Birdhurst community garden evolved in 2013 from an proposal by a couple of residents to tidy up the overgrown area at the top of the road.
Croydon council was approached for assistance and they awarded a grant of £5,000 towards the project. Funding was also subsequently received from Skipton Building Society.
A meeting of local residents was called, a list of suggestions for planting compiled and the hard work begun. By July 2013 the garden was complete and included all the elements suggested by the local residents: a herb garden, two rockeries (one for alpine plants and one featuring heather), a wildflower garden, some vegetable beds and a Japanese ‘river garden’ along the back of the garages, complete with stepping stones and bridges.
By the time the car park bed was begun, there was no money left in the fund, but residents contributed plants and soon it was looking fabulous with a real variety of colour.
Neighbours worked together and helped in many ways – from digging and planting to providing storage for equipment and making the all important cups of tea, sandwiches, cakes and a wonderful variety of international food to keep the workers going. Many new friendships were made, resulting in a real sense of community in the road.
The garden was officially opened by Tom Hart Dyke, creator of Lullingstone Castle’s famous ‘World Garden’, on July 13th 2013. Since the opening of the garden there have been annual street parties, firework events and regular gardening events, which have included bulb planting, making lavender bags, building a ‘bug hotel’ and planting up the hanging baskets, as well as watering and general garden maintenance.
Birdhurst Community Garden has been awarded ‘Outstanding’ by the Royal Horticultural Society and London in Bloom.