Published: 17 June 2013
London Gardeners in Focus
A photographic exhibition is revealing the City of London's unsung heroes - 'The Green Team - the Gardeners who transform your City'.
Lifting a tree outside St Pauls. Photography by Niki Gorick
An exhibition of dramatic photographs at the Guildhall Library will expose a hidden side to the Square Mile.  Mention ‘The City of London’ and most people think of bustling streets and skyscrapers filled with stressed workers caught up with making money. Yet within this frenetic core of London lie over 200 garden spaces of all shapes and sizes.

This exhibition by London's leading black & white photographer Niki Gorick, reveals for the first time the extraordinary teamwork behind creating and maintaining these beautiful pockets of calm for all who work or visit the Square Mile, and celebrates the City Gardens Team - expert urban gardeners to match any in the world. 

Photographer, Niki Gorick says: “Three years ago, I was surprised by a man in green emerging from bushes by St. Paul's with a wheel-barrow; a chance encounter that began my fascination with how an eclectic band of 30 or so men and women create natural beauty and tranquillity at the heart of a bustling metropolis.  

Photographing their day-to-day work in my usual candid, unstaged style has been an exciting start to my personal project of capturing the unsung heroes of London, those overlooked workers who make things happen within our capital city.”

Hosing by St. Paul's, City Gardens Team. Photography by Niki Gorick

Daily Challenges

Any gardener would be impressed by the sheer statistics involved with the City Gardens Team.  Annually, on average, 200,000 bedding plants are dug in, 1,400 trees are tended, 550 tons of soil and 350 tons of mulching are spread, lorry-loads of metre-and-a-half-wide rolls of turf are laid. The photographs reveal that this is gardening of epic proportions.

Planting at Cheapside. Photography by Niki Gorick
The daily challenges of tight budgets, uncooperative weather, physical obstructions and traffic interference are all overcome with remarkable speed and solidarity.  Unassuming and usually unheralded, this urban 'green team' is a City of London taskforce that is finally being brought into the spotlight.

A book entitled 'Where Soil Meets City: the Challenges facing London's City Gardens Team' has been produced to accompany the exhibition.  This features Niki Gorick's photographs, with a foreword by the Lord Mayor of London, Roger Gifford, and quotes from the gardeners themselves.   
Sara Pink, Head of the Guildhall Library, has brought together other exhibits to compliment the photographs, including treasures from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. There will also be an accompanying series of free talks to illuminate aspects of gardening in the City and the history of City gardens.
Planting at Cheapside. Photography by Niki Gorick
“Guildhall Library is a new player in engaging more widely with the arts. The aim is to bring to life hidden collections of London history through partnerships with creative artists and with the Guilds who still support London communities today - to engage, to entertain and to surprise visitors.

This exciting exhibition draws together three strands to tell the ongoing story of London's horticultural life:  Niki Gorick's photography, floral artistry by Rebecca Louise Law, and objects from the Worshipful Company of Gardeners' unique collections.” says Sara Pink.

The Exhibition runs until the 26 July 2013 at the Guildhall Library, Aldermanbury, London  EC2V 7HH. 
Entry is free and the opening times are 9:30-5:00pm Monday – Saturday.
To see more of Niki Gorick’s work visit
Reported by Chris Allen  

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