This page was updated on Friday, 01-Mar-2024 20:10:02 GMT

The Pavilion Gardens

The Gardens - and The Wick-ed Gardeners: a potted history

The gardens located adjacent to the Pavilion were created by Basildon Council just as the finishing touches were being made to the Park back in 2003. The Council facilitated the creation of a group of volunteers to look after them, and this group became known as The Wick Weeders. Within a short period of time the broader group known as the Friends of the Wick Country Park (FoWCP) was established, and the members of the 'Wick Weeders' formed the nucleus of the initial FoWCP Committee. The Wick Weeders was recognised as a sub-group of the FoWCP.

The 'Weeders' met, usually twice a month, for about three hours, when participants busied themselves with tasks such as weeding, planting, pruning, watering - not to mention chatting, catching up on the gossip, having a well-earned tea break, and a bit of a laugh! The photo gallery and notes below document the past achievements of 'the Weeders' since those early steps, now some 20 years ago!

The original Wick Weeders group was badly hit by the twin effects of Covid-19 and the dwindling availability of volunteers to lead and support it. However, some great news: the birth of the Wick-ed Gardeners!!!.

The committee is very indebted for the work that, for many months during the otherwise lean times, Jackie Watson undertook, sometimes single-handed, sometimes accompanied by Denise Murphy, to keep the Pavilion Gardens looking cared for, and the Committee Members of the Friends Group are extremely grateful to them both.

Welcome to the NEW Wick-ed Gardeners!!!!

After a long break the gardening sessions started again at the Wick Country Park on November 9th 2021. New arrangements, new name - welcome to the Wick-ed Gardeners! Everyone is welcome to come along and help out. For coming session dates and meeting arrangements, please visit the News Headlines page.

A look back in time: the Pavilion Gardens through the years and months since 2003.......

The pictures below were taken over a period of about 20 years, and show how the gardens have changed over time, and through the year from deep winter, via Spring, Summer, Autumn, and then back to Winter.

January / February

The very first signs that Spring may be less than ten weeks away are beginning to show, with the Spring bulbs - daffodils, grape hyacinths, and bluebells - just poking above the soil level. Also, the self-seeded forget-me-not seedlings are beginning to develop quickly. You may think that all the 'untidy' seed-heads are a symptom of our laziness - but, you would be wrong! They will not be cut down for a while yet, as they provide a source of food for the birds and a hiding place for different varieties of the Park's wide range of over-wintering insects, which are vital later in the year to keep the ecology of the Park in balance. But there is still plenty to do - those pesky weeds are also on the move and they will hide the bulbs if we don't keep on top of them NOW! There's also some 'heavier' maintenance to do, such as tidying the weeds from the pathways BEFORE they spread over the flower beds! Fabulous exercise - do come and join us on one of our sessions!

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The primroses look great and the daffodils are just beginning to open. The two types of cornus ('Dog Wood') will have been pruned by the end of the month.

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This is a very busy time in the garden, but the rewards are beginning to show. The daffodils and primroses are past their best, but the honesty, the forget-me-nots, the tulips, and the grape hyacinths are flourishing, and many of the flowering shrubs are just beginning to show signs of coming into flower - including the hawthorn hedge at the back of the garden.

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By the start of May, the weeds are growing rampantly, so it is a very busy time for the gardening group. The daffodils and primroses have been and gone, but the shrubs are now in full leaf, and flower buds are just beginning to open. The cornus looks a vibrant green, and the forget-me-nots have conveniently filled the spaces in between! And just look - the Green roof is turning, well, RED as a good covering of wild poppies has taken centre stage!

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Showing how the garden has grown over the years. The first picture was taken in 2009, the second in 2013, whereas the 3rd, showing the development of the green roof on the storage container, was taken in 2016. The fourth, fifth, and sixth pictures shows the red and white flowers of the Rosa Rogusa (Shrub Roses) that grow in front of the Paviliion Building. Those shrubs are still thriving in 2024

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These pictures were all taken in 2016. The first picture shows the perennial sunflowers as a backdrop for the lavender - all of them now well established. The second picture is a view across the shrubs, with the 'green' roof of the clad container in the background, and the third homes in on the roof of the clad containser. What's in a colour? The green roof was red back in May but now it's turned YELLOW!! The fourth picture is a view of the garden taken from the adjoining field, showing the clad container and the natural wild hawthorn hedge in the background, with the line of poplars towering above that.

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Crazy! The first two pictures taken in mid-October 2015 include shrubs that should be flowering in Spring alongside gorgeous deep Autumn colours! The third picture is more in line with expectations - the perennial Sunflowers making a great backdrop to a typical Autumn scene. The fourth and fifth pictures show how the garden had matured by October 2017.

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The late Autumn colours really are a joy to behold, and the garden looks every bit as good as it did in high Summer! Do take a little while out from your busy life to come to admire it! Even better, why not offer a few hours of your time at one of our gardening sessions to help to keep it looking good!

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December arrives, and perhaps the garden is now at its bleakest. It's not bad, though, is it? The gardeners will still be out for at least one session this month, weather permitting, so why not come and join us? Remember, For coming session dates and meeting arrangements, please visit the News Headlines page

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Some of the gardeners 'at work'

Firstly, some pictures from the archives.......

Our intrepid Weeders, Peter, Nikki & Chris before a hard session, well I assume it was 'before' as there is no sign of sweat or dirt !! Eric shows an excellent example to the younger volunteers by getting stuck in, and Dorothy is putting her back into it.

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..... and some pictures from late 2023 and early 2024

  • The first picture shows the eight volunteers who turned out for the session held on Tuesday 27th February 2024, posed by the rose bed, which was the main focus of attention that day. Left to right: Lin, Marie (almost hidden), Barbara, Lesley, Jackie, Charlotte, Ann and Denise
  • The second picture shows four of the group working in the large bed to the left of the main path from the carpark. Left to right, Jackie, Ann, Charlotte and Lesley. Taken in January 2024
  • The third shows the group convenor, Marie, showing the products from her endeavours with the secateurs. February 2024.
  • The fourth picture, taken in October 2023, shows a spot of diversification: in the foreground, Jackie, and half hidden behind a tree, Denise, who were busy planting donated bulbs around the base of the trees that line the entrance road from the Tresco Way / Mersea Crescent roundabout
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