Town Centre Parks are looking beautiful

Early on a wonderful Sunday morning I decided it would be great to visit some of our town centre parks, in order to raise my spirits. I first visited College Green our newest park, just up the road from Sainsbury and behind Bromley College a Grade 1 listed building. This small park is maintained by volunteers of Bromley Green Gym. The daffodils of various sizes were looking magnificent.

Daffodils on College Green

And the fruit trees were just coming into bloom, hopefully promising a good harvest later in the year.

Fruit tree in blossom

In the circular Mulberry Bed I came across a Rosemary in full flower. This herb has been celebrated, for many centuries in folklore, with remembrance. In Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’; Orphelia states “ “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance. Pray you, love, remember.” It is also good for cooking as well!

Rosemary in flower

Then a short walk to our next park, Queens Garden. Once upon a time this was White Hart Field, associated with the inn of the same name, where stage-coach horses would then rest and graze. Later a cricket field, frequented by H.G.Wells’ father, it is now a much appreciated park right next to The Glades shopping centre.

Queens Garden, from Kentish Way entrance

This was a chance, with very little traffic noise from the nearby dual carriageway, to hear the robins, blackbirds, etc announcing themselves. The formal flower beds, for which this park is especially appreciated by visitors, were looking excellent. In the former Darwin flower bed, which was replanted last year, I spotted this small tree in flower.

Tree located in former Darwin flowerbed

A short walk through the still closed shopping centre and deserted High Street brought me to Library Gardens, with scaffolding still around the Churchill Theatre, and into Church House Gardens. Where I spotted this lovely Camelia next to the lake.

Camellia in flower

The nearby ducks and geese were going along with their lives, perhaps waiting for people to feed them, and up to the upper gardens. There I came upon the gazebo with the magnolia close by.

Then across to Martins Hill, and yet more daffodils planted previously by Friends’ volunteers to celebrate the Marie Curie charity whose emblem this plant is.

‘Field of Hope’, Martins Hill

A quick walk along the top of the park, with many lovely bare trees resplendent in the morning light and fine views across the valley towards Beckenham and beyond.

Bare trees, Martins Hill

And so home to a well earned hot drink. Our parks while always important for our physical and mental wellbeing are especially critical in these worrying times. So please visit your park, but remember to adopt ‘social distancing’ and respect the health of other park users you come across.

Queens Garden: Your comments wanted

People enjoying warm day in Queens Garden

Queens Garden is a popular town centre park which for two years running has been awarded a Green Flag, a national award marking its quality. We are now looking for your comments on this park especially what you most enjoy about it. Your comments will help inform the ongoing management plan for this site.

Queens Garden awarded Green Flag for second year

Green Flag Award banner

Queens Garden has been awarded a Green Flag Award for a second year running, as one of the very best in the world. Queens Garden joins several other green spaces awarded recognition in Bromley. 

This international award, now into its third decade, is a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities.

“We are absolutely delighted to receive a Green Flag Award for the second year. We know how much quality green spaces matter to residents and visitors, and this award celebrates the dedication that goes into maintaining Queens Garden to such a high standard. This park has been enjoyed by the public for over a hundred years and we are confident that they will continue to do so in the future.” 

Jeff Royce, Chairman, Friends of Bromley Town Parks & Gardens

More details >

Dogs in our parks

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While it is great to see responsible dog owners walking their pets in nearly all of our parks, there are some areas in which dogs, other than assistance dogs, are unwelcome. This is to ensure that in these ‘dog free’ areas wildlife, along with people, especially young children, can remain safe. For example children can get an infection from dog waste left on the grass that they play on.

Such ‘dog free’ areas are; Church House Gardens (part) and Queens Garden. The entrances to these areas are clearly marked (as in above image). Sadly in a very few cases irresponsible dog owners ignore such restrictions and deliberately take their dogs into these areas. So doing they risk the well being of children and other park users and a possible £80 fine.

If you come across any such a miscreant, please call Bromley Council Enforcement on 0208 313 4870, or Ward Security on 0845 476180

Queen’s Garden: Green Flag inspection

We had an inspection visit, last Friday, in response to the application for a Green Flag award. It was a rather cold and damp, in great contrast to the weather just a week before. However the inspection seemed to go well and we await a decision in a couple of months. Besides the two inspectors, representatives of our Friends group as well as idVerde (the parks maintenance contractor) were in attendance. We later met two members of The Glades management team.

New life for derelict space?

Derelict site of former Maze.

Derelict site of former Maze.

Where there used to be a pleasant Maze now stands an empty waste! The Maze was sacrificed so that easy access could be provided to construct the five new restaurants. Go to our Queens Garden campaign page to learn more about how this happened. Now Bromley council is deciding what to replace this wasteland with. It is proposed that a rustic ch ildren’s playground will be built here. Unfortunately intuBromley, who currently manage the shopping centre, are only willing to contribute £50k towards this, despite them gaining a valuable site for their multi-million pound development.This sadly is not much money for a really exciting playground worthy of this site. Four companies submitted proposals for this site. The best design, of a poor bunch, ŵas preferred by a local panel and it is hoped that the Bromley councillors will make their decision soon, so that this eyesore is no more.