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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 Photograph by Em Fitzgerald

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.'