Derek – Friday 29th April 2022

We had a bumper crowd for our Spring Celebration on Saturday, over 200 attendees eager to be out and meeting again after a depressing couple of years. We had music from The Smoke Remains with Paul M. Jones guitar/vocals, and Paul Romane harmonica/vocals. Then the Dog Jammers who had more than a dozen performers with an impressive set lasting around an hour. All acoustic, you need the numbers in the open air, belting out standards and folk, reminding me of my days with some of the band, around Woodcraft Folk campfires, until smelling of woodsmoke, dawn rising, we staggered to our tents.

Blessed are the cake-makers for they shall see empty plates. Our food and drink was largely cleaned out by the crowd, which is as it should be. There were many children searching for the letters for our egg hunt. The letters were scattered round the garden, hanging off bushes and trees, giving the children, and parents they drag along, plenty of exercise. I noted many succulent mini rock gardens. We supplied the bits and pieces and invited attendees to make their own to take home.

Our tadpoles are a hit. I estimate 10,000 and who is going to contradict? So many, all over the pond. There will of course be a great culling from predators and disease. And there’s always some who stay at this embryo stage, like stubborn Peter Pans refusing to grow up.

There were numerous compliments on our new railings. How they made us more visible; passers-by could see what was going on and be tempted to come in. I was at the gate, greeting people, and there were quite a few first timers who we are always pleased to see.

With Jubilee money, we are having a picnic with music in the garden on Friday June 3. And there’s another party outside the garden on Saturday 4th, organised by an Earlham Grove resident. The garden will be open for that too. Jubilees are not my thing, but I like street parties. They are good for neighbourliness and we do need celebrations after two dull years. I noted the organiser of the Earlham party chatting away to some of the musicians at our spring do, so there’s bound to be music there too. That’s an important function of our garden, creating links to encourage events and creativity in our neighbourhood.

And then there’s the big one: Forest Gate Festival on Saturday, July 2. The garden will certainly have a stall, with plants for sale and a hands-on activity. There will be bands and soloists on the stage at the end of the street, and dancers and stilt-walkers parading up and down. Kay Rowe will cater for under-fives, and there will be a climbing wall for older children. If you want to book a stall too, the link is:


Our cherry blossom has all but gone. We were hoping it would hold out for the Spring Celebration, but it has been windy, and the blossom is lightly held. Much of it is scattered below the trees like the aftermath of a wedding. We have apple blossom and pear blossom, and the hawthorn is living up its name as the may tree with its blooms amidst new leaf.

Water is our obsession. It has been such a dry April. Our barrels are running low and we feel the loss of the tap we had when the building site next door was going up. When the builders left, they disconnected us. So we hope for rain, and if it doesn’t come we’ll be calling on our members to bring in water.

Comments 1

  1. A correction. The Earlham Grove Street Party will be on Sunday, 5th June (not 4th as stated above). It will be outside the garden on the stretch from Sprowston to Woodgrange. It runs from 11am to 5pm with food, music, and neighbours to get to know. The garden, as an Earlham resident (you might say) will be open.

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