Garden and greenhouses could help London estates gain recognition

Residents in London’s housing estates are being encouraged to use their garden and greenhouse skills to gain recognition for their community.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society, mayor of London Boris Johnson’s Capital Growth scheme has launched Edible Estates – a contest that seeks to find the best community garden in the city.

To qualify, gardens must fall within the city limits, have been founded since 2009 and measure more than five square metres.

They must also have provided a tangible benefit to the local community, such as one scheme in north-west London.

Residents secured a £1,000 grant from Capital Growth to transform a concrete lot into a kitchen garden that is now filled with nutritious fruit and vegetables.

Furthermore, crime and anti-social behaviour in the estate has fallen, thanks to the rise in community spirit.

"This area now has become a focal point for the residents," estate manager Vince Lyons told the RHS.

"It’s very positive and the feel good factor is terrific."

In other news, a community garden and greenhouse group in Wales is hoping to resurrect some of the nation’s favourite heirloom apple varieties in a new orchard, the RHS revealed.