeper Community Garden, Islington. It’s a public open space that serves as both a small city park and a community environmental project. A variety of different areas, ponds, planting schemes and vegetable plots make this a wondrously diverse plot. Named after the famous 17th-Century herbalist, Thomas Culpeper, who published his works in Islington, the award winning garden was created in 1982 out of a derelict site.

Where is it? 1 Cloudesley Road, N1. Behind a wall,opposite Sainsburys car park, a stone’s throw from the police station, bustling Chapel Market and a short walk from hectic Angel tube via Liverpool Road.

Why has it tickled our fancy? Described as Islington’s green oasis it really is a refuge from Angel’s N1 Centre and the supermarket, especially on a Saturday. We caught it the day before the first snow fell at the weekend and it was a wintry retreat. Sunshine was dappling the near bare rose pergola, which must provide a heavenly scented and blossomy walkway in high summer, and we followed its intriguing paths in and out of the planting to find all sorts of seating spots to sit and hide in, or share a sandwich with the kids while you recover from the weekly shop.

Nature notes: This is an organic garden with a lawn, ponds, ornamental beds and vegetable plots, the long rose pergola, and bits left to run wild to encourage butterflies and other insects. It’s a compact mix of the painstakingly tended and nature running riot.

Like King Henry’s Walk, the garden is tended communally by local people, garden members and volunteers.


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