Summer gardening club aims to make Fitzrovia greener, not more commercial

A new gardening club will be launched on Saturday at one of Fitzrovia’s most used and abused public open spaces ahead of London becoming the world’s first National Park City.

Pots of plants.

Wildflowers ready for planting in Whitfield Gardens, donated from an allotment.

Volunteers from the Friends of Fitzrovia Parks will be spending an hour every Saturday morning this summer making small improvements to Whitfield Gardens leading up to National Park City Week in July.

In December the Friends planted daffodils and other flowers as part of scheme by the Metropolitan Parks and Gardens Association to deliver free bulbs donated by Lincolnshire family business Taylors Bulbs of Holbeach.

This spring nine native species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs have been planted in Whitfield Gardens, along with dozens of varieties of wildflowers as part of a project promoted by Kew Gardens.

For the first time ever oak and hornbeam trees have been planted — trees that haven’t been grown in this part of London since the city expanded in the early 18th century.

Around 70 shrubs have been added to the garden donated entirely by people who live and work in the neighbourhood.

However, Whitfield Gardens faces a threat from Camden Council which is considering concreting over large areas of the park in an effort to cut maintenance costs and create more space for corporate stakeholders in Fitzrovia as part of its flagship West End Project.

But some of the Friends of Fitzrovia Parks, supported by the Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Association, are hoping to scupper Camden’s hideous plans and deliver a greener Fitzrovia, and create a wildlife-friendly park instead of a trading space.

Saturday Gardening Club. Meet in Whitfield Gardens on the corner of Tottenham Court Road and Tottenham Street 8.00am Saturday 5 May 2018 (and every Saturday until the end of September) for an hour of gardening. See Fitzrovia Parks web page for more information or to join their email list.

National Park City Week event: The challenge of creating and maintaining wildlife-friendly inner city parks, 11am Saturday 21 July 2018.

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