Skip to content
Home » Newsletter – April 2023

Newsletter – April 2023

  • by

Newsletter – April 2023

Dear Friends,

At last, we can welcome spring. The daffodils and crocuses are out in full glory and the first shrubs have burst their buds covering nature in a faint weil of fresh green. Not much longer for the tulip show to take centre stage; we planted well over 1,000 bulbs again last autumn.March highlightsA big thank-you to everyone who participated in our tools maintenance session. There was quite a bee-hive activity of scrubbing, cleaning, disinfecting, sharpening and oiling our gardening tools. Thank you Graham for managing it all so efficiently!

The clearance and planting of the Italian Garden are complete, hooray! It took us over half a year to restore this splendid section on the promenade, and so many passers-by are full of praise for our efforts. To bring the Victorian terraces back to life, we have carefully selected about 20 plant specimens and put about 200 of them in this garden. A massive job well done all!

After last month’s planting of cherry trees at the Grove Road entrance, we took delivery of some topsoil from Glendale for the restoration of the Surbiton promenade entrance (thank you Andy!). It allowed us to create a completely new flower bed, immediately planted up with drought-resistant and shade-tolerant plants, and the lawn will be restored too. Have you spotted the 500 snowdrops we added to the new composition of our henceforth to be known Woodland Garden?

The ballot for our new garden name (between Uxbridge and Catherine Road entrances) has landed on Raven’s View Garden, a nod to its location opposite Raven’s Ait. Until not that long ago this area sported Victorian-style flower beds, sadly now grassed over due to lack of resources. A few of us have already put hand to fork, spade and shovel to cut and clear the outline of the new flower beds. We’ll be planting the new garden up in a more suitable character accommodating the impact of climate change on our flora and wildlife.

One feedback of our recent membership survey was a suggestion to introduce garden signage and plant labels. With her organisational talent, Carita sourced a stack of beautiful slate tiles and you will see them pop up along the promenade over the coming weeks. They will also serve as messaging boards to all promenaders explaining what we are up to in certain areas. Thank you Vronnie and Carita!


A group of us went on a guided sensory walk around Kew Garden. It was fascinating to experience how much scent the plant world already produces even at this relatively bleak time of year. Some great ideas and notes were taken for the design of our own sensory garden on the promenade later this spring.

As you know, the path in the Pocket Park has had a lot of wear and tear over the years. One part of it was constructed by us in the early days of QPF but heavy usage and rain has started to wash away the substrate; the other part is broken concrete many decades old. Graham has applied to get it restored, and RBK Council has approved our request to allocate funds from NCIL resources. A brand-new path
 will be constructed of durable, permeable KBI flexistone material using stone and recycled vehicle tyres (KBI Flexipave | KBI UK | Flexipave). The trip hazards will go and it will improve safety for us, accessibility for visitors and attractiveness for all. Many thanks to all councillors on the Kingston Neighbourhood Committee and Graham’s project management!Finally, after all that March activity, we had good reason to cut a cake on 29 March, QPF’s 4th birthday. There was some delicious home-made cake, enjoyed with some bubbly and a good old cuppa. Happy birthday Queen’s Promenade Friends!

April in focus at QPF
With the clocks having changed, we are also switching the volunteering times to our summer timetable:

Wednesdays 14:00 – 17:00

Saturdays 10:00 – 13:00

With the Italian Garden project completed, we will be focusing on the creation of Raven’s View Garden. Preparations are in full swing.

Some important Save the Dates for your spring diaries: 

Coronation Weekend: As most of us will be watching the events on Saturday 6 May, we will be moving our volunteering session to Monday 8 May. That way we will be participating in one of the coronation celebrations, the BIG HELP OUT. If you haven’t already, please join our SOW-ALONG call to sow sunflower seeds at home and bring along your small plants on the BIG HELP OUT day, we will plant them in a sunny spot on the Prom for the community to enjoy. So-Shan: fabulous idea!

We will be celebrating QPF’s achievements and formally open our new gardens, most notably the Italian Garden, in a summer event on Sunday 25 June. Mark the date, more information to come out soon.The Sensory Garden project had a few twists and turns over the winter but is now back on track. We have sourced funding for it thanks to an extremely generous donation. Both the RBK council and the adjacent yacht club remain very supportive. To give the garden a magnificent backdrop, the wall of the yacht club building will be covered in a stylish mural. We are aiming to get this under way in May.

Finally, can we hear the wedding bells? Paul Miller got married on 1 April. Our very best wishes to you and your wife and many happy years together! Hope to see you again after the honeymoon.

New members

A big hello to Cecilia who recently signed up to join our community and who already worked with us on some volunteering days.

Last but not least

If other members haven’t worked with us for a while, or always wanted to but never quite found the time, how about that New Year’s QPF Resolution? Keen interest, some skills and energy are all that is needed. Please bring some gardening gloves and a mug. We hope you enjoy it.

Please remember to check our various social media sites for regular updates.

For any donations to the Queen’s Promenade Friends group, please get in touch or use our QR code. Should you wish to make a small regular direct debit contribution, please do get in touch.

Looking forward to seeing you on the Promenade.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *