This week I was delighted to attend a special Commonwealth & Gurkha Garden reception at St George’s Garrison Church in Woolwich. The event was to progress the funding and plans for a Commonwealth garden designed by Juliet Sargeant, and was also attended by their patron, HRH The Duke of Gloucester.
We were blessed with a lovely sunny day and entertained with music during the afternoon tea. After the speeches I was very interested to be shown around the garden site by Juliet (who is a multiple Chelsea Gold Medal winner, including this year’s Blue Peter garden with the theme “Don’t treat soil like dirt” and a fabulous green roof) https://www.julietsargeant.com/cfs/
The picture on the right is of Juliet standing in front of the site. It is a challenging space and her design includes much structural landscaping to level it and make it useable. I especially like the idea of including a ‘Chautara’, which is a traditional Nepalese meeting place or seat, built around a tree. Members of the local Gurkha regiment have offered to help with the build of this part of the plan. Another great idea is to use the Church wall to provide space for murals made by community groups.
It’s always interesting to see what other local groups do with their green spaces, and compare their projects with our own walled garden project at Charlton House. I now realise how lucky we were that the paths and bed structure were already in place at the Old Pond Garden, and we could concentrate on plants straight away!
The Commonwealth and Gurkha garden is a very ambitious plan and timescale (aiming to start work next year) but it is a wonderful concept. The full plan can be viewed on the Garrison Church website, link below. I will keep in touch with their plans and when they get to the planting stage will let you know if there is opportunity to help out.
If you would like to donate to the garden, the bank details are on their website, or you can become a ‘Friend’ for £15. https://www.stgeorgeswoolwich.org/garden/Commonwealth-and-Gurkha-Garden-Project.