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Sunflowers video

30 Jun

Conversations with the Gardener

30 Jun

New Cross Sunflowers viewing We caught up last week with Dan Hudson, gardener with the community garden learning project Greenshoots on Besson Street and Edmund Waller School, to hear about his work with on the collective 1,000 Sunflowers project in New Cross. Dan has been nurturing about 100 seedlings with the afterschool gardening club at Edmund Waller Primary and about 50 seedlings at Greenshoots’ community garden. More sunflower seedlings being nurtured in private gardens, at schools and in community gardens are being transplanted during June and July, with hopes they will be in full bloom in September. He’s also helped scatter seeds in the scrubby piece of land behind the billboard at the entrance to Sainsbury’s carpark and in the beds at St James. He warns though that planting in public areas mean the plants are under “all the pressures,” listing foot traffic and hungry rodents as a few. The scattered seeds are obviously also at the mercy of the elements: they need six hours of daylight (maybe a struggle in the unpredictable British summer?) and a fair amount of rain (slightly easier to guarantee). Given his caution about the seeds’ success, he said they had decided to “attack on all fronts”, and also scattered wildflower seeds, specifically corn flowers, corn cockles, and poppies, to brighten up some of those less-than-welcoming bits of New Cross in the months ahead. If you’re looking after any sunflowers, send us some pictures (#newxing). If you’re interested in volunteering during the summer to keep the sunflowers going, email us at artmongers.studio@gmail.com.

Sunflowers Brighten Spring

20 May
20 cms tall and counting....

20 cms tall and counting….

The sunflowers are making a brave appearance during this often chilly, rainy spring! Here’s a shot of some in our care. We’d love to see any that you’re helping grow. Tweet your pics to @newxing whenever you can!

New Cross Grows Summer

24 Apr

New Cross Sunflowers viewing

Where might you find a thousand sunflowers turning their heads towards the sunshine—the French countryside in high summer? Or the A2? One of southeast London’s busiest, grittiest thoroughfares may seem an unlikely spot but it’s true thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between local schools, shops and community groups initiated by New X ING and funded by Grow Wild. In addition to brightening the A2, the flowers will provide much needed foraging for bees in one of the only places  in the country with a growing bee population.

Starting this week, one thousand sunflower seeds will be planted and nurtured in pots in schools and homes across New Cross with a vision to bring growing sunshine to the A2 this summer. Local volunteers from Grow Wild, Greenshoots, Common Growth, New Cross Gate Trust, New Cross Learning, Goldsmiths, local schools, shops and homes will be watching over these small seeds in pots and in beds along the A2 and by the entrance to Sainsbury’s next to the petrol station.

Those plants growing in schools and homes will be transplanted over the next few months, with support and maintenance shared among the community. We hope to explore unusual sites for the sunflowers—billboards, roof terraces, windows, balconies, in shop windows and on the pavements—to create an urban wilderness of sunflowers

By late summer, there should hopefully be a landscape of sunflowers, culminating in a Harvest party in September. We’re excited about making the A2 grow wild, grow beautiful.

If you want to help out let us know (email Artmongers.studio@gmail.com)! Next community planting session is Saturday 27 Apr 1-3.30pm by the entrance to Sainsburys. Or join the seed planting session at New Cross Learning baby bounce session Tues 30 Apr 11am-12pm.