In our bid to keep Wanstead looking as attractive as possible, over recent years the Wanstead Society has taken some of the High Street flower beds under our wing… and thanks to the notorious British weather, we have had varying degrees of success.
The flower bed outside the Wanstead Pharmacy has been brilliant this year having enjoyed copious amounts of light and rain. In contrast, the bed outside the greengrocers has had a sad experience. Overwhelmed by tree canopy, it’s a challenge to get anything to grow there and look happy at the same time. Regular watering in summer would help. Earlier this year the council provided both of these beds with posts and chains which has made a huge difference with regards to preventing the general public from trampling them.
The bed outside the Allied Irish Bank had a sort of hang dog expression for the first few months of the year, then suddenly in July, woke up and came alive. We have had a lovely display of bright yellow achillia and anthemis, purple linaria and all the cottage garden usual suspects that had been lurking in the wings.
The ‘new kid on the block’ is the small patch of green behind the offices of Startin & Co. at the Snaresbrook end of the High Street; although, this office has recently been sold and we are still establish if our ‘services’ are still required. It is actually located on the corner of Sylvan Road at the top of the retaining wall that goes up to the Snaresbrook Station bridge so we have nicknamed it ‘the bridge garden’.
Cultivating this patch has not been without its problems, but we’ve laid stepping stones and put in plants which should be happy in full sun and poor, dry soil. We want the sort that will overhang the wall, or stand up tall at the back. Lavenders, irises and hollyhocks feature strongly in this plan. The hollyhock seedlings have come from between the paving stones of the cleared front garden of the old Methodist Church in Cambridge Park – nice to know that something of that lovely garden continues somewhere else in Wanstead. The bearded irises have come from the beleaguered Christ Church garden, at present labouring under the hoarding and scaffolding of the major re-roofing project. With such donations, surely the force will be with us! Hopefully, if this little garden gets going, it should give delight to passers by on that rather bare patch of the High Street.
And of course all of this wouldn’t be possible without a little help from some willing volunteers. If you feel there is anything on our wish list below that you can help us with (no matter how big or small) we would be delighted to hear from you:
Wanstead Society Patchwork Gardens Wish List
- Well, we always need extra volunteers. No need to have any gardening experience, so much of what we do is cutting back and tidying up. However for anyone who would like the opportunity to learn a bit about the art of cottage gardening, here’s your opportunity. All helpers welcome.
- We need someone to put up some trellis to encourage our unwilling climbing roses to do what their name suggests. One section of trellis would be up a high wall, so a head for heights could be useful.
- There are other jobs that need doing from time to time which need a bit of muscle rather than anything else.
- Individuals who will keep an eye on a street flower bed (watering when needed etc.)
If you think you can help us with any of these please phone our gardening guru Marian Temple on 0208 989 9553.