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The Xtra Diary – Urban gardeners look up to Wendy

23 January, 2017

Some of the vivid colours in Wendy Shillam’s rooftop garden in Fitzrovia

LONG-term Fitzrovia resident Wendy Shillam has become pretty well-known for her rooftop veg plot – she has never let the limited outdoor space that comes with living in the heart of Zone 1 stop her from growing her own fresh produce.

Wendy told Diary: “We’ve always had a flat roof garden on top of our home in Great Titchfield Street – flowers in pots and decking, but five years ago I decided to convert it to a sky-allotment. We made new raised beds and packed them with annual vegetables and some fruit bushes. Now we grow everything from grapes and Japanese wine berry, to legumes, leaf-crops, tomatoes and herbs. The rooftop veg plot has become quite famous.”

wendy cutout

Wendy Shillam is set to hold a series of workshops

Growing in just six inches of soil “supports far bigger plants than you might imagine”, she added. “For me it is a demonstration of what can be grown in a small space.”

Wendy, who is also the chairwoman of the FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum, is now planning to share the joy of urban gardening with others, as she gets set to hold a series of workshops this spring.

She added: “I want to share with people how homegrown organic produce makes a noticeable difference to health and – even if you can only grow a small amount.” Sessions will cover nutritious flavouring for raw yogurt, low-sugar cordials, protein-rich vegetables and growing nutritious leaves. The emphasis will be on developing growing skills for small spaces and wholesome, low-calorie recipes.

For more information or to book see www.rooftopvegplot.com

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