Whether you have a windowsill or a balcony, a back yard or an allotment, urban gardening is a great way to join communities across south Leeds as they turn urban landscapes into green havens.
Urban landscapes are often associated with cold, hard, glass, steel and concrete and seen as barren and devoid of life. Urban gardening aims to bring a splash of colour back to pavements, offices and apartments.
Transforming urban spaces
This summer look out for new splashes of natural beauty amongst the everyday and extraordinary built environment as Holbeck Urban Village celebrates all things urban gardening for a second year running. Throwing a spotlight onto the south of the city as barran wastelands become beautiful meadows, and forgotten developments are transformed into picnic havens, the urban village team and its partners will create new open spaces and refresh existing areas adding a splash of colour and nature along the way.
The Green Corridor project will take derelict sites along a historic walking route from Holbeck to the city centre and plant a daisy chain of wild flower meadows highlighting a safer walking route. The Wonderwood will be given its spring colours back and the rabbits will return for the summer season. Local juice bar Out of The Woods has introduced its own slice of greenery with a turfed corner for picnicers and passers by to enjoy their healthy fast food offerings.
These projects will also compliment the adjacent regeneration of the historic Tower Works site, which is currently undergoing the first stage of its transformation. The first phase of work incorporates demolition of the un-listed areas, making way for an impressive public space with water features that could be under-planted with lush green reeds and bull-rushes.
To celebrate the green transformation of the area, Yorkshire Forward and Holbeck Urban Village commissioned Leeds-based design agency, Unit, to create a piece of ‘Turf-itti’. A large scale installation made entirely of real turf the piece spelt out the word ‘Transform’ on the foreground of the Tower Works development and was visible from the air.
Another key location in this daisy chain of connections is ISIS Waterside Regeneration’s Granary Wharf development which sits between Holbeck and the city centre and is set to once again become a bustling waterside location designed to make the most of natural life in the city centre. The two apartment blocks at the development offer roof top terraces including a ‘sky garden’ complete with sheds, hammocks and plants 21 storey’s high.
From planting in pot-holes to pop-up allotments, guerrilla gardening is sweeping the nation, as people take action to make their streets a greener place. Green fingered gardeners are taking it upon themselves to replant fading flower beds and take care of hedges and verges along paths with nature bursting into bloom in unexpected areas.
Guerrilla gardening aims to improve the local environment by taking care of derelict patches of land with most planting providing a temporary splash of colour for a bare and barren space. Hard landscaped areas are spruced up with unique and creative planting ideas like the life buoys that sailed down the Hol Beck at last year’s urban gardening weekend.
Holbeck in Bloom
Getting involved in your local environment is easy and can take as much or as little time as you’re willing to give, so if you’re more group than guerrilla give Holbeck in Bloom a look.
This small but perfectly formed group of local residents seek out sites in need of flower beds, hanging baskets, and grassy borders, across Holbeck and into neighbouring communties. This determined group of green-fingered gardeners have transformed sites across the area from motorway subways to church gardens and dull and dingy turning circles.
The Holbeck in Bloom group meet monthly in a local community room and are always seeking friendly faces to help with their cause, from people to grow produce for plant sales to helpers for clean up days or suggestions for new sites. Find out more by contacting Angela Gabriel on 0794 663 2468.
For more information about the area’s urban gardening delights download our guide and get started making your own corner of the city gorgeously green.
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