London in Bloom 2018

Our second year of entering the London in Bloom competition has resulted in our second Silver Gilt award.  The Garden Committee thanks Myriam and our gardeners as well as all our volunteers led by Benedict Ernst.

Here are extracts from the judge’s report.

As one would expect with a square of this age the plant population is well-stocked with extensive and well filled borders containing diverse shrubs and perennials running on the inside of the hedges, and there is a varied tree population including of course the ubiquitous London Plane which features as a mature group in the centre of the square. The Patterson border of New Zealand plants adds a diversity to the garden and in 2010 a Medicinal Herb Spiral was created by Masters students from the School of Pharmacy using the opportunity to show off medicinal herbs, though the generosity of the Welcome Trust. These developments together with the introduction of grasses, and also the opportunity of introducing some informal flowering plants following the loss of a mature Garrya through honey fungus (to introduce some summer colour) is creating a more diverse feel to the garden. This is welcome, and while there is indeed all year round interest within the existing garden plantings, further consideration could be given on the provision of seasonal colour in several areas at any one time. It was encouraging to learn that there was a desire to renew some of the borders, and opportunities were being looked at across the garden to increase the number of pollinator friendly plants, as well as ferns and shade plants according to aspect and position.

The extensive lawns were nicely profiled, well presented and cut to the correct height; the edging was to a good standard and the paths were well-maintained.

A number of bat and bird boxes had been erected in the garden and a log pile, and it is suggested that this work continues, certainly to educate children to learn more about wildlife. The creation of a bug hotel using old pallets near the gardener’s shed would be great fun and the installation of some solitary bee nests around the garden would be worthwhile.