Around Ealing October 2018 | Page 15

TRANSFORM YOUR SPACE A garden for all An ‘unwelcoming’ patch of land with an ‘unwieldy’ gate has been transformed into an impressive community garden. Do you have a similar idea? F riars Gardens, a small, triangular green near central Acton, won £45,000 in Ealing Council’s Transform Your Space scheme in 2016. It has since undergone a complete makeover thanks to a team of residents and it was officially opened on 2 September. If you feel inspired, you will be able to submit your own community projects to Transform Your Space soon. “Friars Gardens was so unwelcoming,” said Juliet McDonald, co-founder and secretary of Friends of Friars Gardens (FOFGA). “The only entrance was an unwieldy maintenance gate. And, without any paths to walk on, the ground was a quagmire of mud.” The original proposal for Transform Your Space funding included a flower garden, a mini-wildflower meadow, paths, new entrance gates, refurbished benches and a children’s adventure trail with wooden rope bridges, logs and stepping stones. The design was further developed with the help of council officers. And, working hard through the seasons, including in snow and blazing sunshine, FOFGA members planted 10 new species of tree and a number of fruit bushes. Three mini-wildflower meadows have added colour to the north, west and southern sides of the park. Kim Rugg, co-founder and chair of FOFGA, said: “The adventure trail for kids is cleverly integrated into the planting and the design works on so many different levels. It is a tranquil space, where you can sit on a rock amongst flowers, but at the same time it is also suitable for children to scramble over.” Local charity ArtBox, which is based at Hanwell Zoo, is making signs and an iron- work entrance arch for the main gate. Councillor Mik Sabiers, the council’s cabinet member for environment and highways, said: “This project encapsulates what Transform Your Space is all about – maximising the potential of an underused or unappreciated piece of land, through a combination of community partnerships, residents’ hard work and council funding and support.” Read and see more at features/friars-gardens MORE INFO n Friends of Friars Gardens: Email [email protected] n Transform Your Space: Visit around ealing    October 2018 15