If you’ve seen various Tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts about the #GreenMaryGarden and want to find out more, you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve been getting quite excited about this on our social media accounts and we’ve already held a small launch as part of Green Mary Week, but we are yet to write an old fashioned blog about it, so here we are!
So, what is the Green Mary Garden?
The Green Mary Garden is a community garden that we have built in the heart of our Mile End campus. It consists of a sensory garden, a medicinal garden and a number of shared allotment plots – you can walk around the sensory and medicinal gardens whenever you like, we’ve made sure they are easily accessible for all. The allotments, however, are secured so if you’d like to go in and have a proper look and are not an allotment member, just give us an email and we’ll be happy to show you round.
The sensory garden contains native plant species that appeal to our five senses: touch, sight, taste, smell and sound. We’ve got a really good selection of plants, from curry plants to strawberry plants, lamb’s ears (that really is a plant, we promise) to sunflowers.
The medicinal garden, as the name suggests, contains plants that have historically been used in medicine. As a university with a strong medical background, we thought it was only right to include the medicinal garden and give people an understanding of some of the medicinal uses of plants. Who knew fennel was used to relieve wind and bronchial spasms??
What’s the point?
Firstly, the gardens look amazing (if we do say so ourselves). It’s another way of us helping to enhance the well-being of our students and staff, providing an area of campus that is a little different, and that allows you to have a look at the plants, give them a sniff and learn a little about their uses.
The Green Mary Garden is a community garden which is really important to us and we’re using the gardens as a way to encourage students, staff and the wider community (including local schools) to engage with and learn more about the biodiversity on campus. We have information about the plants dotted around the raised beds and a larger information board is going to be installed over the next few months.
Finally, as we’re the sustainability team, we’re passionate about doing what we can to enhance the biodiversity of our campus and Tower Hamlets as a whole. We’ll be having solitary bee posts installed, and hope to develop ways of further enhancing the biodiversity of the area and encouraging more life onto the site. We’ve planted wildflowers, and encourage allotment keepers to contribute too – there’s already a bird box courtesy of one of the allotment teams which we love!
How can I get involved?
Please do walk through the Sensory and Medicinal gardens as and when you please, and feel free to pick any herbs that tickle your fancy! Fresh mint tea is a favourite in our office…
We will also be holding a number of tours of the Garden in the coming months so keep an eye out for more information on these on Twitter. The next tour of the Green Mary Garden (and other areas of interest) is on 13th July – more info here.
We’ve already allocated allotments to teams but we do have a waiting list, so if you’d like to be added to this then just let us know and, hopefully, soon you’ll be growing fruit and veg on campus too!
If you take any pictures of the allotment, make sure to tag us on Twitter and Instagram. If you’re an allotment member, send us pictures of your crops! We also love to see what you do with them. This is a community garden – so please do share your gardening tips and recipes!
Finally, we’ll be holding an official launch of the Green Mary Garden in September. Check Twitter and Facebook for more information on this nearer to the time, but until then, we hope you enjoy the Garden. Let us know what you think in the comments below!