Since hearing that New Cross Road is one of the most polluted in the country I've become more determined to green it up. My enquiries suggest that getting the council to plant more trees is really hard work and in some of the sites that I think are desirable - in the emerging pavement cafe culture - impractical due to the traffic camera sight-lines and other bureaucratic stuff. So lobbying Boris on the evils of diesel in slow-moving city traffic is the longterm solution for the toxic air.
But in the short-term I have taken it into my own hands and risked planting a Fig tree and a Bay in the middle of the raised beds near the Launderette and Reyna Restaurant. They are bang in the middle of the beds so hopefully will be less obvious for the vandals who have yanked stuff out before. Actually my lovely fellow conspirator Wood put those two in, while I added another red hot poker, more mint, and did the usual litter clean up. We also put in two sarcococca (winter box) in the more shaded bed (where my friend Rosie has recently put in some more Hollyhocks). We got water for the trees from the fine folk at the LP Bar. Bay trees are slow but solid growing evergreens that can make a 7ft tree if left alone. Figs can get enormous but there will be some root restriction in that raised bed (which will be good for fruit production).
I need to go back with a decent camera to snap all the pits - lots of things are doing really well including Acanthus and a large day lily (I'm optimistic these will flower this summer). You can see the Leucanthemum daisies springing up in the top pic showing the Bay tree with one of the Acanthus in the far corner.