by Lulu Chivers, garden volunteer
As a 2019 newbie to volunteering at Fulham Palace Garden I have been impressed by the warm welcome on my first two days from full time staff, apprentices and volunteers alike. Arriving on a cold Tuesday I was greeted by a cheering wood burning stove in the bothy and the offer of a cup of tea. The staff had already done a ‘full day’s work’, starting at 7.30 and were tucking into a well-deserved bowl of porridge.
My first job as a volunteer was helping prune the wisteria on the south side of the palace. Lucy gave a masterclass, with information about Wisteria, its history in London and pruning method before we set to with help and advice on hand. With an efficient team of volunteers the wisteria was pruned up to head height by the end of the morning with the prunings going to the well managed compost heaps on site. The apprentices were working at height on scaffolding as the wisteria grows up to the second floor; I think it was at least a couple of days work to finish the rest of the job.
The afternoon was spent edging the paths in the walled garden; as a team we managed to complete the path along the west wall – but plenty more to do. Garden supervisor, Chris A, gave us help and advice and then trusted us to get on and do the job.
The second week we had praise from Lucy for the work we had done. My second week was rose pruning in Bishop’s Park and clearing the (dry!) moat of leaves. It’s varied work and I’m looking forward to seeing the garden as spring approaches.
Oh, and I nearly forgot, Edmund the cat has been making good use of the heated mats in the greenhouse. A favourite with all.