Mental health charity to open beautiful garden ‘sanctuary’ in Homerton

The new community garden behind St Barnabas Church. Photograph: Core Arts

A mental health charity in Hackney is to open a community garden that has been worked on for 20 months by more than 500 volunteers.

The garden is the pride of Core Landscapes, the horticultural branch of Core Arts, and can be found tucked behind St Barnabas Church on Homerton High Street.

TV gardener and charity patron Mark Lane will cut the ribbon alongside Hackney Mayor Caroline Woodley on 8 June.

Core Landscapes project director, Nemone Mercer, said: “Community gardens create opportunities for people to come together, learn green skills and make real changes to their local environment.

“Together we can bring about real positive changes to our neighbourhoods and inspire others to do the same.”

The charity runs community workshops. Photograph: Core Arts

The charity hosts regular volunteering sessions and gardening classes for the local community, all with the aim of improving people’s health and wellbeing.

Ahead of launch day, the gardeners are filling up the flowerbeds and appealing for plant donations.

“We can find a home for any unwanted plants that come our way to help make this garden grow,” Mercer added. “It’s a lovely way to make an urban community garden.”

The charity wants to increase biodiversity in the area and bring colour, scent and food-growing to the garden.

“What is good for wildlife is good for people too,” Mercer continued. “This garden will be a sanctuary for both.”

Gardener Mark Lane will cut the ribbon with the Mayor of Hackney. Photograph: courtesy Core Arts

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is part of a bigger opening day event, which has been timed to coincide with London’s Open Gardens weekend.

From midday until 5pm, guests will be able to enjoy an arts and crafts fair, garden tours, live music, and shop for cut-price plants.

Cakes, refreshments and a licensed bar are also promised, with all ages welcome to attend.

Core Landscapes already runs two other award-winning sites: a street-level garden close by on St Barnabas Terrace and a rooftop oasis on Wardle Street.

The charity has also won recognition for its imaginative use of recycling, with a variety of its garden components built from repurposed materials.

For more information about volunteering opportunities or the work of Core Landscapes, visit