THE CURIOUS TOWER
I call upon the spirits of the land,
And the spirits of the garden flora.
I call upon the spirit of the Beck Burn
That runs hidden beneath our feet.
Bless this Curious Tower
Bless this soil and bless this garden.
May there be peace and friendship
Between all spirits in this place forever more.
May the garden flourish.
May our community flourish.
As it was, as it is, and as it shall be.
The Curious Tower is a plot of communal land nestled between Victoria Park and St Mary’s Rest Garden which Chaos Magic have transformed into a magical garden of food and herbs. We have been stewards of the space since March 2019 thanks to permaculture teacher and activist Natalie Hurst who helped us negotiate the permissions.
Since then, our use of the plot has evolved. When we first took it on as our responsibility, we established vegetable beds, as well as a herb spiral and berry bushes on the periphery. However, the plot’s dappled sunlight and our difficulty with water access led us to rethink its purpose. 2022 has seen us open up the garden with a circular lawn in order to create an inner-city clearing. Here we host workshops, exhibitions, and discussion groups. To tackle our water shortage on site, and adapt to hotter growing conditions, we are replanting the lawn with native grasses, heavily mulching the beds, and incorporating drought tolerant plants. Forest garden* design principles have also been great inspiration for low maintenance planting.
Guided by ecologists, witches, nutritionists, worm mothers and herbalists, we are nurturing the site as a space to grow, gather, share skills, and connect to the cyclical rhythms of nature.
Follow us on Instagram @the_curious_tower to stay in the loop with upcoming events and community gardening sessions!
*Forest gardening imitates the layered structure of a natural woodland by planting in tiers: with fruit trees as the canopy, soft fruit bushes at the shrub layer, perennial herbs and vegetables at ground level, and climbers traversing all three. It allows plants to share their resources (light, water and fertility) and enables a high yield by their close proximity and the use of vertical space.
With special thanks to:
Harry Martin, Amie Higgins, Thorn Greensides, Francis Slip, Valerie Turton, Adam Beaumont, Richard of the Woods, Natalie Hurst, Gisella Sobarasua, Katie Bishop, Carys Cook, Christina Cushing, Katharina Fitz, Oona Evergreen, Ryan Heath, Joey Holder, Lex Keightley, Hannah Parikh, Wingshan Smith, Joseph Winsborrow, all our volunteers for your contributions, Magpie Brewery for your spent hops, and Nottingham City Council
A blog detailing the progress of The Curious Tower can be found here.