peter oates on sustainable gardening

 The Trail has been devised by Peter Oates, Head of Gardens at Cadogan, who is passionate about promoting urban gardening and sustainable gardening principles.

Responsible for over 15 acres of gardens across Chelsea, as well as numerous planting schemes, such as at Duke of York Square and Pavilion Road, Peter champions the ‘micro gardening’ movement, which is exemplified on Pavilion Road. “You can grow the ingredients for a recipe in a planter on your windowsill or balcony”, says Peter, "and there's no feeling like picking that first apple from the tree that you have planted and nurtured."

The satisfaction and wellbeing gained from gardening is well documented and it’s no wonder that the ‘grow your own’ movement is gaining in popularity – edible plants grown at home have zero carbon footprint from being transported over hundreds of miles, no packaging and are not artificially ripened nor covered in wax to preserve them.

The trail on Pavilion Road is environmentally considered with no plastic pots, peat-free compost and sustainable plant feed in the form of mulch. In addition, the compost used for the fruit is made from bracken and waste wool. Further contributing to the initiative’s sustainability credentials is the water supply that is used to hydrate the various plants, which is taken from tanks that collect rain water under the road. 

The idea behind the Pavilion Road edible Trail is to encourage residents and visitors alike to try their hand at foraging and experience sustainably grown produce, as well as inspiring people to have a ‘grow’ themselves. “It’s amazing what can be produced in a pot in the right location and with the correct conditions, including a great compost. You just have to experiment and find out what works for you.”