Wanstead Community Gardeners’ Projects – Primroses on Wanstead Place

Primrose planting on Wanstead Place

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Beware the Primrose Path – or even better, create one.

One of the delights of community gardening is the harvesting/reclamation of plants. A few months ago an interesting house was demolished in Elm Hall Gardens. This is a little cul-de-sac down Kingfisher Avenue past the two wonderful 18th Century houses. The second one is Elm Hall and the houses in Elm Hall Gardens must indeed have been built on the site of the garden. I was told by someone who lived there once that they were constantly finding bits of statuary when they dug in their garden.  There is a little patch of lawn, shrubs and flower bed in the middle of the cul-de-sac which must be the last remnants of the gardens of Elm Hall.

The house I mentioned was a very characterful 1930s building which had been in a sorry state for many years. I was sad to see it go.  The back garden was a carpet of primroses, the real ones and I suspect that they were there when the gardens of Elm Hall existed. Absolutely delightful but destined for the bulldozer and the skip.

Not so.  After many visits we had rescued these delightful plants and they went all over Wanstead.  They have been added to the line of primroses under the concrete picket fence in Wanstead Place.  Next year, there will be a carpet of Elm Hall primroses in the garden of Christ Church. Other church gardens have benefited too, as has Nightingale Green and they have been shared with local street community gardening groups. Finally, a clump was planted in the remnants of the garden of Elm Hall, that little patch in the cul-de-sac. Strangely, there were none there but it seemed the natural place for them to be.

How satisfying this all was! The characterful house has gone and two new homes will be built and hopefully, happily lived in. The primroses go on in their new patches of earth and should give much delight for years to come.