mini gardeners

inspiring gardening projects for children

A Garden to Banish the January Blues

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I’ll be the first to admit that our garden doesn’t look its best in winter.

There’s a bit of structural form (a few trees and some raised beds) and a tiny bit of colour from the plants that still have leaves. But it’s predominantly a mass of soggy lawn and bare stems.

So yesterday we took ourselves off to a garden that has been designed to shine at this time of year; the Winter Garden in Battersea Park.

And we were rewarded with an abundance of flowers on a cold, bright January day:

Hamamelis (witch hazel) flowers in winter

Chaenomeles (japanese quince) flowers in winter

Galanthus (snowdrops)

Sarcococca (sweet box) flowers

Plus a blast of colour:

cornus stems in winter

And a healthy dose of structure:

Parrotia persica (ironwood) in Battersea Park)

Battersea Park winter garden

Betula (silver birch) in the winter garden at Battersea Park

The Winter Garden is still relatively new so much of the planting is yet to mature. And I wouldn’t want you to think it’s a complete riot of colour and flowers; most of the flowers are small and fairly inconspicuous from a distance. Armed with a camera, my daughters turned the afternoon into a treasure hunt for winter flowers.  This, coupled with the fact that a big adventure playground is just a stone’s throw away, made the visit a big hit with them.  And we didn’t even get round to exploring the 200 acres of open space that is Battersea Park, not to mention the children’s zoo. Another day…

By way of a little bit of history, the garden is a memorial to Elaine Hodges, a founding member of the Friends of Battersea Park. Her £10,000 bequest set the ball rolling for further fundraising for the project and rumour has it that the total cost of the garden was in excess of £150,000. The garden was designed by Dan Pearson and opened in March 2011.

There were lots of spring bulbs starting to peep through the soil so we may visit again in a month or so to see how the garden changes over the winter.  Definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

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3 thoughts on “A Garden to Banish the January Blues

  1. Lovely photographs, makes me want to go back to Battersea Park. I used to wander round there back in the 1990s but obviously the winter garden is a big improvement. What a good idea to capture the little bits of cheer we can sometimes find in gardens, in dreary January! I do a garden blog and all I have to photo at the moment is the flooding on the allotment site.

    • We hadn’t been to Battersea Park for absolutely ages too, so the Winter Garden was a good excuse to go back. Sorry to hear about the allotment flooding, our allotment is very soggy at the moment. I couldn’t find your garden blog – send me a link, I love reading about other people’s gardening exploits 🙂

      • Thanks for your reply and in response, my allotment and garden blog is: paulinagardens.blogspot.co.uk with a Sub-heading of London Gardening Under Difficulty, which it is of course. I look forward to following your blog and will send a link to my daughter, who does a garden blog in the USA, New York State.

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