After a wander round Borough Market, I can highly recommend popping into the Union Street Urban Orchard which is empty of tourists and full of fruit trees, flowers and birds.
Borough Market is great for sampling food treats - cheeses, salamis, sauces and marvelling at beautiful, pile-em-high vegetable displays. But the price tags are exorbitant: can you imagine paying £2 for a single tomato? Well, I did, (surely the world's most expensive?) - my excuse is that I was seduced by childhood memories of Italian markets and misshapen ripe pommodori that tasted of sunshine. This one, sadly didn't live up to my expectations. But it did make me want to rush out and order my seeds for next year.
So it was good to see some real food growing in the Orchard, a temporary community garden nestling alongside some railway arches. The high walls make a perfect sheltered garden and it's a welcome pocket of greenery in a very built up area. In assorted containers - pallets, hessian sacks, stacks of truck tyres - there are peaches ripening, apples, a cider shed awaiting the harvest, courgettes flourishing and summer bright geraniums, and pansies recycled from the Pansy Project garden at Hampton Court. It's a great use of an otherwise empty site, built as part of the London Festival of Architecture just for this summer. And after September, all the plants are going to be redistributed around community gardens and plots in the area, by the wonderfully named Wayward Plants project.