This Saturday is Big Dig Day - the annual day when community gardens welcome volunteers and visitors, new and old, to explore how to grow food and celebrate the start of spring and the new growing season.
This year there are two Big Dig Day events being organised by the Friends of Broomfield Park. One in the new Community Growing Space which the Friends have been working on for the last couple of years. The other in a much older feature of Broomfield Park - the Long Border.
The Long Border runs alongside the Grade II listed West Wall, which dates from the 18th Century or earlier. The wall continues to fulfil its historic function of separating the formal gardens and ponds in the vicinity of Broomfield House from the parkland that is now referred to as the Upper Field. It was shown on a map dated 1754 as being lined with trees, but some time later, probably after the house and grounds were sold to Southgate Council in 1903, the trees were replaced by the familiar perennial herbaceous border.
For decades the Long Border has been one of Broomfield Park's most notable features, but unfortunately the days when councils could employ large teams of gardeners are long gone and it's not for nothing that the border is called "long". The park now has only one gardener, so the Friends of Broomfield Park's Conservatory team often come to her help. This Saturday they are calling on anyone who fancies putting on their gardening gloves to come along and help them weed and renew the part of the border which is next to the Conservatory.
There will be two sessions, from 10am to 12.30pm and from 2pm to 4pm - though if you can only spare an hour, that's fine. You'll be working alongside some expert gardeners, but if you don't belong to that category don't let that put you off - it could be a chance for you to pick up some new skills and make some new friends, and the Palmers Greenery community cafe, with its home made cakes, is only a minute's walk away!
If you have them, please bring along weeding tools, garden fork or spade, but if you're not able to there will be some available in the park.