Abbeyfield wild garden

Staff and residents at The Abbeyfield Society’s assisted living apartments for older people in Wanstead have started transforming a boring patch of grass with little biodiversity value into a new wildlife garden that will start providing food and shelter for a wealth of creatures as it establishes and grows over the coming months and years.

The garden includes a number of key features to help London’s ailing wildlife. Two wildflower meadow areas were made by lifting and removing turf, before raking the earth over and planting a British wildflower seed mix that contains more than 15 different species, such as Yarrow, Knapweed, Meadowsweet, Cowslips and Ragged Robin. Once established, the flowers should provide a lasting display across summer and will just need cutting once a year in September. Floral native shrubs have been dotted around the edges of the garden area, including Hawthorn, Crab Apple, Dog Rose and Honeysuckle.

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By the patio, two more traditional flowerbeds have been dug out and filled with bee-loving garden plants like Hardy Geraniums, Alliums, Verbena and Periwinkles. And the garden has been completed with a couple of heritage apple trees and a fantastic bug house and planter, made using reclaimed wood by a local resident.

The Abbeyfield Society is a charity for older people that aims to tackle loneliness and isolation. They hope the new wild garden will provide a place for residents at the flats to come together to tend and enjoy.