Location: Princess Street, London SE1
Lead Pimpers: Richard Reynolds
First planted: 15 February 2010
Description: These two tree pits are behind my flat. When we began pimping them they were tiny spaces from which two ornamental pears squeezed out. I organised a “Love Perronet House” planting session the day after Valentines Day and was helped by three residents. We just had room for a few violas and later that first year some surprisingly successful sweet peas which clamboured up the tree cage. Small bedding was adding but the beds proved hard to maintain because of the lack of soil and water retention. In 2011 I nominated the street for the council’s repaving scheme and was successful, using the opportunity to cajole the friendly contractors to leave much bigger tree pits than had been there before. When the contractors were gone in late 2011 Lyla and I created raised beds set into the tree pits using old scaffold planks, carefully protecting the tree trunk from rot by encasing it in a wide plastic tube and gravel – a tip I learned from Adam in New York. We planted them with tulips, daffodils and festuca. An unexpected benefit of the raised beds was that they provide seating for the regular gathering of alcoholics who attend the nearby Salvation Army’s drop-in centre. This caused the partial collapse of one bed which I’ve had to reinforce and I am making plans to provide a more practical bench extension to this raised bed to the planting and alcoholics and co-exist happily.

22 March 2012

Princess Street 14 February 2010

14 February 2010

Princess Street 9 August 2010

9 August 2010

22 March 2012

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