Children from Chesterton Primary School in Battersea try out the dipping pond in its new home on the roof garden on the Doddington estate in Battersea left to right: Jo McDonagh, London Square, teacher Edress Kheir and Malissa Ritchie, chair of volunteers for the Doddington garden

Gold-Winning Chelsea Flower Show garden opens in Battersea

A gold-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden admired by Queen Camilla has opened in Battersea as part of Wandsworth Borough’s bid to become London Borough of Culture 2025.

Kemi Akinola, deputy leader of Wandsworth Council, said: “We’re going for London Borough of Culture 2025, so these Battersea events featuring incredible design, art, architecture and landscaping really do give a taster of the creativity and innovation rooted here in Wandsworth’s communities.”

Launched in 2017, the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture award is designed to celebrate the culture and diversity of the city’s boroughs.

The winning borough is awarded more than £1.35 million to fund the launch of a year long cultural programme of events that highlights its local character. 

Inspired by volunteers at the Doddington and Rollo Community Roof Garden and sponsored by London Square, key features of the gold standard design were donated to Doddington following last year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Located on the roof of a former car park in the Battersea estate, the half-acre garden was built by locals from donated plants, compost and tools from sites such as Kew Gardens and Battersea Park.

Included in the gold-standard Chelsea Flower Show design are bespoke chairs designed by TV presenter and furniture restorer Jay Blades, accompanied by a table made from recycled marble and adorned with a chess set.

Blades has expressed his support for the opening. 

He said: “It’s great that the garden is now in its new home on the Doddington estate for local people and visitors to enjoy.’’

Jay Blades at the Chelsea Flower Show in May with the chairs his workshop designed for the London Square Community Garden.
TV Personality Jay Blades tries out the chairs he designed in the garden

The garden features more than 2,000 different plants alongside a pergola, pizza oven, outdoor bookcase, storage cabinets, dipping pond and hard landscaping.

James Smith, the garden’s designer, said: ‘’We wanted to get that essence of community together.

‘’Hopefully it makes them want to spend more time in here than they already do.

‘It’s just trying to inspire people to the power of nature really.’’

Children from Chesterton Primary School in Battersea try out some chess moves with the help of teacher Edress Kheir on the specially designed table and Jay Blades designed chairs from the London Square Community Garden, now a centrepiece in the roof garden on the Doddington estate in Battersea
Checkmate: Chesterton Primary School students enjoy a game of chess in the garden

Head of volunteers, Malissa Ritchie, said: “We are beyond excited that our community effort was the catalyst for a gold medal winning garden – now part of our roof garden here at Doddington.

“So many of our volunteers helped build the Chelsea garden so this is a big success for our whole community.”

Doddington and Rollo Community Garden Roof is open to visitors for free on Saturday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. 

Image Credits: London Square

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