In celebration of the NHS’ 72nd birthday, The Royal Parks charity has created two special flowerbeds in front of Buckingham Palace, containing 45,000 white and blue flowers.
Measuring 12 metres by 5 metres, each flowerbed spells out NHS in giant letters that can be enjoyed by park visitors and even viewed from the sky. The special flowerbeds are located in the iconic setting of the Memorial Gardens, that is part of St James’s Park, and sits in front of Buckingham Palace.
Every summer, the Memorial Gardens are planted with 22,500 plants grown in the Hyde Park Nursery. One of the plants included in the annual design is scarlet geraniums, selected to match the tunics of The Queen’s Guard at Buckingham Palace. This year marks the first variation of the design in decades.
Mark Wasilewski, Park Manager at St James’s Park, explains: “We believe it’s the first change of design to the Memorial Gardens in decades, perhaps since the First World War when the flowerbeds were planted with potatoes. We wanted the flowerbeds to replicate the colours of the NHS, so the letters are formed of white begonias, against a blue background of drought resistant succulents. Happy birthday to the NHS and thank you for everything you do.”
Rob Dowling, Assistant Park Manager at St James’s Park, said: “We have a long tradition of commemorating events and major occasions through the use of carpet bedding. For the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, a 3D crown was planted in St James’s Park, but this is the first time we have done this in the Memorial Gardens. We hope it demonstrates how special the NHS is to The Royal Parks and is just a small token of our appreciation for all their hard work and dedication this year, and every year.”
The NHS flowerbeds, will be in situ until mid-September. Following this the Memorial Gardens will be filled with 50,000 yellow wallflowers and red tulips, ready for next spring.
We have been using the time during lockdown to completely renew our website. The contents have been updated in what we hope you will agree is an attractive and easy to navigate design.
As has been the case everywhere during the COVID-19 lockdown, the Bushy Park Visitor Centre has been closed. It is operated by volunteers from the Friends, on behalf of The Royal Parks. Our volunteers are aware that the service they provide through informing and educating visitors to the two parks has been absent. We are hoping that we can enable the volunteers to offer a reduced service at the Visitor Centre that is safe for all. We will announce new arrangements as soon as we are able to do so.
As the Visitor Centre has been closed, we have been unable to sell the Bushy Park honey which many of you love. The beekeepers have had to deal with a few mishaps during the Spring, with some damage and disasters affecting several hives. Despite that, the remaining bees continue to produce, and it is hoped that we can start selling the honey again as soon as we re-open the Visitor Centre. In case that is not soon, we are also examining the possibility of a “click and collect” service via our online shop on the new website. We want to keep you sweet
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