MP’s Kate Hoey and Neil Coyle will officially reopen the Flower Garden in Kennington Park on 18 July following extensive renovations and redesign costing £500,000.
The work, lasting 5 MONTHS and made possible by grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lambeth council and the Friends of Kennington Park, has transformed this part of the park. Formerly a neglected space which was a magnet for antisocial behaviour and crime, the Flower Garden is once again the lush, quiet oasis it was originally meant to be when it was first created in the 1930s.
The garden now boasts newly landscaped formal beds stocked with a wide range of plants, new and more numerous benches and completely re-laid, level pathways. An extra entrance has been created and the defunct lily pond reinstated.
Another new addition to the garden is the sundial which replaces one destroyed by vandalism. Designed and made by Sam Flintham, a recent graduate from City and Guilds School of Art, the sundial was commissioned by the Friends following a competition with other students.
Once the Flower Garden is reopened, it will host a whole range of activities and events to encourage people to use and explore this new part of their park.
Led by Activities Manager Stephen Lawlor, the events will include a seasonal activities programme for children and families, walking tours of the garden, chances to explore wild life and projects in music, arts, creative writing and oral history. The annual programme, to be launched at the garden’s reopening celebrations, will culminate in the inaugural Kennington Park Flower Festival during summer 2016. There will also be a number of educational activities that will be offered to local schools from September 2015.
Gordon Johnston, Chairman of the Friends of Kennington Park, says “it is very exciting to see this long held ambition to renovate the Flower Garden finally come to fruition. It’s on time and on budget and has reclaimed this wonderful part of the park for everyone to enjoy. We hope people will get involved with the various activities we’ve got planned and that they love the new garden as much as park users loved the 1930s original.”
Cllr Jane Edbrooke, Lambeth’s cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, says “We are grateful to the Heritage Lottery fund for their generous grant which enabled Lambeth to embark on the project. I would also particularly like to thank the project manager and the professional team, led by Land Use Consultants, and the contractors, Gavin Jones Ltd, who carried out the work with such skill.”
The flower garden reopens with an official ceremony at 3pm on Saturday 18 July. There will be live music and children’s creative workshops by Wild In The City.
We hope you will be able to join us.