Take over Wanstead Station

Marian Temple, Wanstead’s celebrated guerrilla gardener, has a new venture: to do for the areas around Wanstead station what she and friends have already done for the Corner House. And she needs some help, this Sunday. She writes:

I’d have thought by now that I would have taken over just about every patch of sad public soil in Wanstead and turned it into a pocket patchwork piece with good tempered old fashioned plants. Not so.

The more you look, the more you see. I suddenly realised that the planting around Wanstead Station is full of holes. Evergreen shrubs, they’re fine but where odd ones have died, there are unloved, sad, bald patches. Time for the Wanstead green fingered flying squad to scramble. Last week, we met the Redbridge person responsible for street flower beds. We looked at the bald patches and he seemed to think it wouldn’t be a bad idea if locals took over. We have a good track record in Wanstead. So, I have ensured that any patch adopted and planted will not be a victim of the Redbridge squirt regime. (Very disheartening to have ones efforts splatted by weed killer.)

There are about nine empty patches that could look so much better with a bit of imaginative plantery. My High Street planting over the last 10 years has given me a very good idea of what survives. Plants must be tough, not need watering and not be fast food for slugs. The Wanstead Station patches would look good with the sort of plants growing in the Corner House Garden (can use that as a source). Wild flowers would be fine and a couple of patches tucked away from passers by would look brilliant with zonking great scarlet geraniums. I can supply all these plants. If you like the idea of taking over a sad patch and transforming it into something which people will enjoy seeing every day, here’s your chance.

I’ll be at Wanstead Station this Sunday, (13 April) 11.00 onwards. I’ll be working on the first patch, derubbishifying it, weeding and maybe adding a bit of leafmould to prepare for the foxgloves and primroses which would be very happy there. Just turn up. Bring a garden fork or any other useful garden tools you might have. Gardening experience not necessary. Kids welcome. This might just be the start of something good.

I’m finishing with a bad joke. “What do Marian Temple and Vladimir Putin have in common?” It’s not obvious. The answer… “unbridled expansionism”. Not sure really if the Wanstead Station surrounds can be compared to Crimea but you’ve got to start somewhere.

6 thoughts on “Take over Wanstead Station”

  1. Great idea. Although I would prefer it otherwise, I see a lot more of Wanstead station than I do the high street, so it would be nice to spruce it up a bit.

    Just one question though…aren’t foxgloves poisonous? Seeing foxgloves and kids in the same paragraph made me panic a bit I must say.

  2. Marian, i think your idea is absolutly wonderful!! and i LOVE the Corner House Garden very much and often try to copy the Colourful, Organised Ciaos on my own patch. Truely inspartional!! Well done you.

  3. Re. foxgloves, yes they are poisonors but these will be planted high up and tucked back. To be honest (never anything else) do children really go around stuffing themselves with plants???? Foxgloves don’t have bright seeds or anything which small children might be attracted to so I’m sure they won’t turn Wanstead Station into the killing fields. Look forward to seeing some of you on Sunday. All power to our combined elbows. Marian Temple.

  4. What a fantastic idea! Please count me in Marion though I’ll be a little late as service at Christ Church doesn’t start until 10am tomorrow… but I’m fresh from my guerrilla gardening antics down Addison Road and am hungry for more! I’ve a fair few Cornfield Poppy seeds left that I could bring along too if you think they’d be a good idea? I’ll spread the word on our residents’ Facebook page too!
    Remember folks… keeeeeep gardening 🙂

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