Saturday, 10 January 2009

Greening Leabank Square!!

Some amazing suggestions have come through the emails recently - and it would be great to discuss them up here as well!
It always seems very grey & drab at this time of year - and especially compared to the fantastic flowers we all put on display over this last summer!!
But it seems as though the lack of colour is getting to many of us - and there have been many suggestions as to how & create colour ALL YEAR ROUND in Leabank Square!
The new sign for the front entrance fence will go some way to getting some colour back into the square - but that's paint! What we need is natural growing colour!!
Taking our queue from Wick Village next door - many of you suggested that we start growing creepers up our buildings!! This will provide green all year round - plus make it look as though their is some management & maintenance going on!!
There are traditional Ivy creepers, but then there are Passion Flowers, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Clematis, Virginia Creeper, Wisteria......... We could go on & on - but the common themes among the suggestions are that:
  • There is far too much brick showing in Leabank Square.
  • There is hardly any colour in the winter months.
  • There is no green on any of the buildings.
So........ Some suggestions are that we plant many & varying creepers up as many of the terraced houses as want to participate - and up all of the blocks of flats.
This will look absolutely stunning, make us all feel closer to nature, provide colour all year long, provide natural feed & habitat & greater bio-diversity - but most important of all - bring us all closer together!!
What do you think?


Su said...

Hi Sóna

You know - sometimes you waffle on a bit!! But with the examples you've shown us - I think Leabank Square could look stunning!!

It DEFINETELY would look better than all the brickwork we have exposed!!

This is one of your better ideas for Leabank Square - I urge everyone in Leabank Square to get down to B&Q and get planting!!


Dirk said...

Hello Sóna

If our creepers are even half as nice as some of these examples - then we will have the nicest looking homes in all Hackney!!

What do you think we could plant them in? It would probably need to be relatively deep - and be kept damp all year round, don't you think?

I suppose those recycled industrial paint buckets that you have on the riverside would be ideal huh?

Do you think you might be able to get hold of any more?


Anonymous said...

But be a little careful - we have a wonderful Virginia creeper here on the wall opposite that is lovely in summer when it's green but absolutely spectacular in autumn as it turns red - you must have seen it.

But ... both Virginia creeper and the wonderful wisteria in your photo have long probing shoots and then branches that are liable to get almost anywhere, including into gutters and under tiles. So please think carefully before you put a particular plant somewhere that you might later regret. Don't let that stop you, but just be careful in your choices.

Anonymous said...

Bearing in mind that all the plants suggested are deciduous and won't provide much colour in winter apart from the stems, it might be worth looking around for some information about plants that keep decent looking leaves through the winter or provide a bit of flower when there's not much else around. There should be plenty of gardening books in the library or info on the internet. Here's an item with a few suggestions:

Leabank Square said...

Hi Owen

Thanks for all the advice! I did a spot of gardening (planting 3 rooted fir trees) today - and loads of residents came up to say they loved the idea!!

But - you're right! We need to choose the creepers very carefully.

I love the autumn colour of Virginia creeper - but after the stunning red leaves have dropped off - it looks quite bare!

But if we did all the walls in green ivy - Leabank Square will look almost as boring all green - as it does all yellow brick at the moment.

It would be even better to mix & match it all up, but - again - some creepers take over others - so the more research we do the better!

But what ever we do - we need to maintain it every year! Cut back where it's going mad. Help along with hidden wires where we want to encourage growth - and prune around all windows & doors.

Ah!! I want it all straight away!!

There's a clever saying - about planting as if you're going to live forever, while living like there's no tomorrow - or something like that anyway!!

Thanks for the encouragement Owen - watch this space!


Desire said...

Hi Sóna

I absolutely LOVE this idea!!

Please let's make it happen. Imagine how stunning the square will look when we come home after work - and see all kinds of different colours instead of too much brick!

I know I only live in one of the flats - but I would love to open my doors and do a bit of pruning from the balconey!!

Come on Leabank - let's get planting!


Mary said...


Yes! Yes! Yes!

I've often thought there was too much brick showing in Leabank!

I know what Owen is saying though! If we choose the wrong ones, it coukld end up looking a bit more depressing in the winter months than the brick.

Sóna, I'll have a word with the people at that nursery we cycle past on our Sunday outings (Canalside Viccie Park), and see if they can recommend any all year around creepers.


Pete said...

Hey Dude

I want all of those pictures growing up alongside our windows and doors NOW!!

I know you chose them just to con us all into getting behind this idea - and IT'S WORKED!

Seriously, I will give you all the help (and some cash) to get some of the creepers & containers for the Square. As you know we're only here until our studies finish, but 1 & a half years should see some growth.

Plus we can always check out the blog to see how they're progressing for years to come. Hey, you never know - we might even have to come & do some surveyancing around this area - we can pop by & have tea on the green surrounded by stunningly colourful creepers!


Keesha said...

Hi Sóna

What a sweet idea? Short of painting all the blocks different colours, there is no better way to brighten up Leabank Square, than to grow all kinds of colourful creepers up the walls!

Count us in.


Lucy said...

Hi Sóna,

A bit late on this but I just wanted to add that my only concern with this is the insects that I will be getting in my living room!
I already get earthworms coming under the door in my living room when it rains and wood lice, spiders and ants almost all the time. I wouldnt want anything that would encourage more wildlife to seek refuge in my flat!I also know that certain creeps, as its alredy been stated, will creep everywhere! If they arent taken care of properly they may even start working their way into the houses.

I do agree that we need something to liven up the square. Wick Village have loads of evengreen bushes, could we not get something similar for the entrance and the green in the middle?
I do love honeysuckle though!