Our Gardens at Sycamore House and John Betts House are a platform for workshops and social events enabling people to work in their own part of the garden, or to simply relax and enjoy…

Secret Gardens

With acknowledgement to the Open Garden Square’s blog “Tales from Duck Island”

You could easily pass by Sycamore House in Hammersmith without any inkling of the garden delights created by the tenants inside. An old garden with mature shrubs and planting was here prior to 2012 , but it had to make way for new building and accommodation.  However, the benefits of a garden was not forgotten in the redevelopment. Sycamore House’s Community Gardener, Jackie Thompson, set herself the task of designing an even better garden, and, with the help of the architects, a delightful winding lane of plants now weaves its way between the sheltered housing.The new garden is only five years old and has already won the Challenge Cup for large community gardens in almshouses run by the London Gardens’ Society not once, but two years in a row, which is a tribute to the efforts of Jackie and her team of volunteer garden residents. Founded on the principle of successional planting, there is colour whatever the weather.In November the Beautyberry (Callicarpa) was showing off its purple fruit, perfectly offset by a planting of pink neriums. A red salvia was in bloom not far away from this arbour and throughout plants have been carefully chosen to reflect scent, touch, colour and seasons. Throughout the winding walk a variety of different fruits pop up out of the border –  redcurrants, grapes, strawberries, kiwi fruits and an espalier-trained apple tree sit cheek by jowl with flowers, shrubs and grasses. Despite designing the garden from scratch, Jackie does not dogmatically follow a set planting pattern and encourages the personalisation of the borders by the residents.Active involvement is key. She stresses that this is not an old people’s home and it certainly feels very different. Speaking about the garden Jackie said “ I’ve set out to create an oasis of tranquillity which blends colour from flowering plants with that from fruit. With the help of some very dedicated residents here, we have made a garden which is both relaxing and interesting.”

10 minutes further down Goldhawk Road, John Betts House garden – award winner in London Garden Society’s small community garden category – offers a very different feel.  The garden’s centrepiece is a series of arches which were planted to create a blowsy, flowing feel, with the plants and grasses spilling over the central path, brushing by visitors as they pass. John Betts House was constructed in 1964 by Hammersmith United Charities and extensively refurbished in 1998.  Built up around an inner, secluded garden, it has presented its challenges to Jackie and her resident garden volunteers, as the garden area was used to dump the rubble from the building work – so the digging is hard.

Given the challenges of the soil here, the gardeners originally concluded that the only way was up and perfected the art of growing flowers in pots. The pots and hanging baskets which adorn the balconies overlooking the main, internal garden courtyard were still blooming in a very balmy December.  And the horticultural endeavours of the residents are being recognised locally – last year John Betts came third in the small community garden category of the London Garden Society Competition – catching up on its successful sister garden, Sycamore House. Residents benefit by having a designated area for growing vegetables in raised beds so there are strawberries and vegetables aplenty in the summer.

Grants in October 2017

The October Grants committee is over and we have a list of new exciting projects that we support!

Find in the Resources a list of who we support, what the money will be spend on and how much we put in.

The next grants deadline will be in January 2017, we will announce the deadline in the next days.

 

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Will you join us as a Community Trustee?

This year we are looking for local people to join our board as trustees to make sure we are in a strong position to embark on the next 400 years of serving the people of Hammersmith and Fulham.
Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups are currently under-represented on the charity’s board.

We would like to find people who are:


– Able to apply their experience of life, their skills and their local connections to the work of the charity

– Committed to making a difference to their local area

– Good listeners

– Team players

– Curious and inquisitive

– Willing to ask questions and to express a view

– Able to offer a time commitment of 8 evening meetings a year

 

 

Does this sound like you? If it does, we would love to hear from you!

Please contact Jocelyn to talk about what being a trustee involves
and how you might help us and your local community

07976 395688 or jocridley@jmrc.co.uk

 

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Merry Christmas!

We at Hammersmith United Charities wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Our office reopens on the 2nd of January – enjoy the holidays!

This is a portrait of Bishop John King, painted this year by Matthew Cook for the Charity. Bishop John King (after whom King Street is named) made one of the two original gifts which formed the basis of the charity, one branch of which eventually became known as Hammersmith United Charities.

The Bishop – a committed Calvinist – had a wide ranging career which took him from preacher to the City of York to Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford before finally becoming Bishop of London in 1611. He made his gift of £20 to buy land to benefit the poor of Fulham in 1620.
Dr Thomas Edwards made his gift of £100 to buy land in 1618 – and it is the 400th anniversary of that gift and its remarkable and enduring legacy which we will be celebrating next year.

 

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New Grants Deadline

The next grants deadline will be the 10th January!

The next grants deadline will be the 10th January! Find our application form and entry requirements here. Contact Melanie Nock if you would like to talk to us about your idea or your application.

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