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Get involved in renovating Kirkstall’s ‘secret garden’

As winter progresses and gardens change with the harshest of seasons, there are still opportunities to get involved in looking after them, writes James Corah.

Kirkstall in Bloom will have its last gardening session of 2016 at the end of November and there also be a clean-up session for a potential garden on St Ann’s Lane.

Following discussions with Cllr Fiona Venner and Mandy Long (St Stephen’s Well Garden), we’ve been looking at how a small plot of land next to the St Anne’s Lane/Queenswood Drive/Kirkstall Lane junction.

Even though it’s overgrown, very unloved, and not overly accessibly, it has potential.

When I met with Fiona and Mandy earlier this year, standing in the very centre, it was very easy to lose sight of the traffic and buildings just the over side of the stone wall.

I could imagine a couple of benches, a secluded secret section of garden to escape to, to enjoy peace and quiet in.

It needs attention though, and people to get involved with what needs to be done. Between myself, Cllr Fiona, and Mandy we agreed to have a tidy-up session on Saturday 26 November 2016 from 10:30. There is a Facebook event set up with lovely pictures of the overgrown ivy.

Once we’ve got the area cleared we’re going to see about what can be done.

The images on Facebook do not do the garden any justice, there is certainly space for a number of benches and a short circular pathway.

This is going to be something throughout next year, so even if you are unavailable on the 26 November your help in 2017 would be much appreciated.

The little corner garden is a surprise with a lot of potential. It is on the Ward border with Headingley, next to Queenswood Drive and St Ann’s Lane, so I’m looking to get a lot more volunteers to be involved as we progress.

kirkstall mural 3
Clean-up is planned at the Drink and Be Grateful Fountain

As if that wasn’t enough gardening, the final Kirkstall in Bloom session of 2016 will take place on Sunday 27 November at 10.30am at the Drink and Be Grateful Fountain Garden.

There’s work to be done (we’ll be planting bulbs, which are my absolute favourite plants), though there’s going to be celebration, our achievements of the year and the 151st birthday of our fountain.

It has been a very special year for me as a community activist and volunteer.

Kirkstall is a fantastic ward to live in, the community groups that fill its boundary are all working towards making their parts of Kirkstall even more special and vibrant.

I know that not everyone will want to turn their hands to gardening though there are plenty of other groups that are doing things, working together, coming together, that I urge readers to make volunteering one of their new year resolutions.


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