Our Gardens at Sycamore House and John Betts House are a platform for workshops and social events enabling people to work in their own part of the garden, or to simply relax and enjoy…

Secret Gardens

With acknowledgement to the Open Garden Square’s blog “Tales from Duck Island”

You could easily pass by Sycamore House in Hammersmith without any inkling of the garden delights created by the tenants inside. An old garden with mature shrubs and planting was here prior to 2012 , but it had to make way for new building and accommodation.  However, the benefits of a garden was not forgotten in the redevelopment. Sycamore House’s Community Gardener, Jackie Thompson, set herself the task of designing an even better garden, and, with the help of the architects, a delightful winding lane of plants now weaves its way between the sheltered housing.The new garden is only five years old and has already won the Challenge Cup for large community gardens in almshouses run by the London Gardens’ Society not once, but two years in a row, which is a tribute to the efforts of Jackie and her team of volunteer garden residents. Founded on the principle of successional planting, there is colour whatever the weather.In November the Beautyberry (Callicarpa) was showing off its purple fruit, perfectly offset by a planting of pink neriums. A red salvia was in bloom not far away from this arbour and throughout plants have been carefully chosen to reflect scent, touch, colour and seasons. Throughout the winding walk a variety of different fruits pop up out of the border –  redcurrants, grapes, strawberries, kiwi fruits and an espalier-trained apple tree sit cheek by jowl with flowers, shrubs and grasses. Despite designing the garden from scratch, Jackie does not dogmatically follow a set planting pattern and encourages the personalisation of the borders by the residents.Active involvement is key. She stresses that this is not an old people’s home and it certainly feels very different. Speaking about the garden Jackie said “ I’ve set out to create an oasis of tranquillity which blends colour from flowering plants with that from fruit. With the help of some very dedicated residents here, we have made a garden which is both relaxing and interesting.”

10 minutes further down Goldhawk Road, John Betts House garden – award winner in London Garden Society’s small community garden category – offers a very different feel.  The garden’s centrepiece is a series of arches which were planted to create a blowsy, flowing feel, with the plants and grasses spilling over the central path, brushing by visitors as they pass. John Betts House was constructed in 1964 by Hammersmith United Charities and extensively refurbished in 1998.  Built up around an inner, secluded garden, it has presented its challenges to Jackie and her resident garden volunteers, as the garden area was used to dump the rubble from the building work – so the digging is hard.

Given the challenges of the soil here, the gardeners originally concluded that the only way was up and perfected the art of growing flowers in pots. The pots and hanging baskets which adorn the balconies overlooking the main, internal garden courtyard were still blooming in a very balmy December.  And the horticultural endeavours of the residents are being recognised locally – last year John Betts came third in the small community garden category of the London Garden Society Competition – catching up on its successful sister garden, Sycamore House. Residents benefit by having a designated area for growing vegetables in raised beds so there are strawberries and vegetables aplenty in the summer.

New Grants Deadline – 30th September

The new deadline to apply for grants is the 30th September 2017. Find out here how to apply for grants and learn more about our criteria.

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JOB AD – Finance Assistant

We are looking for a part-time finance assistant (£25 000 pro rata) to join our team!

If you or someone you know is interested in the position, download the Job pack and send us your application until the 19th October.

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September Newsletter 2017

The September Newsletter is here!

This September our Newsletter brings the news of what we have been up to this summer and introduces our new Logo!

We aim to bring you the Newsletter every couple of months and we would welcome your feedback.

We had an exciting summer and a grants deadline coming up.

Find out more at: Newsletter September 2017 

If you would like to subscribe to our Newsletter submit your email address under contact us.

 

 

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Sheltered Housing – Our waiting list is open!

The waiting list for both of our Schemes - John Betts House and Sycamore House is open! If you are interested in joining one of our schemes, find out more here....

Sycamore House and John Betts House offer quality sheltered housing in a safe and secure setting. Both houses are known for their beautiful, tranquil communal gardens and for the friendly community of residents who enjoy them.
Both houses have a communal lounge, laundry, internet access and a guest flat. Both are supported by full time scheme managers. Residents are welcome to take part in as much or as little of the regular social events programme as they choose; a regular newsletter keeps them informed of social opportunities in house and in the wid-er local community. Prospective residents should be:
  • Over 60
  • Have lived in the local area for at least five years or, if not currently resident in Hammersmith be able to show that they have lived in the area for 10 years or more over the course of their life
  • Be on a low income
For more information about our housing or to find out how to join the waiting list, please see our Housing page or call 02087414326.
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