A new Regency era

DSCF4140©Geoff Wilkinson

Our community gardeners have been at it again, this time applying their magic to the beds in front of Regency Court on the High Road. And the work will continue throughout winter, says Judy Noble. Photo by Geoff Wilkinson

Who said your community gardeners would be defeated by a long, hot summer, the dreaded Covid or by the current soaking downpours?

No, we’ve been out in force again, and plan to go on through the winter. It’s easy to keep apart, and working the gardens cheers us all up. Going by your comments, when we’re at it, it cheers you up too! We love it when you come up and tell us how much pleasure you get from these gardens, their shapes and colours changing through the seasons.

Through the hot summer, the soil in the beds we care for in George Lane and on the bridge over the North Circular was often too hard, but by the end of lockdown they needed care, and we needed company! You will see a lovely flowering of bulbs come the spring.

Once these were tidied, ready for winter, we looked around.

The Regency beds running along the High Road opposite the top of George Lane have long been neglected. Neither the developers nor the council agree who has responsibility for their maintenance.

Originally well planted, now there were bushes pushing over on to the quite narrow pavement. You could see people with children and prams or those in wheelchairs struggling to pass. So, we decided to give it a haircut, clear out the weeds that blow thousands of seeds over other gardens and plant it.

We wanted to create a strip of garden that gladdens your eye as you pass, and encourages insect life. Insects play a key role in the plant and animal environment, providing food for birds and pollinating flowers and fruit.

We hope, too, seeing the garden cared for will reduce rubbish, though we know this has often blown in from somewhere else. Still, we ask you to help keep an eye on that.

We’ve given you the pavement back. We’ve cleared the very weedy areas, planting bright marigolds, bulbs and a mix of wild seed and other plants, begged, borrowed and given.

Every year Redbridge Council gives us some bulbs, and our friends from the Wanstead Community Gardeners have given us many small plants for ground cover. These will put down good roots over the winter and we hope you’ll see a bright showing soon.

We’re always open to being given plants you don’t want. There’s plenty of space. Plants that thrive through long periods of heat and drought do best. Or just come and say hello! We’re always glad of a break.

So, throughout the winter, we’ll be out there, and hope to see you there, too.

For more information on the South Woodford Gardeners, email southwoodfordgardeners@gmail.com