Since it’s formation The Friends of Chalcot Square Gardens have been able to redesign the layout of the Square around a newly paved central area. Curved benches and York paving stones were positioned in this space replacing the uneven concrete slabs and old benches and flowering cherry trees were planted around the edges of the central ellipse. The old dilapidated play area had become unsafe and in 2014 was replaced by a new playground area designed by Alison McDonald with other members of the committee. While it is of necessity, only a tiny space, it is in constant use by younger children.
Over the years the Friends of Chalcot Square have planted a variety of new trees in the Square, including a beautiful catalpa and several crabapple and damson trees. Several attempts have been made to establish flower beds on the South side of the Square, but we discovered that shrubbery survives better. Flowering bushes such as ceanothus, viburnum, winter flowering jasmine and choisya have been planted over the years. Most recently a lilac bush and two cornus bushes have been planted in the Square.
Every year The Friends of Chalcot Square hold a daffodil planting day in October and old and young come to help. The bulbs are replaced annually. and we add to them each year with snowdrops, bluebells primroses and muscari. To encourage naturalisation of the bulbs, the grass around the perimeter of the Square is left unmown, and every year we try to establish wildflower growth in this meadow area. The display of daffodils and other bulbs in the Spring is truly uplifting and much photographed.
While Camden Council mows grass and prunes bushes and trees, the Square residents look after the flowers and young trees. New ideas are welcome and are discussed by the Committee. Recent suggestions have included a climbing log for the play area.
How to join in
The Friends of Chalcot Square Gardens appreciate new ideas for the Square and also welcome people who would be interested in joining the committee. Please contact our Chairman if you would like to join.
By Caroline Strachan, Head of Garden Sub-Committee