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Blossoms in abundance in High Road flower beds

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The flower beds outside Foster's Bookshop as they were

A few weeks ago Abundance London was upset to see that several of the Chiswick High Road flower beds, which they have been looking after since 2014, had been cleared by Hounslow Highways through its contractors PGSD. In recent years residents have enjoyed a great display of spring daffodils, forget-me-nots, tulips, alliums, hollyhocks, day lilies and other resilient and nectar-friendly plants, all provided and planted by Abundance London. Only the day before, the Abundance team had added about 50 irises, lavender bushes and dark red salvias, and spent 3 hours weeding.

Hounslow Highways and PGSD, however, are responsible for these beds, for trimming and pruning the remaining bushes and mulching with bark chip. They cleared a couple of the beds before realising the situation.

A meeting was set up between Hounslow Highways and Abundance and after some discussion an amiable compromise was reached. From now on PGSD and Hounslow Highways will be looking after the beds properly, with Abundance London taking a back seat.

planting flower beds on High Road

Photos: PGSD re-planting flower beds along High Road

Gary Winterbottom, Community Environment Officer for Hounslow Highways says, “These plants should look nice together and spread into the space. The contractor and I will be able to help out the Abundance volunteers when you intend to plant and offer advice.”

“I’m delighted to be working together with Hounslow Highways and PGSD on this,” says Karen Liebreich, co-ordinator for Abundance London. “We were sad to see the beds empty years ago and then becoming filled with bindweed, which is why we started looking after the area. The daffs in spring are brilliant and the hollyhocks have been very successful. To see our plants being removed was very discouraging, so it’s great that HH have taken this on board and we have all come up with a good solution.”

Gary points out that guerrilla gardening can be problematic. “We had to remove a huge yucca recently that was blocking the sightline and proving dangerous for cyclists. And young trees can suffer if their tree pits are planted up with thirsty plants.”

the volunteer team of Abundance who planned the flower beds

High Road team photo - Abundance London volunteers (incl Karen Liebreich, Cheryl Lanyon, Jennie Figaro, Henry Gewanter - waving trowel (who is also chair of Chiswick Horticultural Society), reresentatives of local shopkeepers Stephen Foster (Foster Books) and Tracy Kynoch (ex-Whisk), Gary Winterbottom (Community Environment Officer for Hounslow Highways) and Matt Farmer (Contracts manager for PGSD)

Today (Tuesday July 4th) PGSD, on behalf of Hounslow Highways restocked the empty flowerbeds with a selection of perennials, including common grass, purple lavender and bergenias. Barely were the plants in before the bees were already getting to work.Now the beds are full Chiswick should be able to enjoy improved flower beds along the High Road thanks to the new partnership between contractor and community group.

Abundance is currently also working on the big mural, The Chiswick Timeline, at Turnham Green tube. Read more about Abundance on their website

July 4, 2017

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