2019 Review

Our regular gardeners and some new volunteers, joined us to keep our park looking good, and helped to provide a place of learning and enjoyment for local pre-school groups,  for which we thank them all.

We cut hedges, weeded & seeded the meadow and flower beds, swept leaves and picked up the endless litter. For more detail, please read on.

From spring to autumn, we ran two or three sessions most months and somewhat less frequently during the winter. This variation reflects seasonal gardening needs and weather conditions.

A total of 266 volunteer hours were recorded in 2019, compared to 360 hours in 2018. These hours reflect time spent gardening; most of this work was undertaken in group sessions, supplemented by additional work by individuals, especially for regular watering during the summer. They do not include time spent on other activities such as administration, procurement of materials and organisation.

The drop in total volunteer gardening hours in the past year reflects a reduction in the length of gardening sessions on Saturdays from three hours to two hours. We are planning to increase the session length to three hours in 2020 (ETA: When CV-19 restrictions safely allow).

Our planting schemes are designed to be largely self-sustaining and sustainable, with the aim of maximising the impact while taking account of our limited financial resources and the small number of volunteers we have.

FQPG activities and achievements within the gardens in 2019 have included:

Wildlife area

  • Planting hops and foxgloves
  • Seeding and weeding the wildflower meadow
  • Maintaining the compost and leaf mulch heaps – and using the results to enrich the soil in other parts of the garden
  • Maintaining and repairing the birdbath on top of the bug hotel
  • Spreading wood-chip on the paths in the Wildlife Area

Triangular Rose Bed

  • Growing plants (marigolds, nasturtiums) from seeds in sheltered indoor spaces away from the park in the winter and transplanting seedlings into the park in the spring/summer
  • Planting new rose bushes
  • Maintaining and pruning rose bushes
  • Spreading mushroom compost manure to promote growth of the roses
  • Persistent watering and weeding.

Circular Shrub Bed

  • Planting a mixture of annuals and perennials, including marigolds, pansies, calendula, poppies, clary sage, petunias and a range of other bedding plants, supported by watering and weeding
  • Planting bulbs (croci, daffodils and tulips) for flowering in spring 2020 and beyond

Other activities

  • Pruning the hedge alongside the Wildlife Area
  • Planting marigolds along the fence in the Children’s Play Area
  • Providing general gardening and maintenance support in other parts of the garden, including leaf sweeping and litter picking

Special events

As in previous years, we have taken an active role in a number of community events in the gardens, including:

  • We took part in Queen’s Park Gardens Summer Festival, engaging with the local community in the Wildlife Area, including running a stall and a nature treasure hunt in the Wildlife Area to help children identify different plants and trees (prizes were strawberries and grapes) and the Queen’s Park Gardens Winter Festival, where we ran a stall.
  • Once again this year, the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in January was a great success with Andrew Peel from RSPB  helping us with identification.  We spent a wonderful hour counting and learning about birds.

We had better luck this year, running a session to recognise Silver Sunday.

The unstoppable Crissie from Canine Culture continued to patrol the park, informing pet owners of how best to care for their dogs whilst considering other park users.

Special thanks

Throughout the year, we have been indebted to the generosity of many supporters.

We would like to give particular thanks to the following groups and individuals whose contributions have made a great difference to us:

Father David Ackerman of St John’s the Evangelist Church Kensal Green, who kindly donated £100 to FQPG in 2019, which enabled us to buy a crab apple tree, rose shrubs and sheers, purchases that would otherwise have been beyond our means.

Charlotte Chesney for gardening advice and various plants for the Wildlife Area and triangular rose bed, and for propagating new willow whips to try to repair damage to the willow dome in the Wildlife Area.

Ulla Johnson of HCGA for her invaluable horticultural advice; and Cathy Maund and Ulla Johnson, who organise corporate workgroups in the gardens and have turned the compost heap several times, as well as other tasks for which we lack the muscles and manpower.

Ryan Dalton (Queen’s Park Community Hub) for gardening equipment and for kindly hosting our AGM.

Meanwhile Gardens for gifts of seedlings and plants for the circular bed.

Pritesh Mistry of Good Gym Brent for bringing a group of volunteers to help in the gardens on a couple of Monday evenings in the summer.

Rob Dowling from The Royal Parks for visiting the garden and sharing his horticultural knowledge, in particular for improving the biodiversity of the wildflower meadow.

Simonetta at Ida for her kindness on our AGM day.

Thompson’s of Crews Hill for reducing their delivery costs for mushroom compost for the triangular rose bed.

We have exiting plans for 2020 and continue to search for new volunteers to assist both with gardening and with administrative tasks. If you would like to take part, please use our contact form.

More photos can be found in our gallery and a full report from our AGM is here.