Long term followers may remember that way back at the beginning of the first lockdown, when I had just moved to Highgate and started this blog, I discovered a ‘secret garden’ on my way down to the heath – but could not find out any more about it. Well now, over a year later, all has been revealed – thanks to the Highgate Festival.
The festival contacted me in connection with my Salon Music venture, to know whether I might be up for arranging a concert in one of the gardens in Highgate during the festival. Since my own garden is likely to be a builder’s yard for most of the summer, I was delighted – so they suggested that I look on their site to see some of the gardens that might be available. So I did.
However, what I found was not only three videos about Highgate gardens, and a fascinating video about the Highgate allotments that I had posted about only a few days ago, but…. A four minute video (spool down to the bottom of the page) about the Old Orchard Garden – our very own secret garden!!
The garden used to be part of the Kenwood House grounds but around 12 years ago it was turned into a community and education garden maintained by the volunteer group, Heath Hands, who help look after the heath. Although it has, of course, been closed for the last year, when restrictions are lifted it will go back to welcoming schools and other community groups to visits its pond, its grasssnakes and hedgehogs, its butterflies and wild flowers and to have fun in its willow tunnels, its den and its fire pit. I have put myself on a list to volunteer with Heath Hands so hopefully, I will actually get in there one day!
Meanwhile, to keep you in touch with the other wild life around the heath, our super friendly Egyptian geese down by the boating pond and – could these be starlings up in the tree? It was a horrid grey day so apologies for the dull video, but they did all seem very chatty.