Planting in St John’s Churchyard
St. John’s Churchyard offers a leafy respite for its local community of residents, schools and businesses. Cherry and magnolia trees provide fragrant blooms in spring, while the age-old London planes and chestnuts provide ample dappled shade (perfect for picnics) in summer. Planned improvements to be completed in June 2020 will see new wildlife and wetlands beds planted with a range of wildlife-friendly species.
The park features a rain garden, designed by landscape architects Churchman Thornhill Finch. The planting scheme contains a series of sedges, poppies and borage installed to ‘establish a gentle meander, creating a moment for passers-by to become more immersed in a richer planting palette’*. The rain garden provides a significant space for local wildlife, rich with insects and loved by local bees. To read more on St John’s wildlife, click here.
In 2020 St. John’s Churchyard has undergone significant improvement works to make the park more inviting for local people (and wildlife). Two additional colourful planting beds, wildflower turf and a community allotment bed will provide a more visually arresting display and offer residents an area to cultivate vegetables.
* Andrew Thornhill | Churchman Thornhill Finch Landscape Architects
The park’s hard landscaping also provides some puzzling activities for visitors. Sculptor and letter carver, Gary Breeze, was commissioned to design an installation for St. John’s Churchyard, culminating in an artwork that is set in stone at the entry points to the park and next to the western side of the original church foundations.
The artwork contains broken-up passages about the local area, set in different fonts, to create a historical passage puzzle. It encourages visitors to explore the park in more depth and provides some fascinating insight into its history.