Gardening can be great for the environment, supporting biodiversity across our borough and providing food to eat, but did you know that it’s good for people too? In addition to the well-known healing properties of some plants, research increasingly shows that gardening is good for your physical, social and mental health and wellbeing, helping reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and improve health conditions such as obesity. Spending time in nature can also help reduce depression and anxiety, decrease stress levels, and help tackle social isolation.
Workshops led by our Community Gardeners provide opportunities for residents to engage in food growing and horticulture, providing a space to learn new skills, connect with nature and develop meaningful connections with others.
We work with community groups, mental health support groups and the NHS to provide gardening opportunities in community spaces across the borough.
Community Kitchen Gardens
As there are no allotments in Kensington and Chelsea, the community kitchen garden scheme was started in 2009. This project transforms under-used, neglected or disused areas of land into allotment style gardens where local residents can grow their own fruit and vegetables. Each plot is approximately three metres square, which provides a small but manageable size plot for food growing.
The project continues to grow; there are over 50 community kitchen gardens and over 700 residents involved in the scheme. Some gardens are located within social housing estates with plots reserved only for residents on that estate, while others are open to applications from all borough residents.
An essential part of the kitchen garden project is providing free gardening support, advice and training to plot holders and interested residents. Our Community Gardeners run a programme of garden workshops, events and provide gardening support. This allows plot holders to plan what they want to grow and receive free expert advice and practical gardening tips. They also work with plot holders to maintain the garden sites.
The Community Gardeners also help plot holders establish garden clubs for their kitchen garden sites. The Council is keen for each kitchen garden to have their own garden club to help manage and oversee their community kitchen garden, allow them to fundraise and run their own garden events and help make the kitchen garden project more sustainable and self-sufficient in the long term.
If you are a resident and do not have a garden, please complete this form if you would like to apply for a free community kitchen garden plot.
The project has proven very popular with residents and therefore each garden has a waiting list for plots.
For further details, please contact [email protected].