This magical green oasis, Dalston Curve Garden is a true hidden glory, the entrance is located beside the iconic Hackney Peace Carnival Mural on Dalston Lane. A glorious green space that has not just survived, but flourished in one of our great metropolis’ most built up areas, where avaricious developers continue to snap up land at an unseemly rate.
Planted in 2010 on what was then a derelict site (it had been the Eastern Curve railway line that once joined Dalston Junction to the Northern Line, so hence the garden’s name) and taken over as a social enterprise two years later, the garden is home to all manner of wildlife-friendly trees and shrubs, while raised beds are awash with flowers, herbs and vegetables, all looking resplendent on such a beautiful sunshiny day.
Roughly hewn wooden benches and assorted seating is judiciously placed among the shrubbery, upon which hangs the occasional idiosyncratic ornament and decoration, where people happily sat reading, chatting or imbibing in the delicious offerings from the on-site café that’s housed beside a quirky wooden pavilion at the entrance. Alongside the café is a heated greenhouse, known as the Pineapple House, for those chillier days, complete with a variety of squidgy sofas on which to loaf and lounge.
Among the usual suspects of tea, coffee and cakes that are baked daily on the premises (as well as Irish soda bread), the café also serves freshly made soup and seasonal vegetables from Hackney’s Growing Communities. Beer, cider and wine are available alongside a wide selection of non-alcoholic drinks, with everything sourced where possible from East London suppliers. Each weekend from spring through to late autumn the wood-burning oven is fired up, from which fantastic sourdough pizzas emerge.
Being a community space, volunteering is positively encouraged so for those who want to green up their fingers there’s gardening sessions every Saturday from 2pm. There’s also a roster of workshops and events, including regular art-based activities for children, cookery classes and gigs, with volunteers crucial to the success of the garden’s year-round programme.
Dalston Curve Garden
13 Dalston Lane, London E8 3DF