Author: Terka Acton Garden Design

Prolandscaper Magazine: Queen’s Drive project

It’s an honour to have the planting for our Queen’s Drive garden featured in the July 2018 edition of Prolandscaper magazine – and a great opportunity to credit the client, landscaper and plant supplier for their roles in this very collaborative project!

From the drawing board

It’s been a busy start to 2018! This week will see a survey for a new project in Camden, a consultation on a Gipsy Hill garden, and a site visit to a garden being built in Crystal Palace. Meanwhile, plans for a courtyard garden in West Norwood are with the landscapers.

If you’re thinking of having your garden designed in 2018, don’t hesitate to get in touch: I’ll be delighted to talk through your ideas and see how I can help.

A New Orchard for Vale Street

London was once full of orchards – in gardens, parks and commercial spaces. Most have long since been built over or neglected, and the skills needed to tend fruit trees are largely lost. The Open Orchard Project is part of a movement to reverse this trend, working with communities to plant and care for fruit trees in public places, build links between residents and green the city.

The newest of these orchards was planted in early February on Vale Street, with three trees in the Tritton Vale Pocket Garden and eight on the corner with Carnac Street, opposite the Vincennes Estate. Residents, along with families from nearby Elm Wood Primary School and friends from further afield, worked with Mich Thill, Kat Lochmann and Wayne Trevor of Open Orchard to plant apples (eating, cider and cooking), pears, and a range of stone fruit for preserving, cooking and eating straight from the tree.

Right from the start of the project in early 2016, the Tritton Vale Pocket Garden team were impressed by local people’s passion for fruit trees. It was clear that we had to plant as many of the requested trees as we had room for, and it was great to get the long-awaited cider apple, cherry and plum trees planted.

But there is a deeper significance to the varieties selected: all have some connection to France. They were chosen by Open Orchard, in consultation with Gipsy Hill residents, to recognise this area’s commemoration of the heroes of the French resistance. The Vincennes Estate, which overlooks the new orchard, was built by Lambeth in 1964. It was named in memory of World War II resistance heroes including Violette Szabó and Lilian Rolfe, both of whom had local connections. Remembrance Day services are held at the Vincennes war memorial on the estate.

Varieties in the new orchard include the greengage Reine Claude de Bavay, the late-season Bigarreau Gaucher cherry and the traditional French mirabelle, Mirabelle de Metz. While Metz is remembered as the site of one of the major battles of World War II, the surrounding countryside is also famed for its production of this versatile little plum. We’re pleased to have participated in this positive project, and look forward to blossom on Vale Street this spring!

Tritton Vale Pocket Garden

Pocket gardens, pocket parks, urban greening and green space in general are all incredibly topical. As with so much else at present, it feels as though the pieces making up the future of our green spaces have been thrown up into the air, and that those pieces are still swirling. It’s not yet clear how they will fall: on the one hand, funding for parks continues to be cut, but on the other, ideas like the Greater London National Park City initiative are gaining ground.

Community projects are seen by many as part of the way forward. I have written in earlier posts about working with Streatham Common Common Co-operative and the West Norwood Bzz Garage, and earlier this year I joined forces with an amazing group of people to create a new pocket park in a built-up area of south east London.

This is the story of that space – the Tritton Vale Pocket Garden – as told on the excellent Richly Evocative blog. For updates, see the Tritton Road Facebook page. Several of us share the job of keeping this updated, and it has turned out be essential to the life of the project: we use it to raise funds and working parties, celebrate successes and thank the many people and organisations that make up a project community reaching far beyond geographic proximity.

Designing for remembrance

LAN logo

Garden of Remembrance, Marburg, Germany, by scape Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH, Düsseldorf, Germany

There is an open space in Marburg’s otherwise built-up city grid, a space that marks a significant absence. A synagogue designed by architect Wilhelm Spahr stood here from its completion in 1897 until its destruction on “Kristallnacht” — Nov. 9, 1938. From that point forward, the Nazi regime escalated the persecution of the Jews in Germany and Austria. Many synagogues were destroyed, along with the communities that built them.

All but annihilated in the first half of the 20th century, Marburg’s Jewish community has since begun to rebuild itself, and its members have been determined to turn what had long been a gap in the urban fabric into a space that would be both a meaningful memorial to the people and culture destroyed in the pogroms and a public space integrated into the life of the city.

Read the full article here.

Narrative in design

LAN logoIn this article for Landscape Architecture Network, Can landscape architects use history to make a city stronger?, I explore the importance of a strong narrative – in this case the city’s history – in creating a new design to revitalise the city centre.

Cities must adapt if they are to survive. Faced with a shrinking, aging population in its city center, the municipality of Celje resolved to redesign and revive Celje’s open public spaces. For the most recent stage of this work, they engaged Darja Matjašec, Sergej Hiti, and Klara Sulič of LUZ. As landscape architects working in Slovenia, LUZ’s designers are experienced in negotiating the delicate balance between honoring the past and creating spaces for the future.

Read the full article here.