When an email dropped in the 91 inbox about Farmopolis - a new space on the Greenwich Peninsula which has re-homed thousands of plants from the RHS Chelsea Flower show, we knew it was gonna be up our street! Then, after perusal of the website, and discovery of their jam packed programme of creative workshops, both for kids and adults - many based around botanical themes - we had confirmation that it was something our readers would love too. So, we packed off 91 contributor Yeshen Venema to the opening party last week to take a gander and report back... Here's what he found:
It’s easy to forget that London is one of the world leaders for green space, over 30% of our city is a park or garden. Most of this space is also free to access. Compare this with only 7% in LA and 10% in Paris. However, on balance we have a serious problem with air pollution so more plants are definitely welcome!
Put aside the arguments against the Garden Bridge for the moment and say hello to Farmopolis, created in partnership with RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Chelsea is actually pretty good at reusing and selling off the materials, however there is always waste, so the team behind Farmopolis decided to create a floating garden on the Greenwich Peninsula.
On the buzzing launch night last Thursday, I was greeted by head gardener Lucy who was surrounded by mountains of flowers, soon to be planted around the site. “Hopefully they’ll be spreading everywhere” she exclaimed. I hope so, Greenwich needs this - it’s a huge construction site at the moment. It’s quite an ‘industrial’ view across the water including the Thames Barrier, Canary Wharf and the Emirates cable car towering above.
On the jetty however it was a blaze of colour as Electric Daisy Flower Farm encouraged visitors to create their own flower crowns while the bar served up botanical cocktails and canapes. The August events look particularly good for families - kids will love learning about plants and getting hands on with the many free workshops. There’s an on-site cafe and bar, plus live music.
The structure has an initial term of 14 months and they have big plans for the future, including a maker-space and food incubator, large-scale events and festival spaces, hydroponic farming and sustainable innovations, green spaces and orchards, farm-to-table restaurants and major art commissions, community engagement and event programming year-round across the harvest seasons.
Highlights in August include activities for kids such as mint your own seed coin, children’s workshops from Dalston’s own Arcola Theatre and flower press printing, while adults can get involved in wood carving with Grain and Knot, a poetry workshop with Somerset House's Poet-in-Residence or making a leather plant hanger.