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Rooted in community – almshouse celebrates new raised growing beds


The residents of Sir George Monoux Almshouses recently gathered in their communal garden to celebrate the installation of accessible and bee-friendly growing beds. They were joined by Walthamstow and Chingford Almshouse Charity, local construction company Kind & Co, and Pollard Thomas Edwards, the team behind the community garden project.

The project was inspired by the gardens at the neighbouring Colby Lodge, an award-winning new almshouse project designed by PTE and constructed by Kind & Co. Featuring biodiverse planting and water features, the Colby Lodge gardens have quickly become popular gathering places. The team wanted to deliver similar benefits to the wider community.

The Monoux residents met the architects to share their ideas for the green space, which were central to the design process. Some residents had to bend to tend low-level areas – so they needed a design that responded to their needs.

PTE then held an in-house design competition for raised growing beds. Kind & Co provided a voluntary construction team, and materials for upcycling. The winning entry featured a variety of salvaged containers using fencing and signage as supports, and potted plant shelves made from a disused ladder.

The design was built in a day. The next morning, the residents and their guests enjoyed tea and cake in the autumn sunshine before planting herbs and flowering shrubs in the freshly laid beds. They were joined by Patrick Devlin, partner at PTE:

We were delighted to work once again with our client and contractor – and get our hands dirty! - making growing beds for a neighbouring almshouse. All the more so given its residents were inspired by our Colby Lodge gardens.”

At about hip height, the raised beds can also be used as seating. Tom, a resident, was delighted:

It will be really nice to be able to snip off herbs easily, I’m hoping to grow runner beans which I wouldn’t have been able to do before.”

The residents can now cultivate their gardens comfortably and confidently.

I extend my thanks to the team of helpers for delivering these fantastic planters for the residents of Sir George Monoux Almshouse and well done to everyone who worked together to make this project possible. Thanks also to PTE for engaging with us on this project. We are pleased to have been able to work again with our client WCAC to ensure the residents are able to continue to enjoy their love of gardening.”
Kind & Co’s Operations Director Steve Juson
Get excited by the potential of unloved places
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