Just had a letter from Southwark informing me that designated the area around where I live as the 'Elliott's Row Conservation Area', ie 'an area of special architectural or historical interest, the character of which is desirable to preserve or enhance'. Much of it is on the SE11 side of St George's Road but it does include Princess Street and Gaywood Street on the SE1 side. It joins on to the West Square Conservation Area.
I feel quite posh. Now perhaps they would like to give the buildings a lick of paint for the first time in 15+ years.
Pity they drew the lines along Princess Street to carefully avoid Perronet House! But it does make our view nicer and we can still stick up satellite dishes where ever we like!
Now who is up for making this Conservation Area even more genteel. I hereby declare my intentions to help create a "Friends of Elliott's Row Pocket Park" partly to formalise the guerrilla gardening Lyla and I have been doing there since last autumn, but also to do more. The friends group could put time into:
Helping enhance the park for locals, visitors and wild life
Making it a place of beauty, healthy, play, conversation and relaxation
I am willing to extend my gardening activities to mingle with the non-conservation area residents too! Daffs and primulas are looking good. I am already planning what comes next. Won't be away as much this summer so more gardening.
Thanks Beverly. Great to have you on board. Just heard back from Cllr Thornton who is up for helping. His experience of working on other small parks and estate areas suggests that collaborating with council contractors is nigh on impossible because they forget what they've agreed and hack down lovely gardens far too often... so the likely approach might be to take it off their hands altogether. The Perronet House beds on London Road have operated on this model for the last five years, and were guerrilla gardens before that for three. It's so tiny, I don't see the need for 'pros' except for very occasionally tree surgery.
Please please don't let the council do anything to the trees. You'll notice that they've hacked the beautiful silver birches in the Hyde Housing gardens on London Rd to buggery. Just like they 'pruned' a beautiful cherry tree in the back garden of Laurie House (backs on to my garden) a couple of years ago, and killed it in the process. It used to be smothered in blossom and bees, full of birds' nests etc. Now it is an ugly branched stump. Bloody vandals.
Totally agree Rupert. I wouldn't be putting in any request for tree surgery anywhere around here. The people they employ are far too trigger happy around here once they get pointed towards a tree to 'improve'.
I called a 'gardener' in many years ago, who told me had been doing a professional job for years...he sliced my redcurrant bush back to ground level and it only fruits on old wood..he thought it was a lilac! honest..He cut the honeysuckle down so vicously it took years before it flowered again, he left the black bryony because he like the look of ivy..he said he would come back the following day and remove all the cuttings of which there was a pile and half...never saw him again!
The point of this inevitable long waffle is, are the guys employed as labourers in the gardens department actually gardeners or if not supervised?
What a nightmare JTOO! A tragedy. A few years ago I attended a horticultural training course, a day a week for an academic year. Amongst our class were young lads already employed by The Royal Parks. I've never been in a class with a cohort of such disinterested, soporific and largely ignorant people, it was worrying to think one day they'd be running our parks... but then our tutor took us on tours of Regents Park and pointed out all the awful things the parks department were doing there, the worst of which was leaving stakes in trees long after they were needed, which was killing the trees.
The answer: fire the lot of them. In fact no one should be aloud to even employ a gardener. I can only think of one comparison. Gardening is like sex, it should be entirely voluntary, no money should change hands! And society should put us under lots of pressure to gets lots of it all over the place!