As I was meandering on my way to the North Lambeth Fete this afternoon, I cut through both Archbishop's Park and St Mary's Gardens.
Although the new plantings put in by Lambeth seem to have survived the winter pretty well, and look very attractive, I was disappointed to see that so many weeds has been allowed to grow - up to a yard high - and set seed.
In addition, in St Mary's Gardens there are a couple of outbreaks of field bindweed, which is starting to strangle other plants.
Do the parks department employ someone capable of distinguishing between ornamental plants and weeds who could have dealt with these in the last month???
I half filled a bin in Archbishop's park with weeds from the boundary border with the Palace gardens. Is more guerilla gardening needed?
On the subject of guerrilla gardening, if you happen to pass by Culpepper Court on the corner of Kennington Road and Walnut Tree Walk, pause for a moment to observe the wonderful work that one of the residents has single handedly done. It was a bare waste of council lawn, which is being transformed into a beautiful haven of shrubs, flowers and plants, no weeds allowed! I've spoken to her and she says that people have donated plants etc., but this lady does all the hard graft and the results are definitely worth it.
I am not sure that Lambeth Parks can take all the blame. I understood that St Mary's Gardens is now managed by the Garden Museum, and generally I think that what they have done is interesting. But then I am not sure I know enough about plants to spot a weed.
A lot of the recent planting in Archbishops Park appears to have been designed and carried out by Groundwork, though I dont know what the maintenance arrangements are thereafter. Groundwork is an odd organisation who seem to stay aloof from local communities and are less accountable than a Local Authority. I think they are awash with the money that M&S donates. I hear complaints about the rash of hillocks in the children's playground, which I understand is the result of the latest splash of Groundwork money. The point of a fairly large playground with plenty of grass was to allow small children (eg under 5s) to have some dog-free lawn to kick a ball with their dad and that kind of thing. But kids playing....not something to encourage.
Well we are not weeding, but we will be building some new vegetable planters, 3 in total. The Mayor will also be opening the new children's play area to. Friday 9the July, if any one is passing come and say hi!!!