This is probably one of the smallest pocket parks I’ve written about, a narrow strip of raised bedding on a side street in Southwark.
It’s a rain garden, being one which has been designed to soak up rainwater from the surrounding pavements. This not only reduced how much watering the plants needs, by soaking up the water locally, it reduces how much flows into the sewers and reduces the pressure on them during heavy rainfalls.
OK, one small park won’t make much of a difference, but if fewer gardens were paved over and greater use of porous paving was encouraged, then overall, it could have a huge impact on the environment.
A nice touch is the signs explaining what each of the plants are, so if one takes your fancy you know what to ask for in the garden centre.
If you look up, you’d not unreasonably presume there’s a lost railway bridge that used to be here. In fact, there never was.
This wall marks the location of the Grande Vitesse Goods Depot, which was a huge goods depot next to the railway, with a large series of brick arches supporting the railway sidings above, and a huge turntable for reversing the locomotives in the days of steam.
The wall you’re looking up at is right next to where the turntable once stood.
Today the site is owned by Network Rail who lease out the arches to a number of businesses, and have a cluster of portacabins on the top. You won’t be surprised to learn there are proposals to kick out the dirty occupants and convert the site into fashionable cafes and craft workspaces.
There’s a sign saying it’s the site of the Ewar Street burying ground, although that was probably a little way to the south-west, underneath the railway arches. Still, it’s nice that the heritage of the area is so prominently remembered.