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Forest Gardening

After 20 years The Naturewise/Margret McMillan Forest Garden has come to and end. A big heartfelt thank you to everyone that has contributed to this wonderful project, that has shown what can be done in an inner city setting. Any feedback from anyone who has been touched by this project is welcome.

This project is in the same area, and most of the people involved had been volunteers at Margret McMillian Fg. The Forest garden (Priory Common Orchard) project, the project is connected with


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Audio interviw of Robert Hart carried out in 1994 on behalf of Naturewise "file hosted by fileden" Copyright © Naturewise

If your using dialup this link is better.

Hi all, take a look back over the cycle of life in the Forest Garden. Here's my faux timelapse of 2010:
Hope you enjoy it!  James


Forest gardens are designed to be sustainable, edible landscapes designed to work like the natural structure of forests with their tree, shrub and herb associations.

These are some examples of what a garden can be made up of: Fruit and nut trees(plum, apple, pear, almond and hazel) Friut bushes (currants,worcesterberrries, raspberriesand loganberries) Herbs (rosmary, sage, and lavender, mint and borage).

Community Forest gardening is about people and their communities, learning and working with nature not against it, to fufil their diverse needs.
Foest gardens can be planted in community spaces, peoples gardens, school grounds.They have the potential to contribute enormously to the social, physical, spiritual,economic and environmental well being of communities.

"Those who are concerned with the full implications of the ecological crisis which we now face generally agree that urgent steps should be taken to plant many millions of trees. There is no reason why many of the desperately needed new trees should not be fruit trees planted in peoples gardens and public green spaces comprising of fruit and nut trees, fruiting bushes and climbers as well as herbs and perennial vegetables." Robert Hart

Author - Robert Hart
New expanded edition from the much missed master of Forest Gardens
£ 10.95
Click here to view full book details on eco-logic books website

Benefits of Forest gardening;

Environmental: Increases local biodiversity, encourages wildlife, tackles problems of pollution and waste by promoting composting and avoiding transportation of foof by growing food locally.

Health: Pysical and mental; Improves pysical health through excercise that has a purpose and reduces the effects of poverty by unabling people to have acces to wholesome locally grown fresh foood.

Educational: Creates opportunities to learn experiencially about natural ecosystems and sustainable design in practice. In addition children can be taught core subjects using a forest garden.Forest gardens are very special, healing places for people. They are a model of how the city environment can provide organic produce, edible and medicinal, as well as an educational resource, and wildlife, habitat.

Forest Garden Harvest

The fruiting season in our city nursery School Forest Garden starts in June with big juicy loganberries, which are growing up through an apple tree. This is followed by strawberries, blackcurrants, red, white and buffalo ones too, gooseberries and worcesterberries. The feast continues in August, figs started coming through, to stand in the depths of a major capital city like London, with all it's negative outputs of pollution and crime and be able to pick and eat ripe juicy sweet organic figs is wonderful.

There are still grapes, apples and pears to come. I could go on with this list of goodies. One very satisfying experience is to see all the excited laughing faces of children and adults harvesting and caring for the Forest Garden.

What has touched me deeply in my work with Forest Gardens is much more than the fruits.It's all the children, women and men who have carried out this pioneering work over the years, and made forest gardening a reality in this capital city. They arrived in all shapes sizes and colours they came from all over the place, locally, nationally and internationally.

Robert Hart, who developed the idea and practice of forest gardening in the U.K, died a few years ago. I'm sure he would be smiling to see his vision happening in the grounds of such a large nursery school in an inner city area of London, attended by over 200 children.

What we planted

  • Apples: Reverend w. wilks, James grieves, Crab.
  • Pears: Warden.
  • Plums: Cherry plum, Shropshire damson, and Victoria.
  • Cherry.
  • Quince.
  • Medlar.
  • Nuts: Almond, Hazel, Pine nut,
  • Berry’s: Worcesterberries, Tayberry, Gooseberry.
  • Currants: Red, Black, White, & Buffalo.
  • Strawberry grapevine.
  • Herbs: Alecost. Alexander’s. Chinese & Jerusalem Artitichokes, Barberry, Bergamots: Wild, Common, and Lemon. Burdock, Chives: Giant, Garlic, Common. Comfreys: Dwarf, Common and Bocking 14. Creeping borage. Curry plant. Fennel. Garlic’s: Wild, and Common. Good king Henry. Hops. Horseradish. Lavenders: French, Hidcote, Seal, Grappenhall, Lodden pink, Imperial gem, Large white, Royal purple, Lemon Balms: All gold, Common, Variegated, Lovages: Scots, and Common. Mints: Apple, Curly, Spear, Basil, Lemon, Orange, Bowls, Mitcham, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Black pepper, Red raripila, Moroccan, Eau de cologne, White pepper, Pineapple, Ginger, Korean. Pot marjoram.
  • Onions: Welsh, Common, and Everlasting. Red valerian.
  • Rosemarie’s: Lilies blue, Common, Heavenly blue, Benenden blue, Seven sea, Sudbury blue, Sisinghurst blue, Mrs Jessup’s upright. Sages: Broad-leaved, Narrow-leaved, Common, Purple, Golden, Pineapple, Salad burnet. Southernwood. Tansy. This is not a complete list of plants in the entire garden.

Author - Ken Fearn
Fascinating and important information on edible plant species for all sizes of plot.
£ 18.50
Click here to view full book details on eco-logic books website