diamond geezer

 Wednesday, May 26, 2021

33 facts about the London Blossom Garden

1) That's one fact per tree.
2) There are 33 trees because each represents a London borough, including the City of London. Every time this fact is mentioned in Blossom Garden collateral the City of London has to be mentioned to silence whiny borough-counting pedants.

3) The London Blossom Garden is located in the northern half of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, between the central footbridge and the Timber Lodge cafe.
4) The garden is "a living memorial to commemorate the city's shared experience of the Coronavirus pandemic. The garden offers a place of reflection for Londoners to remember those who have lost their lives, and pays tribute to London’s key workers who risked their own lives to help others and keep our city moving."
5) It features blossoming trees because the pandemic first emerged in spring 2020 during the blossom season.
6) The garden's in Newham because it was one of the boroughs worst hit by the pandemic and home to the NHS Nightingale Hospital at ExCeL.
7) The London Blossom Garden has been created in partnership with the Mayor of London with support from Bloomberg, working with Rosetta Arts and landscape architects The Edible Bus Stop and Davies White Landscape Architects. Nobody delivers projects by themselves these days.
8) The garden was designed in conjunction with the National Trust who plan to create blossom gardens across the country - this is the first. If you're interested in doing this locally they've created a 57 page Blossom Together toolkit.
9) Some of the next blossom gardens will be in Newcastle, Nottingham and Plymouth, but this is a five year project and there'll be many more.

10) The garden features eight different species of tree - four varieties of cherry, one cherry plum, two crab apples and a hawthorn - which should help space out the blossom over a couple of months rather than it only looking fabulous for a fortnight.
11) The trees are arranged in three rings, one of 7 trees, one of 17 trees and one of 9 trees. The largest ring crosses the central path, the others are on one side or the other.
12) The landscape's not new - this double-banked grassy glade was created for the Park following the Olympics - so all that's really new are the path, the trees and the benches.
13) The wheelchair-accessible path up the centre of the garden contains 33 pieces of recycled concrete alternating with 33 pieces of reclaimed timber.
14) The three curvaceous benches are made from a) concrete batons which feature a petal-like marble content b) reclaimed tropical timber from various sites across London including Woolwich Ferry Terminal and fenders from an old canal lock in the Olympic Park.
15) Each ring has its own bench, for contemplation purposes.

16) The original planned date for the opening of the Blossom Garden was Monday 10th May but that slipped to Monday 24th May, I suspect because the spadework took longer than expected.
17) Work began in the first week of February and finished in the first week of May. I've watched it regularly through the railings.
18) Even when the garden was complete they still closed it off for an additional three weeks to give the trees and grass a chance to establish themselves.
19) The dazzling annual display of daffodils on the steepest bank went unadmired this year, except by builders and gardeners.
20) The dazzling display of blossom on the newly-planted trees also went unadmired this year because the whole garden took so long to create, so you'll have to wait another ten months to get the full effect.
21) Looking closely I think I saw a minor sprinkling of pink on one of the trees, but it'll wow nobody and it won't last.

22) I happened to be in the park on Monday, not knowing it was opening day, when I spotted rows of white chairs outside the entrance to the garden, a marquee and a crew of security staff milling around. The London Mayoral Roadshow had come to town, complete with a large bucket of brollies because the weather forecast was intermittently torrential. I knew I was too early for the ceremony because the red ribbon at the top of the slope was still intact. But the garden has two entrances and aha!... the other one was suddenly open after four months and untroubled by a security presence. I wandered into the lower half of the garden for a nose around - nice - while a bunch of gardeners eyed me suspiciously from further up the slope. They were giving the garden a good water before the bigwigs turned up, despite the fact it had rained heavily during the last ten minutes and would do so again before the grand ceremony. I didn't hang around to see the Mayor and the Director General of the National Trust do the honours (and showcase bereavement charities in front of media cameras), but I did spot one of the presenters of Gardeners World dashing up from the station under an enormous umbrella trying to keep her dress dry.
23) I went back yesterday and the garden was already being well-frequented, as if it had always been here. Previously hardly anyone wandered off this way, but the new path appears to have boosted footfall considerably.

24) It's acceptable to sit on the benches or the grass, but frowned upon to picnic because this is a memorial garden.
25) It's also acceptable to leave floral tributes, so long as they go in the designated spaces next to the two information boards. Ribbons attached to trees will not be tolerated.
26) It's not acceptable to leave photographs, candles or other tributes such as soft toys - these will be removed and disposed of.
27) QEOP management have gone to the effort of producing Guidance for visitors, including what you can and can't leave as tributes, but this is only available as a pdf on their website and not visible in the garden, so that's a fat lot of use.
28) I didn't get a feeling of peaceful memorial garden, more a pretty place to walk through, but it's early days yet and a few bouquets left by the entrance could change the mood.

29) The garden isn't properly finished yet - two lengthy strips of turf are plainly struggling and the public are asked to keep off.
30) Park management are keen to emphasise the garden's eco-credentials so have plonked two signs in the central ditch telling us that "this sunken channel is a swale. It provides wet, marshy habitat for wildlife and directs rainwater away from the path and into the soil", but the signs do nothing for the overall aesthetic of the site which'd look nicer if they were removed.
31) Nobody's got round to putting the London Blossom Garden on the official QEOP map yet.
32) It's odd opening a memorial to a health emergency that hasn't finished yet, although it's uncertain whether London faces a handful more deaths or a full-on rolling wave.
33) It's a lovely idea, well executed, but you'll have to come back next April to see it at its best.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan23  Feb23  Mar23  Apr23  May23  Jun23
Jan22  Feb22  Mar22  Apr22  May22  Jun22  Jul22  Aug22  Sep22  Oct22  Nov22  Dec22
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21  Jul21  Aug21  Sep21  Oct21  Nov21  Dec21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
our bow
ian visits
blue witch
on london
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
bus and train user
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
from the murky depths

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
20 years of blog series
The DG Tour of Britain

read the archive
Jun23  May23
Apr23  Mar23  Feb23  Jan23
Dec22  Nov22  Oct22  Sep22
Aug22  Jul22  Jun22  May22
Apr22  Mar22  Feb22  Jan22
Dec21  Nov21  Oct21  Sep21
Aug21  Jul21  Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards