by Jamie Atwell, garden volunteer
When I first joined the gardening volunteer team I thought that our labours in January would be fairly laid back – a little light pruning, digging up the odd bramble and nettle or two and perhaps some edging of the grass borders by the garden pathways. After which, I could retire to the comfort of the bothy, have a cup of coffee and, maybe, indulge in that second ginger biscuit. How wrong I was! Believe it or not January is one of our busiest months in the garden. The tasks I have already mentioned are very much full on and there is plenty of other preparation work required to ensure that the garden will be seen at its best in the coming months.
When there is a chance of a break, I really enjoy the opportunity to have a look round the garden as, for me, January is one of my favourite times here. New life has already appeared – Cyclamen and Viburnum are already in flower, and the snowdrops won’t be far behind. It’s also good to see the garden “stripped of its finery” (as Mole said in The Wind on the Willows) and to get a greater understanding of the structure of the garden and what head gardener Lucy Hart and her wonderful full time team are looking to achieve.
We are all thrilled at the news of the award of second round of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (National Lottery Heritage Fund) and the very generous grant from the Western Riverside Environmental Fund, both of which will have a significant impact on restoration work in the garden. 2017 is plainly going to be an important and exciting year for the garden at Fulham Palace – matched by no little perspiration!