Skip to content

You Are Here

Lansbury Gardeners


Lansbury Gardening Club was set up on the Lansbury Estate to promote and develop gardening for local residents of all ages. Groundwork provided a gardener to work with residents in a community garden created out of an under-used space alongside a local community centre. A wide variety of flowers, fruit and vegetables are now grown in huge ‘growbags’. Local residents now facilitate the weekly gardening sessions.



  • engage the widest possible range of people in the area including those with disabilities, older people, and other so-called hard-to-reach groups
  • increase levels of mental well-being and physical activity and to encourage healthy eating among these groups
  • make the area a greener and more attractive place to live
  • help the community to create sustainable green spaces for gardening, food production and education
  • improve or enhance the gardening skills of local residents and encourage them to adopt greening activities as part of their daily lives
  • encourage growing practices that are sustainable and environmentally responsible
  • form strong partnerships in the community in order to develop, maintain and expand community garden initiatives

Back to top


During the consultation carried out in October 2007 at the Lansbury Lodge Community Café, as part of the Well London Community Engagement Programme, local residents provided feedback that they wanted a community garden in the estate.

Based on the results of the consultation, Groundwork worked in partnership with Poplar HARCA (Housing and Regeneration Community Association) to choose a site to start the gardening project. An unused open area at the Hind Grove Community Centre was chosen for a ‘Grow Bag Gardening Project’.

Back to top


The Grow Bag Gardening Project was managed by a Project Coordinator from Groundwork. The funding from Well London paid for a community gardener to deliver weekly gardening sessions at the Hind Grove Community Centre. These sessions taught participants how to grow vegetables with the aim of them becoming able to run sessions themselves.

Engagement with participants was done through leafleting in the estate and information on noticeboards in the Hind Grove Community Centre, but word of mouth was also important for recruitment. The consultation had identified a need for a community garden and there were people in the estate that already wanted to take part.

The chosen space was turned into a community garden and 15 building bags each containing half a tonne of soil and manure were installed to grow plants and vegetables in. Local residents were then invited to ‘adopt’ one of these huge ‘growbags’. Some were adopted by individuals, others by families, schools or community groups. The gardener ran 3 hour sessions at the community garden every Thursday morning from June 2008 to April 2009, providing knowledge and gardening expertise.

Residents without a growbag were still able to come along, chat to other residents interested in gardening and the professional gardener and pick up some tips, perhaps about growing flowers and vegetables in their own gardens or on their balconies.

Back to top



A questionnaire was carried out in October 2008 and repeated in December 2009 to evaluate the outcomes of the project. Twelve out of a total of fifteen project participants answered the evaluation questionnaire and some of the findings were as follows:

  • 100% of the participants are making healthy eating choices (up from 85% in the initial survey)
  • 90% of participants have access to healthy food (up from 85%)
  • 100% of participants are involved in weekly physical activity (up from 85%)
  • 85% of participants indicated that the gardening sessions had improved their mental wellbeing

One of the gardening enthusiasts, June Murphy, recently said: “I’ve never grown potatoes in my life and these taste so delicious I can’t believe it.”

Back to top


Participants have not only learnt to grow and maintain their own fruit and vegetables, but the activity has led to people getting to know their neighbours better. The project has engaged with at least 15 local residents every week and brought neighbours and cultures together to create a sense of community cohesion.

As part of the Grow Bag Gardening project, a visioning exercise was carried out to explore what participants would like to do going forward. A group of participants wanted to set up their own voluntary gardening group, and Groundwork supported them to do this. This group, the Lansbury Gardeners, now run the club themselves and are producing tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, chillies, chard, aubergines, French beans, onions, garlic, flowers and herbs such as rosemary and coriander.

Lansbury Gardeners have successfully bid for £30,000 from Poplar HARCA to support gardening initiatives in people’s homes in the Poplar area of Tower Hamlets and to create other gardening activities.

The Lansbury Gardeners formally constituted into a voluntary group in April 2009 and now run the sessions themselves, with the aim of promoting and developing gardening for all ages. They want to continue the project aims of making estates greener and more attractive places to live, and by doing so promote fitness and well-being through light exercise, increased social contact and raised awareness of healthy eating. The group meets every Thursday morning at the Hind Grove Community Centre to maintain their grow bags and residents can now also access the garden at other times to care for the garden.

Back to top


  • Use a wide range of publicity materials to engage with local residents, such as distributing leaflets and posters at local venues. This project was publicised in the newsletter published by Well London, but news of the project also spread by word of mouth
  • It’s good to use a community gardener to deliver the gardening sessions, if the funds are available – this increases the sustainability of the project as participants learn to deliver sessions themselves
  • It’s important to select a site carefully – it needs to offer security, be easily accessible to everyone, and in a central location that people can get to easily
  • Support the group dynamics and encourage participants to take ownership of the project – this will help long-term sustainability
This is an Animalcarpet site, Design by Lakesneil