Sowing wild flowers 800ft above London
This summer, Grow Wild has teamed up with The View from The Shard. We’ve taken over a corner of London’s Highest Summer Garden on the open air Skydeck at the top of Western Europe’s tallest building with some planters filled with pollinator friendly wild flowers. Created in celebration of The Year of the English Garden, the whole garden took 800 man hours to complete, with nearly 1,900 litres of soil used and 80 snails rescued (after they’d had a chance to enjoy the view). When the garden is disassembled at the end of the summer, our planters will be donated to four Grow Wild community projects in London: Cambridge House’s Stand Up Garden, Spitalfields’ Urban Farming Opportunities, Caxton Youth Organisation’s Vegetable Kingdom and the Arcola Theatre’s Secret Lives of Wildflowers.
Last week (2nd June) saw the official grand opening of the garden!
5am, coffees in hand, the Grow Wild team and our fabulous ambassador, horticulturalist Hannah Schlotter, ascended to the 72nd floor of The Shard – 800ft above London! It was a grey, blowy day but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the young people from Stand Up Garden who came to help us sow some wild flower seeds and talk to the international TV and press about Grow Wild.
We were also joined by artist and Grow Wild ambassador Rachel Gadsden who exhibited her amazing canvas inspired by Grow Wild. Rachel got a big surprise when one of the young women featured in her painting appeared. Jo had no idea she’d been made into a work of art, and Rachel had no idea she’d be meeting her face to face – a brilliant coincidentally community moment!
Hannah and the volunteers from Cambridge House (one of many Grow Wild community projects around the UK) all got stuck in sowing some seeds – look out for Hannah’s tips in newspapers and on TV, the world’s press had turned out, with journalists from as far as Italy and even Japan keen to talk to Hannah about wild flowers and why they matter.
With everything wrapped up at The Shard, we headed over to Cambridge House, a social action centre working to tackle poverty locally and nationally, just a stone’s throw away, to check out the project to revitalise the big front garden of the centre. With a fence already set up and a big patch weeded it’ll be exciting to see how the garden looks when it’s all planted up with Grow Wild wild flowers as well as other plants and a vegetable patch. Look out for more updates when we revisit Cambridge House’s Stand Up Garden at the end of the summer to see how they’re getting on!