St Leonard’s Church


On a rare sunny day last week (since when did May become the new December?) I went to St Leonard’s Church in Shoreditch to see how the Oranges & Lemons Garden for the Chelsea Fringe is coming along. Things are really progressing – Dan, the designer, has got hold of some astroturf to cover the ground and is borrowing lots of Mediterranean plants from the very classy Clifton Nurseries. He’s secured 25 deckchairs for people to lounge on and is in talks with caterers, too.

The Shoreditch Sisters and a team from the Independent on Sunday are going to help build the garden (the paper’s political editor, Jane Merrick, wrote a great article on the Fringe that you can read here.)

Dan’s still working on the logistics of cladding the church pillars with real oranges and lemons – if anyone has access to a cherry picker or scaffolding (for free), please let me know.

The garden is also being worked on by some students from the Hanbury Project. The project gives practical training to people recovering from homelessness, addiction, mental health problems, learning difficulties and long-term unemployment. The churchyard, to the side of the church, is planted and maintained by them. It looked magical on a beautiful May morning.

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