Queen’s Park Gardens 2014 – In Review
Since the Friends of Queen’s Park Gardens was reformed in 2012, the main thrust of the activity has been to rejuvenate the Wildlife Area and the results of all that hard work were really visible this year.
The overgrowth has been cleared in the perimeter beds and can be more easily maintained with regular weeding sessions.
The damaged plant stock was replanted and supplemented by bartering volunteer hours with Continental Landscapes to provide plants, and Meanwhile Gardens donated Wildlife Boxes.
The vandalised Willow Dome was repaired and will hopefully gain strength during the next growing season.
As if the pleasure of seeing the Wildlife Area thriving isn’t enough, the Friends were named joint winners of the Westminster Community Awards: Better City, Better Lives, alongside the Octavia Foundation. Ray Lancashire went along to collect the award on behalf of the Friends.
Do check the gallery for Ray’s great photos.
In addition to the regularly scheduled gardening dates on the second Saturday of every month, Ray galvanised the team to work on various tasks almost every weekend during the summer months. This culminated in the planting of bulbs around trees in the park earlier this month, kindly donated from an allocation given to St John The Evangelist Church from the MPGA’s Bulbs For London initiative.
As the foliage in the Wildlife Area died off for Winter, we were able to spend time on various other tasks in and around the park.
A much needed weeding and shaping the bush in the small bed on the eastern lawn, for instance.
In late autumn, Simon Walton made a diligent survey of all the streets in the Avenues to note the trees whose bases had sprouted shoots that attract litter and the inevitable dog mess. Over the course of three, back-breaking weekends the team cleared all of these areas.
Finally, we were able to turn our hands to the Rose Garden. You will notice the gate has been removed to discourage dog owners from taking their dogs off the lead when others are relaxing. The rose beds are an enormous task and Steve Mills from Continental Landscapes spent a morning teaching us the rudiments of rose pruning and this project will be ongoing through the winter.
The Wildlife Area has proved such a success that we are now happy to welcome two pre-school groups each week, into the area to learn about everything that goes on there. We hope that number will increase in 2015. It is important that young people interact with their environment and it is gratifying to be able to open the area to them.
The Gardens had their usual Summer Festival event and the Fireworks but this year was the first time they also hosted a Winter Festival organised by Tell It Parents Action Group.
Crissy continues to give dog training support in the gated, off-the-lead area.
The initiative led by Susanna Rustin to upgrade the children’s play area was completed later in the Summer to great effect and seems to be used almost constantly.
The Front Gardens competition took place once again in 2014. We hope you will feel enthused to take part in 2015.
The installation of the outdoor gym equipment was completed just before Christmas so there’s another good reason to visit the gardens.
The park is a wonderful place for everyone to enjoy. Please keep an eye on the notice boards for details of our next gardening session. We’d love you to come along.