In a previous life when I worked for garden charity Thrive*, I was involved in replanting the Old English Garden in Battersea Park and last week I and a former colleague went back to see how it is looking now, some 10 years later.
Although it has a similar feel and look to the Old Pond Garden, it is only walled on one side, but it does still have a large pond in the middle, which is full of water lilies in the summer – spot the heron !
Much of the funding was provided by Jo Malone London (JML) and many of the plants are those used in their fragrances including lilies, rhubarb, pomegranate, jasmine and, of course, roses. Some replanting has been done in the intervening period and it continues to be well maintained and supported by JML, volunteers and Thrive gardeners.
Vita Sackville-West wrote that “Of all fruits the pomegranate is surely one of the most romantic.” I would be willing to bet that most people walk through the Peace Garden gate at Charlton House without realising they have just passed under two “most romantic” pomegranate trees.
When the Volunteer scheme started in 2020, these two trees were deeply entwined with ivy, choking them very UNromantically. I wish I had taken a photo of our volunteers, wrestling and chopping at the ivy around the base of the trees! It was one of the team’s early successes, as the next year the trees were covered in their startlingly bright orange flowers and looked very happy. We have yet to get the flowers to “set”, so no pomegranate fruits yet. But of course as gardeners, we live in hope.
3 June National Volunteers Week. Thank you for the muffins Charlton House!
Rheum and foxgloves in the Long Border (foxgloves courtesy of Greenwich Park – thank you!):
30June The pomegranate is flowering in the Peace Garden (top left) the stag beetles are hatching and marching, there is a lovely Malope trifida ‘Vulcan’ annual in the Long Borders (bottom left) and the gravel garden has a new addition of Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’ to add some more zing!
Our Papaver orientale ‘Burning Heart’ have exploded into flower this week. They are fabulous plants, look at the size of them! They came as bare roots, all the way from West Lothian. Thank you Binny Plants.