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Twickenham Guerrilla Gardeners win a prestigious silver gilt and the Chairman’s Award for Twickenham Village and Church Street Twickenham.

Twickenham Guerrilla Gardeners win a prestigious silver gilt and the Chairman’s Award for Twickenham Village and Church Street Twickenham.

Twickenham Guerrilla Gardeners win a prestigious silver gilt and the Chairman’s Award for Twickenham Village and Church Street Twickenham.

By Twickenham Town Guerrilla Gardener number 2 AKA Shona Lyons

Every year and all year me and my gardeners boy AKA Bruce Lyons are kept busy tending our plots in Church Street and the Eel Pie Museum and our lovely planter at the brow of the hill on hill rise Richmond. We are not alone, not at least in Church Street where the many shop keepers lovingly tend to their own window boxes and plant pots, but we look after the whole of the square including the planters around Pincho, and also we look after some pots for a flat in Flood lane, plus the planters at the top of the street and any shops like Lover’s Lights that might be empty or not really showing much horticultural inclination.

I have learnt to love my plants. I suppose that’s natural when you spend so much time with them, nurturing them, propping them up, trying to get the bugs off them, feeding them, and giving them extra water when it’s too hot. They generally repay the kindness and put on a good show for everyone, the beauty of which brightens any day. It definitely brightens mine and gives me a lot of pleasure and hopefully brightens other’s days too.
I think my gardener’s boy has always loved to garden. He often tells us the story of when as a young boy in the war he grew a garden on the roof of his mother’s bed and breakfast in Devonshire Terrace only to have to dismantle it when Commander Luard complained of the water dripping through the ceiling! All that hard work carrying up all that soil gone to waste. But my gardener’s boy has never been one to shirk hard physical work which is what makes him such a great gardener’s boy. I am sure I am the envy of all the other Guerrilla Gardeners who don’t have such a hard worker. Actually at 84 his strength is not quite as it was, but all his great words of plant wisdom and his boundless enthusiasm and real and natural love for plants make up for that.

This year all my gardener’s boy’s & mine hard work really paid off as we managed to secure Twickenham Village a prestigious Silver Gilt Award in London in Bloom. Here is the report that we have managed to get from the judges.

Justification & Report

Lower Twickenham Village scored 146 and are awarded a well-deserved SILVER GILT Church Street is a very good show case of horticultural bloom in Lower Twickenham Village especially the colourful window boxes, hanging baskets and tubs displayed by most of the proprietors. It was good to see the carpark and Stone Rowe Solicitors courtyard being maintained by Gillian Goblin and Sandra Devine introducing plants which have been re-established from other areas together with their plant purchases. An very good example of sustainable planting practices. These two ladies are worthy of horticultural recognition for over 15 years contribution to the Bloom. York Gardens and Jubilee Gardens are not as well maintained as have been when visited by both Judges last year. The gardens need to be gardened as opposed to being maintained, this was reflected by weeds in the borders and plants under stress, due to lack of water. The Hornbeam waves such a fantastic asset need to be reshaped in the Diamond Jubilee Gardens. Please note the Judges did not take any marks away for lawn maintenance as we are aware of the unusual hot weather conditions this season. The jewel in the crown is the Sunshine Cafe which supports people in the community with learning difficulties. Eel Pie island is a wonderful wild life resource for bats, birds and invertebrate whilst hydrants and gas are affecting the layout, it will benefit the island for the future and the areas that have been renovated will improve horticultural maintenance marks in the future. Bell Lane is a good example of communities tending their own gardens and Sandy’s Fishmongers as always puts on a display that is fun to look at. The White Swan public house has colourful displays outside. Great to be provided with an informative itinerary. Some suggestions you might like to consider:- 1. Introduction of bird box feeders, log piles and dead hedging to appropriate areas within the village. 2. York House Gardens and Jubilee Gardens you may consider exploring the local Good Gym Group to assist with weeding, watering and maintenance of the sites. 3. The Council to consider using volunteers to assist with gardening in these areas. Again thanks must go to Bruce and his family for their enormous contribution and to the team. This is a strong community entry that really has pride of place in looking after the village.

About the Chairman’s Award, Geoffrey Hyde, Chairman of London in Bloom writes:

“The Chairman’s Award – and there is only one each year – is given to recognise exceptional merit, and we all agreed that the endeavours of Church Street, and you in particular, deserve this award”
The award is given to an individual, an entry or indeed anything within London in Bloom Trustees and its Chairman consider meritorious in some way and has made a contribution to London in Bloom over a number of years.
Peter Holman, Chief Executive of London in Bloom said “This year’s award goes to a place that our Chairman knows very well, a place that maintains high levels of garden display, and where business participates throughout. This place or perhaps I should say small enclave sits within a much larger conurbation has made a considerable contribution to its own unique community but also to the Borough in which it lies”

It’s all so innocently lovely and I really love it. When the bombs are raining down in Syria, when everyone is arguing about Brexit and which side are you on, when everyone is so competitive and there doesn’t seem much love to go around, I go and talk to my flowers and they talk to me.

#StreetScene #GuerillaGardening #TwickenhamTownGuerillaGardeners #ChurchStreetofTwickenham #ChurchStreetTwickenham #ChurchStreetAssociation #TwickenhamTownBusinessAssociation

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