An update on the communal garden

The Board keeps its various contractors under constant review and, as you will see from the attached section 20 notice, we are currently reviewing the gardening contract, both from a cost and performance view. This does not mean that we are unhappy with our present contractors, but it’s always good to get a fresh perspective from time to time and to check that our costs are competitive.

We are therefore approaching a number of contractors able to undertake the work to ask for tenders and will be pleased to add contractors recommended to the Board by residents.

It’s also a good time to find out what everyone thinks about the gardens. What your likes and dislikes are, what you’d like to see changed, what you’d like added, what you’d like taken away……………..

The Elgin Avenue frontage has had a similar planting scheme for some years. Are residents happy with that or are there suggestions for changes? In particular the dry areas at each end of the block have been rather dull – any thoughts on how they might be improved?

The Grantully Road side, in contrast to the sunny Elgin Avenue aspect, is in shade for the majority of the day throughout the year and so needs to consist principally of shrubs – pruning to shape and staggered flowering times form the pattern here.

For many residents who work hard during the week, the central garden represents an oasis of calm, especially during the summer evenings and weekends – visitors are inevitably envious.

The current layout does provide an interesting set up with non-aligned beds, trees and shrub borders giving different heights and secret corners. There are several quite large lawn areas and residents using the garden always seem to be able to find their own patch to enjoy. Some people like lots of grass, others like lots of plants, some like barbecues and parties, some like quiet restful space, some have ideas about landscaping – there’s even been a suggestion in the past for a swimming pool (sorry, much too expensive!).

You will have noticed that we have pruned some trees again this year as part of a regular programme. The grass will shortly be scarified (to removed accumulated mosses and weeds), aerated (to improve rooting and drainage) and reseeded. Certain areas of the grass are difficult to keep in prime condition, either due to tree shading, sunny and dry areas (heavily used in summer) or due to compacted and dry soil where building debris was dumped in the past.

Because of the shading of the central garden, in particular from the Elgin block, it essentially has the characteristics of a woodland garden and summer bedding plants, which require very sunny conditions, will not flourish. However, we will continue to gradually renew planting with flowering shrubs, winter flowering bulbs, roses, clematis etc.

The provision of garden seating and the barbeque has proved popular and helps residents enjoy warm spring and summer days, when we are so blessed!

Please let us know what you think – or even that you don’t care! Feel free to say anything at all – that way we get the gardens that we are all happy with.

John Sutcliffe.


2 Responses to An update on the communal garden

  1. Carol Patricia Huet says:


    We are owners of 43 Ashworth Mansions and have been since 1993.

    The small garden to the right of the steps leading into the block could do with a change of plants, arranged a little more artistically I think.
    It has looked like that for as long as I can remember.

    It should at least complement the pretty frontage of the main block.

    Dare I look forward to a change in the months to come?

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