Gazette letters: Floral, fauna and secret gardens

Picture: Will McCallum

Picture: Will McCallum - Credit: Archant

Pretty much all the trees are in full leaf now and the most advanced have gone beyond bloom and are beginning to fruit, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

Everywhere I cycle there are roses (my favourite this week were the enormous bright fuschia ones along the west side of Barnard Park). The newly planted bushes in my front garden have produced their first flowers.

It is at this time of the year that swimming on the heath begins in earnest. On a hot summer evening, cycling up Tufnell Park Road with its two large eucalyptus trees, the prospect of plunging into cold water – you could be forgiven for forgetting you lived in the capital city of a country famous for bad weather.

Every year in early summer I am pleasantly surprised by the sight of ash trees (thankfully ash dieback does not seem to be as devastating as was feared back when it first emerged). Their seedlings form in great crowded bunches – like a very English banana tree. They are one of our most common trees, present in almost every park in Hackney and Islington, and yet for this brief period they resemble something far more exotic.

It was good to see your coverage of “secret gardens”, but surprisingly much of the article pointed to gardens outside Islington, writes Martin Pendergast, secretary, St Joseph’s Pastoral Council, St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Lamb’s Buildings, Lamb’s Passage.

Here in the south of Islington, bordering on to the City, we have our very own St Joseph’s Quiet Garden off Bunhill Row, in memory of the late Cardinal Basil Hume, the 18th anniversary of whose death falls on Saturday. We’ll be providing strawberries and cream from 10am to 5pm!

Within a five-minute radius is The Golden Baggers’ food-growing space on the Golden Lane Estate, Fann Street’s Barbican Wildlife Garden, and Wesley’s Chapel Gardens on City Road. All these gardens provide real oases for City workers and dwellers who prefer green space to tarmacked car parks and concrete jungles.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter