All hands on deck

As captain of the gardens team, I am steering the ship towards gold…

Our summer season is well underway and we have just said goodbye to Gifford’s Circus following the run of their latest show ‘Any Port in a Storm’. We were delighted to supply vegetables and flowers from our Kitchen Garden for “Circus Sauce”, the pop up restaurant that arrives with the troupe. This year they took a mixture of vegetables from us including, cabbage, potato, onion and broad bean.

Bringing the nautical theme to what we are doing at the moment, we are getting ship shape with all hands on deck in preparation for London in Bloom judging. Last year we won the gold award and overall winner in the Heritage Parks and Garden category and the gold award in the Walled Garden of the Year category. We want to do just as well this year, which means a lot of hard work from everyone on the estate. With that in mind I wanted to give you a quick insight into what work we have been doing.

Jaimie and her team from Gavin Jones have been busy cutting grass and hedges, which is an endless task! This team are also in charge of maintaining a cricket square that is of ‘County standards in a public park’, not my words but those from last year’s London in Bloom CEO who judged us.

The Goosefoots and gardeners have finished planting our 19th century Italian Garden with a sustainable planting mix. Sustainable planting means that we will no longer replace plants each year and have moved to using plants that will provide seasonal interest throughout the year. A big thank you to Heathrow Communities Together who funded this project.

Continuing with our teams here on the estate, our Rangers (on top of their daily duties) have been cleaning bins, staining benches and painting railings. You will hopefully have noticed some of these changes on your walks around the gardens.

For anyone who has visited the estate over the past week you will hopefully have noticed how bright and beautiful the cascade is looking after receiving a very special clean. As well as making it look fantastic we have made sure that it is working well too and repaired the pump to have the water thundering away again.

Now for the foodies out there, our Kitchen Gardeners are busy harvesting berries, beans, rhubarb and radish and not forgetting the beautiful cut flowers. All that we grow is for sale, so make sure you come by on Tuesdays and Thursdays to have a look around the kitchen garden and buy our home grown produce. To make sure that the garden looks as great as it tastes the Kitchen Gardeners are busy weeding and sowing plants. Fortunately for us Andrew Deaville has joined the team as our new Kitchen Gardener, and not a moment too late, as I said we need all hands on deck!


Our new Kitchen Gardener Andrew and gardener Veronica with   produce from our Kitchen Garden for ‘Circus Sauce’.

None of this would be nearly possible without our volunteers who support with their time and expertise. They are indispensable and we’re grateful for each one of them. We also have organisations who donate their time to support us and recently we have been fortunate enough to have GSK, Polish Rainbow Pack ‘Gorskie Ludki’ and Little Forest Folk here on the estate. If your organisation wants to be green fingered then get in touch, we can always use more hands.

Staff from GSK who came to help weed our shrubbery.

As you can see it is a real team effort and really is all hands on deck!

You can help too by putting litter in bins and picking up after your dog, it really does make a huge difference.

The big day is the 18th July, so wish us luck!

Have fun, take care, respect the gardens.