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In the garden

In 2007, photographer Sophie Verhagen met a group of Hackney elders through a gardening project managed by Anchor Trust.

The people she photographed found great solace and comfort in their gardens, but struggled to maintain them in old age. Her intimate portraits are a reminder of the love, reward and frustration gardens can create.

Three images of people standing in their gardens, display on lightboxes © Sophie Verhagen

Stories to look out for

An adult in a green shirt and black trousers leaning over to point at plants in a garden © Sophie Verhagen. Object number 22/2013

Stafford J

'I got this flat in 1991. It's really quiet here, I know everyone and they all look after me...This is the first time I've had a garden. I was growing potatoes, cabbages, tomatoes, okra, red peas for a couple of years.'

 

 

A person sat on a chair in a garden © Sophie Verhagen. Object number 22/2013

Beryl M 

'I met my husband here in 1958...When he was alive the garden was lovely because he looked after it and he would put seeds down if there was a patch and we had one side with flowers and the other with vegetables. But now I’m not able to do that.'

A person using crutches, standing in a garden © Sophie Verhagen. Object number 22/2013

Myrtle H. 

'There was a man that came and turned the soil over in the garden and my sister looked after the garden because she loves gardens and I'm afraid of worms! I look after the pots.'