Overseen by a buzzy, beanbag strewn café that’s popular with all age groups, the Curve Garden is a welcome green hiatus in this ultra-urban part of town. The garden was created in 2010, on the derelict site of the old Eastern Curve railway line, and where goods trains once trundled, wildlife friendly trees and hedgerows now flourish. Copses of homely natives such as wild cherry and hazel, alder and birch create a calm and cosy ambience, and even when the trees are bare in early spring, copious plantings of spring daffodils, hellebores and grape hyacinths ensure the presence of cheery colour.
Café tables, many of them sustainably made from reclaimed wood and recycled pallets, are dotted among the raised beds where fruit, vegetables and herbs are grown by local residents. At the far end of the garden, there’s a slightly more open space which serves as a low-key children’s play area.
The funky timber pavilion that houses the café (designed by the architectural collective Exyzt) also provides a rainproof focal point for community events, workshops and gatherings. The conservatory style Pineapple House with wood-burning stove hosts year-round nature-inspired design workshops, many of whose creations are displayed throughout the garden. The Eastern Curve Gardeners get together on Saturday afternoons to look after the plants before enjoying herb-topped fresh pizzas baked in the community built clay oven. Run as a social enterprise, and open to all, this friendly neighbourhood garden is a lovingly nurtured space that in turn nurtures the community it serves.
Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
13 Dalston Lane, E8 3DF
Open Mon-Thurs 11.00-19.00, Tues till 23.00