Volunteers at the community greenhouses have completed planting the northern bed in the park’s Walled Garden. At 100 sq. metres this is the largest single planting area available to the greenhouses and is a showcase for the volunteers’ ornamental group.

Walled garden from the west

We started planning the border last December and in January we settled on a design that was to contain plants suggested by many volunteers. The theme for this year’s border is pollination and the flowers have been selected not only for colour, size and form but also to attract all the pollinators that might be expected on a low south-facing hill in South London. The strategy for the border was to select larger plants and to grow these to optimum size in the greenhouses. In early May the lower greenhouse was simply stuffed with ornamental stock. Everyone who has volunteered since January has had a hand in growing this border.

It has been very well received. Many visitors to the walled garden on Saturday and Sunday stopped to photograph flowers and enquire about the greenhouses. The large stand of Canna ‘Assault’, which is already in full flower, proved to be a big attraction. The border should maintain floral interest until October so there’s still a lot to come into full flower. Look out for the Eryngium yuccifolium in the western bed as this is set to become a garden standard in the years to come.

But the most important visitors so far have been the six legged varieties. Our own bees have already found the Echium vulgare ‘Blue Bedder’ (Viper’s-bugloss), Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral butterflies (as well as various Whites) have been feasting on the nectar producers and Dragonflies and Damselflies in various hues have been working the cannas.

Planting out the border is a significant milestone for the project but it’s certainly not the end of it. Now the border needs to be watered and maintained and there are already conversations going on about next year’s display. If you would like to get involved with growing why not visit the greenhouses and sign up for volunteering. You don’t need any gardening experience or skills.

Or if your own garden takes all your time did you know you can grow cannas on your own patch? We have a variety of cannas for sale at the greenhouses and there will be more Canna, Yucca, Beshorneria, Zantedeschia (Arum Lilies), Hedychium (Ginger Lilies) not forgetting a few banana specimens on sale at the Lambeth Country Fair.

And on a final personal note I’d like to thank all the volunteers for all their time and support bringing this project to fruition.


Chris Smith
Ornamental Group


Helianthus ‘ Moulin Rouge’
Helianthus ‘ Bicentenary’
Ricinus communis ‘ New Zealand Purple’
Cynara cardunculus
Echium vulgare ‘Blue Bedder’
Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’
Acanthus mollis
Ensete ventricosum ‘ Maurelii’
Canna ‘Assaut’
Canna ‘Wyoming’
Canna ‘Musaefolia Grande’
Canna ‘Lon01’ (PBR)
Phalaris arundinacea
Amaranthus caudatus ‘Viridis’
Eryngium yuccifolium
Gaura lindhiemeri ‘The Bride’
Cleome spinosa ‘Helen Cambell’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Purity’
Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Psyche’
Cosmos sulphureous ‘Bright Lights’
Verbena bonariensis
Verbena hastata
Ammi majus
Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black Cat’
Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black & White Mix’
Moluccella laevis
Zinnia elegans ‘Envy’
Beshorneria yuccoides
Linaria purpurea ‘Canon Went’
Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’
Pennisetum villosum
Arundo donax ‘Variegata’
Schizachyrium scoparium
Nicotiana sylvestris
Nicotiana alata ‘Lime Green’
Nicotiana langsdorffi
Eschscholzia californica ‘Orange King’