Native hedge planting in Whitfield Gardens and Crabtree Fields

This month volunteers from the Friends group have been planting native hedges in Whitfield Gardens and Crabtree Fields to replace missing or damaged shrubs.

Wild sherry sapling sprouting.

A wild cherry planted in early April is showing signs of spring growth already.

In early April we planted around 50 bare root saplings: mostly blackthorn, with a mix of hawthorn, hazel, field maple, wild cherry and dog rose in two areas of Whitfield Gardens and one section in Crabtree Fields. Around the base of each hedge we sowed native wildflower seeds as part the Grow Wild projectContinue reading

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We’ve had a donation of plants for Whitfield Gardens from an allotment

Potted plants on a bench.

A collection of wild plants to add to Whitfield Gardens.

Martin who works in Fitzrovia has an allotment near Heathrow has very kindly donated some plants for us.

They are perennial wildflowers: betony, primrose, cowslip and wild strawberry. We’ll be putting most of these next to our native hedge which we planted this week.

We’ll be holding regular community gardening sessions at Whitfield Gardens this year. If you live or work in Fitzrovia and want to get involved, please get in touch with us.

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Wildflower planting at Whitfield Gardens, Saturday 7 April 2018

Packets of seeds.

There are five collections of seeds in the Grow Wild seed kit.

Following up from our winter planting, we have been successful with an application for native wildflower seeds which Camden parks are encouraging Friends’ groups to get involved with.

Come and join our planting morning this Saturday when we’ll be sowing five collections of wildflower seeds in an area of Whitfield Gardens that we’ve specially prepared. Continue reading

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Meeting: Friends of Fitzrovia Parks, 6.30pm Thursday 5 April 2018

Public park after snowfall.

Whitfield Gardens after overnight snowfall on 28 February 2018.

There will be a meeting of the Friends of Fitzrovia Parks at 6.30pm Thursday 5 April at Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre, 39 Tottenham Street, London W1T 4RX.  Continue reading

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We are looking forward to using our Grow Wild seed kit

Opened seed kit on park bench.

Our Grow Wild seed kit contains five collections of native wildflower seeds.

We are bouncing up and down with excitement as we’ve just received in the post our Grow Wild seed kit from Kew Gardens, ready to sow native wildflowers in Whitfield Gardens. The seed kit was the result of a successful application to improve part of one of Fitzrovia’s open spaces. Continue reading

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Catkins blossom on a hazel tree next to the Fitzrovia Mural at Whitfield Gardens

Male and female blossom on hazel tree.

Early February and catkins hang from a hazel tree. The Fitzrovia Mural is in the background.

As we approach mid-February catkins can be seen hanging from a hazel tree on Tottenham Street next to the Fitzrovia Mural in Whitfield Gardens public open space.

Hazel has both male and female flowers on the same tree, although hazel flowers must be pollinated by pollen from other hazel trees. The yellow male catkins appear before the leaves and hang in clusters up to 12 cm long, from February. Female flowers are tiny, bud-like and red in colour.

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It’s mid-winter… but there are signs of spring in Whitfield Gardens

Snowdrops.

Early blooms of snowdrops emerge from the cold ground.

The days are short and the nights are still long but there are the first signs of spring in Fitzrovia’s Whitfield Gardens. A clump of snowdrops have emerged from the cold soil and will be the first of the year’s flowers to bloom. More snowdrops will be on their way followed by daffodils and other bulbs which were planted in December.

Despite the cold Whitfield Gardens is a popular place to sit and relax away from the hustle and bustle of Tottenham Court Road. Lunchtimes, even in January, are almost as popular as the summer when people seek out some comfortable wooden benches to sit and eat their lunch or meet with friends for a chat.

People sitting in park.

The Gardens are enjoyed by people especially at lunchtime.

The Friends of Fitzrovia Parks are planning to continue the planting of flowers and are keen to establish some native wildflowers to encourage bees and other important pollinators.

If you want to get involved with planting in Whitfield Gardens this spring, please get in touch with us and ask to be added to our email list. We plan to organise planting in March.

Starting tonight there will be four evenings of an art installation on the piazza in Whitfield Gardens, part of Lumiere London.

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