(uncommon) created a range of horticultural projects for Pop Brixton

Urban farm and tea garden form part of south London container project
Urban farm and tea garden form part of south London container project

Landscape practice (uncommon) has played a key role in the development of Pop Brixton, a scheme designed in and around containers on the site of a former car park in south London.

A joint project between Lambeth Council, Carl Turner Architects, The Collective and (uncommon) Pop Brixton is a collection of shops  and restaurants, most of them local businesses. (uncommon) treated the project as an urban farm, and created as many opportunities as possible for planting.

The Stripe Garden provides  perimeter planting in the form of  a vegetable and fruit garden with big flowering climbers – ready to scramble up shipping-rope fans and make use of the hot sunny wall of the containers to attract insects that provide pollination. Edible species include grapes, French climbing beans, fig trees, rhubarb, blackberries and tomatoes. The stripes are provided by a wallpapering scheme from Eley Kishimoto.

Inside, there is a portable orchard. Some 17 species of apples, pears and cherries as well as plums are planted in recycled barrels, with herbs and soft fruit like gooseberry and red currant around them. Each pair of trees is on a wheeled trolley and these are also used as space dividers, seats, avenues and screens for events.

A Keder bubblewrap greenhouse sits  above the containers in the centre of the space. The planting for the greenhouse started with an installation for the Chelsea Fringe Festival. Called Garden of Disorientation, it is a reprise of the 2012 garden that (uncommon) made in Clerkenwell which takes a single plant species (this time Amaryllis) and uses hundreds of plants for a hyper-real horticultural affect. About 250 Amaryllis bulbs provided a dramatic opening surprise for Pop Brixton. They will later be replaced by edible plants.

The Tea Garden, set up around the entrance to the exhibition space, contains plants used in herbal and medicinal teas and has a strong colour palette chosen to complement the faded metallic shades of the containers, rather than hide them.


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