An interesting little item over on the always  excellent Londonist website alerted me to: "A formal garden fallen into wondrous wild neglect" - Nightingale Gardens off Bounds Green Road. This is a little space which I have often walked past without paying it much attention.

Does anyone know its history? - or ownwership? And why is it now neglected?

Read the full (short) article here and see more photographs and a map.




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The land itself is owned by Thames Water, because the New River runs under here - and comes out near Alexandra Park Station.  But it is on long term lease to Haringey Council.  The long tunnel from Myddleton Road was finished and open for the river in 1859.  The lovely hollyhocks come from seeds I threw on the sides of the rose garden some years ago, descendants of some seeds from Aswan in Egypt, and probably originally from the UK c1900.  Do contact me if you are willing to help with a bit of 'guerilla' gardening here, and across the road in the little bit of electricity land on Trinity Road.  My back not too good but have good pair of snippers and lots of seeds.

Caroline, Bowes Park


I could give you some time Caroline. As we're heading into autumn we'd be thinking of perennial seeds for next year wouldn't we? I love nature and gardens and I think they are more nurturing and restorative that people realise, so I'm all for greening our area.

And by the way, I have just listened to a wonderful programme on Radio 4 called the Spirit of the Beehive. Part of it featured a private initiative (can't remember the name) that introduced inner city kids to beekeeping. Totally inspiring.


The radio programme is still available for a few more days at the BBC iplayer - a really good half hour of public service broadcasting!

At the Enfield Show last weekend the Enfield and District Beekeeper's Association were doing a remarkable job of sharing their enthusiasm - and recruiting new members!

I love those crazy triffid hollyhocks, even more so now that I know that they've travelled from Egypt and were sown by a guerilla.

According to my 1912 Wood Green Map, the Greek School (currently for sale) used to be the Liberal Club.  A large portion of the gardens at that end was fenced off but had access through the centre of the rose/hollyhock garden and access both to the Liberal Club and to Avenue Gardens.  Not sure what the space was used for but it's roughly bowling green sized.

I have lived in the area most of my life, this was always known as The Rose Gardens as far back as I can remember. Every year at the front facing Bounds Green Road there was always a vast array of beautiful roses of all colours, but sadly these have all disappeared over the years, I do not know who use to look after them at the time, now all the roses have gone, but it is nice to see the the Hollyhocks in bloom with all their lovely colours.

The hollyhocks are blooming lovely!

Think the rose gardens as we called it was owned by Thames Water. Good to see people giving it a bit of love

Caroline’s hollyhocks make a fabulous display – I often see people taking photos of them.


A big shout-out to those dedicated members of Three Avenues Residents Association (TARA) who have done sterling work liaising with the council to re-site the noticeboard and provide a litter bin.  It may seem like small changes, but as anyone involved in this sort of thing know it takes forever and many emails to get anything done. TARA members keep the noticeboard up to date.


TARA also organises a Nightingale Gardens gardening and litterpicking event monthly on a Sunday morning (usually the last Sunday of the month).  Anyone is most welcome to join in – details on the noticeboard.  Thanks to Sue for organising this and to regular volunteers John, Shirley, Norman, Mike, Gary and anyone else I’ve forgotten/don’t know about. 

I am one of those people taking photos! 


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