DALSTON has a new attraction: a fast-growing wood of birches and other native plants that if you squint a little might remind you of the Bois de Boulogne in Paris (all right, perhaps you have to squint a lot).
Entrance is through the gate at the north end of the mural square opposite Dalston Junction station, the same entrance used for the controversial (not everybody loved it) Dalston Mill project with its field of wheat waving in the wind as it waited to be ground into corn.
The mill was supposedly a work of art by (not the fashion model) produced with the help of, a Parisian outfit of EXYZT, a Parisian outfit of “experimental architects” (their term). The French are also involved in the garden; money has come from the London Development Authority, part of London Mayor Boris “Biker” Johnson’s empire.
Surprising, then, that no one thought of including a cycle lane to link with the de facto cycle route in Kingsland Centre car park, saving cyclists the detour via Thyssen Street, and providing a safe route to Dalston Junction. Seems the architects are not that “experimental”.
The garden was low-key launched on Sunday 6 June 2010 during a one-day Dalston Connects festival to celebrate the opening of the East London Line (doesn’t Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe accept that the Ell opened last month?). You can enter le jardin (oh, please!) between 11am and 8pm – but note that it is temporarily closed until Friday 11 June 2010.
Hackney council, which has a good arborocultural record, has made a contribution to beautifying Dalston by planting saplings in the pavement at the southern junction of Dalston Lane and Queensbridge Road.
Pines? Are they native pines? Ecology, anyone?
David Altheer 080610
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