Like most things, it was a happy accident..and an awful lot of hard work. In 1992, Romee’s sister in Switzerland gave her one or two sunflower plants. Romee’s garden faced north, so in a hurry to keep them alive she planted them in the space left around  the crab apple tree in front of No. 31, installed by the council about 10 years previously. (For more about the trees, click on

The sunflowers prospered and pushed higher and higher: towering above Anna when she posed in front of them in September.

Sunflower 1aa.jpgSunflower 2aa.jpg And so an idea was born.

Several other people decided that the spaces around our maturing trees were too good to be left to accumulated weeds and rubbish. They organised themselves into a team which systematically went up and down the road digging sowing and planting and cutting and watering what soon became a delectable collection of very varied little gardens.

Here’s how to make a tree garden, demonstrated by Tessa and Julie and Tony in the summer of 2007:

1. The challenge.JPG                    1. The challenge

2. Digging completed (Tony).jpg                     2. Digging completed

3. Earthed (Julie).JPG                    3. The earth is laid

4. Tiled (Tessa).JPG                                                                 4. Tiling round the garden

5. Planting (Julie).JPG                  5. Planting is completed

And these road heroes and their gardens started winning prizes.

Here’s what the gardens looked like in 2008: 


2008 Pictures by David Giles

Over the years, the gardens have run many awards. Some of them are celebrated here:

All about the trees: