What is it? The London Wildlife Gardening Centre, a learning and conservation centre run by the London Wildlife Trust. Londonist visited their seedling plantation back in June, and thought it was time to report on the main garden.
Where is it? It is in a little black (for which read green) hole in between a bunch of semi-detached houses in deepest darkest Peckham. It's a secret garden. Really. You’d never find it unless you were actually looking for it, or you were, ahem, dropping leaflets through people’s doors, which is how Londonist found it. Serendipity. Its vital statistics are:
28 Marsden Road, London, SE15 4EE
Tel: 020 7252 9186 Open Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, Sunday 10.30am til 4.30pm.
Why has it tickled our fancy? It is a simply astonishing place throughout the year. Whether you go of a weekend, when it is bustling with gardeners picking up potted tips and compost, and welly-booted children looking for bugs, or, as we did, on a lonesome mid-winter morning when it was achingly beautifully frost-draped and utterly utterly quiet – it is always interesting. And the centre has so much to offer everyone: it has an imaginative schools programme, and activities for adults with learning difficulties. It is quite simply lovely, and if you’re living south, you should make an effort to go. At the very least, you will never look at your own garden in the same light again – and they might even persuade you to GIGL and become a WIMBY (recording What’s in My Back Yard). The centre is always on the look out for more volunteers, so if you fancy gardening without the heartache, here’s your big chance.
Nature Notes: Wow. This place has it all – a pond, grasses, vegetable patches. It cites stag beetles, newts, frogs, foxes, song birds and grasshoppers as its most oft seen residents, but on the morning Londonist visited the frost was as high as a polar bear’s eye, and the critters were all still in their nests/holes/dens.