Celebrating Islington culture with People’s Poet

John Hegley at the garden festival

John Hegley at the garden festival - Credit: Archant

People’s Poet and Islington resident John Hegley headed the line-up at a garden party to celebrate the borough’s cultural exploits.

The Edinburgh festival regular and sometime BBC presenter performed at Olden Garden, in Whistler Street, Highbury on Sunday as part of the nationwide Fringe Festival – linked to the Chelsea Flower Show.

Enthusiasts were able to showcase grassroots community gardening and the inaugural event included a bicycle beer garden, a floating forest installation and an aromatic “garden of disorientation”.

Jill Mckeown, from the Olden Garden team, said: “This festival enabled us to reach out to more people than ever before. It is exciting to let people to know about the garden.”

“It is no different to being in the wild in the country. We hope those attending will experience a bit of nature in London.”


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The Olden community garden has been a regular feature in the area since 1984 when residents once complained the site was an eyesore. But now, the centre is one of the largest community-managed spaces in Islington.

After receiving money from Arsenal FC when the club moved to the Emirates stadium, the centre managed to secure funds for an all-weather summer house allowing for more visitors.

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