Monday 16 June 2003 8.56am
It is worth discovering 'Roots and Shoots'. Just outside SE1, on Walnut Tree Walk SE11, on your left as you enter from Kennington Road
Its a long standing project that involves training teenagers with learning difficulties in gardening and carpentry, with providing education facilities for local schools and people. Plus they sell good quality plants. The garden is open to members and has a great newt pond, a beehive, interesting planting including a meadow and nettle bed, and some curious sculptures. They also have regular open days where disparate parts of the 'community' pull together. Last time there was a 30 strong choral group singing. You also get good advice when you buy as people know their plants. All sounds a bit worthy, but it really is great, and kids love it.
The Museum of Garden History by Lambeth Bridge
also has regular plant sales. And a good cafe.
For cheapness try the flower market on Nine Elms Lane. They have some really big things in pots and trays of potting plants. But it closes around 7.00am!
For specific plants - what does grow in a north facing lightwell - I sometimes go down to Wisley gardens in Surrey, the RHS place. There is a huge choice, everything is top quality, lots of advice and you get a day out into the bargain.