Newsletter – January 2024
It’s been said before, we had a magnificent QPF year which culminated in a vibrant and colourful end to 2023. New Year’s resolutions are made for the prom with quite a few exciting highlights to come. May I wish everyone a Happy New Year, the best of health, success and joy!
Kicking off the festive season in style, a large group of volunteers ventured out to Kew Gardens to be dazzled by the amazing lightshow extravaganza Christmas at Kew. Some of us had seen other similar winter light shows before but we all agreed that this one topped them all. What a jaw-dropping kaleidoscope of imaginative and breathtaking sights accented by softly wafting music, and all powered by 100% renewable energy.
The next day, we organised our own QPF Christmas party with homemade nibbles, other sweet and savoury delights and the obligatory mulled wine. Many thanks to Jenny and So-Shan for brewing and bottling up a yummy sloe tipple again, sloes collected from River View Garden no less. At one of the volunteer days just before Christmas, the Mayor of Kingston Cllr Diane White popped by to cheer us all on with delicious biscuits and warm words of appreciation and best wishes for 2024. Madame Mayor, you are always a most welcome guest in the Pocket Park!
One of our recycling-themed projects came to fruition this month: a significantly larger compost area. Phil and Michael assembled it at lightning speed, using donated wooden pallets. It quickly filled up with plenty of autumn leaves which others had gathered from the lawns and from underneath benches. There are three sections to it, one to add fresh green and brown waste, one for allowing it to decompose, and one for all the leaf mould. More detailed guidelines are pinned to our noticeboard.
Meanwhile, our ‘usual’ prom work continued, be that planting, leaf collecting or weeding. So much did Julian enjoy the pleasures of autumnal leaves that he seemed to grow extended wings. 😊
Oh, and did I mention that another sizeable donation of plants and bulbs was madethanks to Sarah’s inspirational outreach efforts. Therefore, a call to arms had to be issued a few days before everyone was ready to don sparkling holiday attire to spend time with family and friends; after all, those plants and bulbs needed to settle into their new homes as quickly as possible. Again, amazing collaboration, many thanks to the generous contributor, and hopefully Sarah will be able to get her car cleaned since it was heaped to the rafters.
Meanwhile, work on Phase 2 of the Italian Garden continued. As expected, it will be a long hard effort clearing roots and rubbish, as well as shifting excess soil, to reveal more of the Victorian terraces. We know it will be worth it next year when the prom will feature an expanded Italian Garden for everyone to enjoy.
January in focus at QPF
If this unseasonably mild weather persists, we will concentrate on clearing the enlarged Italian Garden. As mentioned before, many hands, spades, forks, pickaxes and buckets are required, but the QPF stamina is now legendary, so progress is assured.
If time allows, we may also start to outline the new woodchip path linking the Bandstand Garden to the toilet block. Creating something from nothing isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but by pooling our collective ideas and skills we will make it happen.
A warm welcome to Elif who recently signed up to join our community. Please do come to one of our volunteer sessions and find out more. Anyone else who feels the urge to help improve the prom and enjoy our community spirit, please do come too. Wouldn’t that just be a fabulous New Year’s Resolution?
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, please don’t be shy. 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 please see our QR code below or contact us directly.
Looking forward to seeing you on the promenade.
Chairman, Queen’s Promenade Friends