The literary piazza will see the currently under-used area next to Sydenham Community Library and the entrance to Home Park redeveloped into a welcoming, attractive and usable public space. The consortium includes; the Friends of Home Park, the Friends of Sydenham Community Library, Beep Studio Ltd, Rich Regeneration, Eco Computer Systems, Sydenham Society, Glass House Community Led Design, SEE3 Town Team and Lewisham Council.
They were successful in obtaining a grant of £37,500 from the Mayor of London’s Pocket Parks Programme which gives grants to communities to improve streets, squares, parks, and canal and riverside spaces. Lewisham Council will match fund the grant, meaning the project will now have a total of £75,000.
The funding will be used to cut back overgrown shrubs and install new plants and new seating for people to sit and relax. Old pathways will be rebuilt and a new cycle path will be created. Sydenham Community Library will be able to use the piazza as an ‘outdoor classroom’ for educational and cultural activities and the proposed Sydenham Community Library café will expand into the piazza so that food and drink can also be enjoyed outside. The group also hopes that the new and improved piazza will attract the interest of farmers’ and other specialist markets and encourage more people to shop locally.
Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “Lewisham Council does not underestimate the importance of investing in our borough’s public spaces, as doing so makes our neighbourhoods safer and more attractive to use. We have longstanding plans to improve Home Park, and this funding gives us the opportunity to upgrade a vital green space earlier than previously planned for our Bellingham and Sydenham residents.”
This weekend is our Community Garden Stakeholder Weekend so don your wellingtons and dig your beds to get them ready for Tomatoes, Runner Beans, French Beans and Sweet Corn.
Start your seeds off indoors. It’s easy to give seedlings a head start by growing them on the windowsill.
If you want to start your crops off a couple of weeks early, then cover your beds with horticultural fleece to trap in the warmth and raise the temperature of the soil.
Sow the seed in a groove made in the soil which is roughly 2cm deep. Sow thinly to reduce the need of thinning the seedlings out later. The seedlings should appear in ten days time depending on the weather conditions.
The very best time to plant garlic is in late autumn but it will still produce a crop if planted up to early March.
Start to sow lettuce from the second half of march. Sow a few seeds each week so that they don’t all mature at the same time otherwise you will end up with a bumper crop, too much to eat over a ten day period and then nothing at all. You can continue to sow lettuce right up until mid August.
Mid to late March is the best time to sow onion seed. Sow thinly in rows which are 2½cm apart. Cover lightly with soil and gently water them in. The seedlings should appear in roughly three weeks.
Onion sets are far more reliable compared to onion seeds and they establish quicker. Simply make a small hole in the soil with your fingers, put the onion set into the hole and cover round with soil so that only the very tip of the onion set is visible on the soil surface. Water the onion sets after planting to settle them in.
Just before sowing, scatter a good handful of blood, fish and bone over the soil. Gently work it in with a trowel. Don’t apply any other fertiliser at this time and especially no manure. Parsnip seeds take three to four weeks to germinate. Sow the seed about 2cm deep and about 5cm apart. If you are sowing more than one row then the rows should be 30cm apart. Cover the seeds with soil and lightly firm down. Water if the soil is dry. Parsnip seed should be sown over a month or so rather than all together.
Strawberries can be planted from the end of the month or early to mid-April so prepare the soil now to a spades depth and add 2 handfuls of bonemeal per square metre. A few days before planting, apply the recommended dose of general fertiliser. Feed the soil with liquid tomato fertiliser every two weeks during the growing season.
Don’t plant strawberries where peppers, tomatoes, aubergine and potatoes have been grown – these plants could pass on verticillium wilt, a serious strawberry disease.
Radishes are one of the earliest vegetables to be sown. Make a shallow drill into the soil and place some seed in a row. The seed will be very fine so try not to sow too many. Cover the seeds with a small layer of soil and water them in gently. They take four to eight weeks to mature and do not keep well in the ground so should be eaten soon after harvest.
THE LITERACY PLAZA
- Friends of Home Park, develop the idea of improving the park frontage-FoHP open up dialogue with Lewisham Greenscene and local ward councillors
- A planning workshop in conjunction with the Open University finds enthusiasm for the plan,andinvestigates
- Ed Holloway, local architect, develops a design. Friends of Home Park and The Sydenham Society provide financial support to commission a design of the proposal
- Applications to the Outer London Fund and others in 2011 and 2012 do not produce funding
- Friends of Home Park proactively develop local stakeholder engagement and support (includingLewisham Council, Bellingham and Sydenham Ward Councilors, Sydenham Society, Bellingham Safer Neighborhoods Team, Friends of Sydenham Community Library, Sydenham Community Library, Lewisham Homes, Amicus Horizon Housing Association, Hyde Housing)
The Bridge Leisure Centre
Kangley Bridge Road
If you are anything like me and you haven’t been tending your allotment plot as regularly as you should have been this summer, then now’s the time to make a fresh start and get on with the following:
There is still time to plant a variety of vegetables that you can sow in July, August (as well as one or two in September) and which can be harvested within weeks giving you some fresh vegetables throughout autumn, winter and into next spring.