Residents’ Garden reinstated.

Somerton House new planters
Somerton House new planters 2010

Three years after our only green area was removed to make way for Costa Coffee, we claimed a little back.

At the last meeting it was agreed by all present that the committee would reinstate a garden of wooden planters and compost with suitable plants, paid for with TA funds. To return the residents garden albeit on a much smaller scale.

Secretary John was tasked with finding a local independent tradesmen that would make the planters to size and also find a independent garden supplier for the soil, compost and plants.

We then had to work out what plants would live happily in the planters, give us residents the greatest pleasure throughout the year with as little maintenance as possible, just as well John is well versed on plants, flora and all things like that.

GAD [Garden Arrival Day] Friday 28 May 2010.

Planters arrive followed by 30 bags of fantastic garden soil mixed with proper horse muck from Islington, and later plants from a London nursery.  Several hours later the entrance pathway is now a much greener, happier and inviting outside space.

Within the next few Months we should have some blooms! Some names of plant’s: Sage, Rosemary, Jasmine, Lavender, Cornflower, Poppy, Geranium and lots lots more…

A little history of our garden:

The garden area of Somerton House was created by residents gradually since they first moved into Somerton House when it was built in 1963. Some commuters of a certain age may remember the amazing rose displays each summer. This was removed when Premier Travel Inn took over the lower portion of Somerton House.

Somerton House Garden 1980 before premier travel inn euston
Somerton House Garden 1980’s

Premier Travel Inn replaced the garden with a planted display, but then the parent company Whitbread removed this in 2007 to install a Costa Coffee outlet, upsetting and angering some residents, many who have lived in the building since it was built.

Somerton House Garden removal 2007
Somerton House Garden removal 2007 (now Costa Coffee).

Since then garden issue was raised at every TA meeting, on the stairs, in the lift, on the stairs and  even in Waitrose, residents were missing their only green space, and angered that it was lost to a coffee shop chain.

Residents of Somerton House are very happy to have a green area back.

SHTA would like to thank the following people:

John and Simon for all their hard work making the garden happen. Gilmar for his help taking in deliveries, Bob for his donation of plants and helpful advice, Amanda for getting her hands dirty, Mark G for the workers beverages, Rene, Ricky, Steve, James, Dan, Joseph, and Ben for their support, and last but by no means least Akbar for writing the cheque.

Somerton House New Garden Planters
Somerton House New Garden Planters 2012

We have a good few bags of Fed Hollingsworth’s top grade local London garden soil left over for sale. 75-litre bags, buyer collects! (ALL GONE)

The garden project was very much a communal project undertaken and paid for by the TA with the support of residents of Somerton House, to reclaim their lost green outside space.

Somerton House Garden Planters have won two community gardening awards since their creation.

– Best Council Housing Garden. Second Prize, Camden in Bloom 2010

– Best Green Corner. First Prize, Camden in Bloom 2018

Best Green Corner, Camden in Bloom 2018 Somerton House
Best Green Corner, Camden in Bloom 2018

updated 21/11/2019

4 Replies to “Residents’ Garden reinstated.”

  1. Wildlife spotted.

    Whilst watering the plants over the last week, I’ve noticed our planting has attracted two black birds [male & female] who seem to be about every watering time! Hopefully soon the garden will be encouraging butterflies, birds and other wildlife to stop by and say hello.

    We have added two new pots to the front. One a herb pot with curly parsley, aromatic thyme, and cherry tomato, and on canes in the second pot, sweet pea. All were locally sourced from Povey & Co Hardware Merchants in Leigh Street [including the canes].

    Support your local community and independent traders, shop local.

  2. Bob reported that old Bill had seen off a garden thief.

    At around 6.45am this morning, some shifty character cased the planters a few times, then lent over the fence and tried to lift the pot with the tomato plant and herbs.

    Apparently the bungled would be thief didn’t expect the pot to be so heavy, nor did he expect old Bill to shout some encouragement down at him to ‘move along and put that back’ from his kitchen window.

    Bill, thanks. Keep up your great work of plant security watchman!

  3. I was searching for the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital at Euston road london and found your website. I remember the roses on Dukes road. I used to walk past somerton house early morning on my way to the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital where I worked as a nurse. There was a wonderful corner of containers made from old car tires turned inside out and painted white filled with beautiful and fragrant roses was always a pleasure. I lived in Burton street from 1986 until1989 when I met my husband and moved to Somerset.

  4. Hi Ann, Thanks for your comment.

    The roses that you mentioned were tended to by Mark, who was then the resident caretaker and tenant rep. Every year he would put on a great rose display brighting up many a passer by, and catching the eye of Camden in Bloom.

    We decided that it would be a good thing to enter the 2010 Camden in Bloom competition.

    It’s a great way to remember Mark and late residents, George, Gwynn, Rosena, William, Mary, and Ada. All of whom so enjoyed Mark’s garden, but also gives new life and a residents green area in what was a dead space.

    It was so nice to hear from someone that remembers the rose garden.

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