Spring has truly arrived in Barnard Park. Gardening is challenging in a large, open park. But judging from a bright display of bulbs and early spring flowers volunteer gardeners have definitely come up trumps this year with an impressive display. Bright March blooms include white and purple (pictured above) hellebores and small daffodils, now particularly spectacular in the park’s central shrubbery bed. Earlier in the year there were yellow crocus around the bases of 19 lime trees bordering Barnsbury Road.
The Friends have negotiated a Service Level Agreement with the Council for the maintenance of three large planting areas in the park. The SLA provides cash for mulch, plants and other sundries while the volunteers deliver a high-level of gardening skill. Such involvement is increasingly important as government cut-backs are absorbed by park department maintenance teams.
Volunteer gardeners in Barnard Park are irrepressible. Our most difficult project is the cultivation of a 100 metre border in deep shade along Barnsbury Road. Many plants are donated or grown from seed or cuttings. Eight tonnes of mulch is being spread with surprising speed this month on the park beds we tend . We’re always welcoming volunteers. It’s satisfying to learn or exchange plant skills. Or just take a break and experience urban nature for an hour or two. We aim for regular work sessions on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, weather and schedules permitting. If you would like to help, just e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.