Harlesden Town Garden

About Harlesden Town Garden

This community garden has been created through the hard work and generosity of the Friends of Harlesden Town Garden, which consists of local volunteers, charities and funders. The main aims of the garden are to promote health and well-being in the local community by providing a tranquil green space where local people can exercise, grow food, enjoy nature and ensure that biodiversity can flourish in this urban environment.

Get Involved

Resident artist Irena stands in front of her floral mural

The Friends of
Harlesden Town Gardens

FHTG is all about supporting local people to grow food in a sustainable way that allows wildlife to flourish. With this aim in mind, our keen volunteers have created raised beds, planted flower borders and fruit trees, and run workshops and events —and continue to do so. We have won several prestigious awards that celebrate our beautiful garden and honour community efforts.

A raised bed owner tending to her homegrown food

Our Key Aims

To promote the health and well-being of residents of the area

To involve local people and support them, through training and guidance

To offer volunteering opportunities in a healthy environment

To carry out and promote environmental improvements and conservation

To promote sport, community recreation and play facilities

To work with similar groups and exchange information

Harlesden Town Garden provides a local green space where people can:

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    have an outdoor place that belongs to them where they can garden, meet neighbours, exercise, learn about nature, or simply enjoy being in the open air
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    feel safe and more connected to other local people
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    engage in outdoor activities near their home

Local residents can learn about the importance of biodiversity, food growing, and gardening using sustainable practices and why these practices matter.

FHTG hope to contribute to outcomes such as the consumption of fresh produce, a reduction in carbon emissions and an increase in individuals eating a healthier diet and improving overall health and the steps they can take to achieve that in their own homes.

We have taken Sustain’s Growing for Change pledge.


This means that alongside our aims, we agree to the following Core Values and Guiding Principles:

Core Values

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    Respect people and nature
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    Be tolerant (every view is welcome) and open to change
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    Have health, wellbeing and healing at the centre of the garden
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    Incorporate celebration in everything we do

Guiding Principles

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    Welcoming – intentionally create a space that is friendly and can accommodate different needs
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    Safe – create a safe space that feels relaxing and accessible to all
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    Low impact and wildlife-friendly – use environmentally-friendly growing practices including organic, agroecological, permaculture and peat-free
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    Experimental – try things out, don’t worry if you fail, and be ready to change your practices
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    Adaptive to Climate Change – actively encourage reparative practices that build resilience and address inequalities that can be overcome as a collectives
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    Sharing – share food, knowledge, and anything else you can think of so everyone can learn from each other
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    Collaborative – no one view should dominate; try to co-design, co-build and co-manage to cultivate a sense of shared ownership

To find out more about Sustain you can visit their website.

A brief history of
Harlesden Town Garden

1896-1935
Garden nursery buildings dominated the site.
1980-2013
The garages were cleared to create an open space and playground. Sadly, in later years the park became a magnet for antisocial behaviour and no longer was a welcoming space for the community.
2013 to the present
FTHG redesigned the park and, with the help of its partners, reintroduced a community asset that offers something for everyone to enjoy: a play area for children, a green lawn and wildflower area, beautiful mixed flower and shrub borders, a multi-use games area and raised bed allotments.
1935-1980
The buildings were demolished to make way for the 32 domestic garages.
2013
A community consultation on how to improve the area - part funded by Catalyst Housing Association - was carried out by local homeless charity Lift. As a result, the Friends of Harlesden Town Garden (FHTG) was formed in partnership with Lift (now Crisis Brent) and Brent Council.

Over the years, Harlesden Town Garden has developed with volunteers contributing their expertise to plant and extend the borders, train, plant the meadow, paint murals, run events, build a Hub House and more to make it what you see today. It continues to change and grow, and we welcome any contributions.

Our Volunteers

A big thank you to all volunteers, past and present. Everything you do and bring to the garden helps to make it special. The garden is managed by an enthusiastic committee – a team of volunteers who bring an overview, advice, consultancy and particular skills to the running of the garden. Without them, this garden couldn’t continue.

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Our Visitors

We love to see you visit and enjoy the garden. That’s what it’s all about.

We also love to hear about your experience of the garden and your ideas.

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An award-winning community garden

We have won several prestigious awards that celebrate our beautiful garden and honour community efforts.

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    RHS London in Bloom, It’s Your Neighbourhood – Outstanding (2021 and 2022)
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    RHS London in Bloom, Best Small Garden – Gold (2021 and 2022)
  • Dasiy
    UCL Public Engagement Award for the Community Hub House project. (2020)

Explore the garden

Click on the tooltips to learn more about the different areas around Harlesden Town Garden, and remember to enjoy all the beautiful murals found around the garden. Each one has been lovingly painted by volunteers or members of the community.

A map of Harlesden Town Garden

Sports area – A great area to play basketball and football, or to exercise or let off steam.

Outdoor gym – Build those muscles on our three-tier pull-up bars.

Wildflower meadow – we are helping the depleted flying insect populations while creating something of beauty.

Originally just grass, it is now a beautiful insect-friendly area full of pollen-rich flowers throughout the spring and summer.

Sometimes the area can look a little wild and unkempt, but that’s OK. In early autumn, we cut it back.

See autumn crocuses, then spring bulbs, then flowers re-emerge.

Help us reseed in autumn for the following summer.

Raised bed allotments – This was intended as the main focus of the garden and it has steadily grown. Local residents can rent plots.

Not only is it a wonderful place to grow your own produce and flowers, but it is also a community hub, a place to meet others, learn about growing food and keep active and fit throughout the year.

Campbell Gardens, with funding from Brent Council’s NCIL Fund, have just finished rebuilding all the raised beds so that they are more sturdy and resilient.

We have compost bins and you can borrow tools and use the Hub House facilities.

Hub House/Utilities – Our great achievement in 2019 was this award-winning solar-powered building. 



 

Children’s playground – Children can play safely here in green surroundings. Many families start by using the playground and go on to volunteer and help maintain the garden.

The rose garden – this started with a donation from one of our local residents clearing her garden and has gradually been added to. We recently planted a rose in remembrance of one of our gardeners, Guy Rose, who sadly died during Covid. There are reminders of him throughout the garden.

Shrub and perennial borders – All the plants in these borders have been donated or have been propagated from existing plants. These beautiful borders have steadily grown and show the influence of the different volunteer gardeners who have worked them. The development of these beds has been truly democratic, and our RHS awards are a testament to the love and time our volunteers have invested in the garden.

Compost bins – We have three bins and are still learning the best way to manage them. At least it’s somewhere to put our green waste, and now and again, we are rewarded with a pile of rich soil. It’s also a great place for youngsters to learn about soil, what it is, how it is made and how the micro-organisms in the soil feed the plants.

Shady/spring garden – This used to be called the Corner of Doom, but is now so full of spring bulbs and shady planting, that we have had to rename it the Spring Garden. It looks best in the spring but is lovely all year round.

Mature trees – The garden is surrounded by mature trees. The cherry blossoms look particularly amazing in spring, along with the spring bulbs.

The seating area and more planting – a great place to use for events or to sit and have lunch and a chat with friends.

Code of Conduct

Harlesden Town Garden belongs to all of us. Please respect the code of conduct so that all visitors have an enjoyable visit.

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    Only guide dogs are allowed in the garden
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    No cycling on lawns or pathways
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    Do not pick the flowers or vegetables
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    No littering
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    CCTV in operation
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