In previous years, we generally send out email reminders for the Gardens annual membership fees at the end of March or early April. Due to technical issues, we are delayed in sending these emails. We anticipate sending them out in the next 10 days. Gardens membership will continue as per normal until that time.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Brian Jenney, who served the Gardens dutifully for more than 20 years as both Chairman and, at times, Hon. Treasurer of Queens Gate Gardens Committee.
The Garden Committee undertook the transition of the Garden’s “day-to-day” management in the late summer and are currently updating the various administration items of the Committee. We will provide more updates in the near future, and we anticipate the Gardens will continue, for the most part, as previously managed.
The Membership fees will be due (as usual) in late March and those who are current members will receive an e-mail.
As is our tradition, we will participate in Open Squares Day on Sunday, 14 June. This day is when we get to show off the Gardens to the public. For a small fee, the public may enter the Gardens and enjoy them as our members do.
It’s also a good opportunity for members to talk with the Garden Committee and meet other members. As usual, members will use their key fobs to enter. We hope you will come join!
Campbell Court has obtained planning approval for the alterations and extension to the former plant room on the 9th floor or top of the building. This will create a very large apartment stretching for almost the length of the building. Approval has also been granted for the replacement of all windows and curtain walling of the building. The planning documents do state that “the existing mature gardens to the east will not be affected by the proposal and will remain as a key amenity space for the residents of Campbell Court and Queen’s Gate Gardens.”
As we trust the Gardens will not be affected, we would like to forewarn members of the works could cause some disruption around the Gardens while works are in progress. The Committee will seek to ensure that the Gardens are not adversely affected in any way either during construction or afterwards.
Annual Open Square’s Day
We will once again be participating in Open Square’s Day this year on Sunday, 15 June.
Open Square’s Day is the one day a year we open the Gardens for a small fee to the public. This day is our opportunity to show off our beautiful Gardens and reinforce the value that the Gardens offer both the members and the surrounding community.
Every year our Gardener Manuel works hard to make sure that the Gardens look their best. We generally receive many compliments to the Garden with both the public and those in the neighbourhood who otherwise would not have the chance to see our beautiful garden.
Teas and Cakes
Again this year, Garden Committee Member Diane Parnell will be selling teas and cakes to benefit the Gardens. We encourage members to donate cakes, biscuits or other baked goods to this cause. Please contact her directly if you are able to make a donation at Parnellkim@aol.com prior the event.
We do encourage members to stop by for Open Square’s Day. Members can enter for free as usual with their key fobs. We look forward to seeing you there.
During the Heatwave this Summer the Gardens have been used well by its Members. The beds are in full bloom and the sun has been kind to us. Thankfully, there has been no hosepipe ban so that the Gardens have been a delight to visit during the warmest days this Summer.
Garden Squares are a rich part of the history of London. Here’s an article from the London Garden Trust that provides information about the history of Garden Squares in London. http://www.londongardenstrust.org/history/squares.htm.
Opening The Gardens
Each year we open the Garden gates to the public for Open Squares Day, and this year, we will do the same again on Sunday, 10 June.
This is our opportunity to show off our beautiful Gardens to the public. Manuel, our Gardener, toils hard every year to ensure that the Gardens are at their prime for this event. We generally receive a warm reception from the public and multiple compliments to both the design, the foliage and the warmth of the Gardens. Previously we have competed for and won awards for our Gardens. This event is truly an opportunity for us to celebrate our beautiful gardens.
Meet the Committee Members
Members find it a nice day to mingle with the Committee members who are on hand to discuss the Gardens. We will be around to hear your feedback, meet you face to face and help you better understand the working and future plans for the Gardens.
Teas and Cakes
Committee Member Diane Parnell will again be organising and selling teas and cakes whose sales benefit the Gardens. We encourage members to donate cakes, biscuits or other baked goods to this cause. Please contact her directly if you are able to make a donation at Parnellkim@aol.com prior the event. She will make the appropriate arrangements with you.
We find Open Squares Day an enjoyable occasion for all each year. Please do stop by if you can. Although the public pays an entry fee, members can of course enter as usual with their key fobs. We look forward to seeing you there.
As the weather brightens, the Gardens become busy with our members, their families and their guests. While we encourage members to enjoy the Gardens, we also want to remind you of four key policies regarding visitors to the Gardens:
1) Only 3 guests are permitted at any time.
2) All visitors to the Gardens must be accompanied by the Adult Member at all times. That means that should you need to leave the Gardens, your guest must leave with you.
3) Nannies or relatives can not bring guests to the Gardens. Only Members are allowed to invite guests: Members can permit a relative (children, siblings, parents, etc.) or a nanny to enter the Gardens. However, relatives or nannies may not bring a visitor.
Please note there have been several occasions where nannies have brought another nanny along with their children into the Gardens. Also, nannies have brought other children besides the family’s children to the Gardens for play dates, for example. Neither of these are permitted.
4) Guests should not be invited on a frequent basis. To make it equitable for all members, please do not bring the same guest on multiple occasions. If they would like to visit more frequently, encourage them to become members instead.
Remember it is up to the member to ensure that all guests, family members and nannies behave in accordance with the Garden rules. These rules were discussed thoroughly and developed with the needs of all the Gardens members in mind. Please remember to be courteous of other Garden members while you enjoy the Garden.
As extensive tree surgery was required in 2010, no surgery was undertaken last year. However, towards the end of 2011, both the London Plane tree in the small grove behind the children’s play area and the Horse Chestnut next to the South Gate shed a limb. The Committee engaged our tree surgeons to carry out a full inspection.
As a result, from the 15th – 22nd February, the tree surgeons completed the following:
- The London Plane tree mentioned was felled as it was dying and likely to continue to shed limbs
- The Horse Chestnut mentioned — a mature tree with a widespread crown and heavy branch ends — had its crown cleaned out and its canopy lifted
- A False Acacia near the North Gate was felled as it was subject to a fungal attack indicating internal decay. After felling, extensive internal decay was found and the tree, if left, would have collapsed in a year or so
- A Red Oak in the grove behind the children’s play area with over-long branch ends had its branch ends reduced and its crown cleaned as it was becoming a danger so close to the play area
- A London Plane next to the shed, a very large mature wide spreading tree, had its lateral spread, particularly over the road, reduced by 20-25% by thinning branch ends, cleaning out the crown, removing deadwood and suppressed branches
- A Tree of Heaven in the play area grove, a very tall and heavy tree had its upper crown reduced
- The twin-stemmed Sycamore in the north-east bed, having suffered necrosis for some unknown reason in the main fork and down the inside of each stem had its crown reduced and cleaned out to reduce weight
- A further five trees also needed more lighter attention
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea approved all these works a requirement as all our trees are protected. It is interesting to note that for all the trees felled a new tree has been planted to ensure that the trees continue to be a vital part of the Garden environment. This is not only a requirement of the Council, but also important to keep Queen’s Gate Gardens as an evolving natural environment.