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Woodbridge Horticultural Society Talk – 8th December 2016

News ArticleWoodbridge Horticultural Society Talk – 8th December 2016

The Community Hall in Woodbridge was filled with members and guests of the Woodbridge Horticultural Society to hear Jim Buttress of The Great Allotment Challenge talk about his 25 year involvement with The Royal Parks in London

Over the course of his career the Royal Parks have moved from being state run in the 1970’s through the use of contract services to today where a Charitable Trust has been created to fund and run the Parks for the benefit of the public. The creation of Friends Groups to support the use of the facilities has in some cases reintroduced apprentice schemes to encourage new entrants to horticulture

He guided the audience through the challenges and pleasures of managing the great parks of London which together total over 1000 acres of green space in our capital city. The aim of the individual park managers is to provide colour from January to December every year though in Green Park the focus is on trees and in Brompton cemetery wild flowers are more appropriate. Jim explained how the parks produce many of their own plants for example they grow 100,000 pelargoniums every year using large pots to allow them to bed out plants which are in flower. The park staff supervises the cleaning of the lakes and ponds as well as managing wild fowl which include pelicans and black swans.

Jim explained not all his ideas were successful; the failures included bizzy lizzys with downy mildew and dog toilets which remained unused. The successes included winter fairs, pop concerts and providing a backdrop for many important state ceremonies. He encouraged members to visit in particular the less well known Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park and his own favourite St James’s park

The next meeting is on January 12th 2017

“Horticultural Snippets and Gardeners’ Questions”

(Bring your questions for Sarah and Jim to answer)

A talk by Sarah Cook and Jim Marshall

Competition – Prize for best question