Norwood Lodge circa 1900’s. It was lived in at the time by a park keeper and his wife. It is now a community centre for all the park’s stakeholder groups. The update and conversion were undertaken by the HLF in 2012 and a fence area of garden was agreed so that we could work on projects to enhance Brockwell Park.
Last year many of you may have seen the WW1 commemorative project that we installed with funding from Lambeth. Since the Lodge didn’t have a permanent garden we took the opportunity to join Lambeth’s WW1 borough wide homage to the First World War.
It was dismantled, in September and we began work on the new cottage garden to reflect the old postcard picture above. We began with digging over the soil several times as it hadn’t been a proper garden for many years and had acquired a vast seed bed of weeds.
The Conservation Volunteers, led by Tom Nandi, arrived in November to dig out concrete in the back area; put up trellis on the container, plant shrubs along the fence line and put some grass seed down. Then we started work on the front garden in February this year. Our idea was to plant an invertebrate friendly garden full of old fashioned plants that would encourage our moths, beetles, ladybirds and spiders, as well as bees and butterflies. Some of the Flanders poppies re-seeded themselves on the border of the newly installed fence.
Before planting we dug everything over twice more with the help of the Community Payback team – and our thanks to them for all their help, pruning, watering etc. We had made arrangements with the Brockwell Park Community Greenhouses for them to grow some annuals from seed so we were able to plant out Cosmos, Violas, Achillea, Amaranthus, Nicatonia, Borage and Rudbeckia. We also had some Sisyrinchium that had survived from the old garden. We also planted out the three Sambucus Nigra that had been the centre pieces of the circular WW1 beds at both Herne Hill and Tulse Hill entrances.
There are a number of Buddleia trees and we have re-sited some so that we have them where they can be seen when the butterflies arrive. The project will take about five years to truly become a cottage garden but we have begun!
Susy Hogarth, BPCP Secretary