I arrived in Vauxhall earlier than expected. Usually it is a very busy part of South London, but today it was uncharacteristically quiet. It was a ‘Bank Holiday Monday’ and most people were probably still enjoying their beds. But in the world of freelance filming, bank holidays don’t really exist – so here I was, early for work in a new part of town.
I had noticed on the map that there was a small park nearby and I decided to pay it a quick visit. London has many large and famous parks, such as Hyde Park or Green Park. But in this built-up corner of South London, I wasn’t expecting this little green space to be particularly impressive. So it really was a wonderful surprise wandering into Vauxhall Park.
I had imagined it would be merely functional; an easy-to-manage open space for joggers and dog walkers, with perhaps a few urban trees. Instead, as I entered the gates onto a wide path, I was greeted by landscaped gardens and a flurry of cherry blossom littering park benches like confetti.
Shrubs and well-established evergreen and deciduous trees have been planted in harmony – beautifully placed to provide colour and shape throughout the changing seasons.
It is clear that this little park has been designed with everyone’s needs in mind, with plenty of space for joggers and dog walkers; as well as quiet dog-free zones filled with floral borders.
For families with children there is an adventure playground and even a pretty model village surrounded by colourful tulips and primroses.
But perhaps the most surprising aspect of this park is the small but perfectly-formed lavender garden! Even though it was too early in the year for any flowers, the familiar scent of the lavender leaves filled the air.
Local residents tend to this lavender garden and there is a ‘Community Harvest’ at the end of each summer. The ‘Friends of Vauxhall Park’ post updates on the notice board and they actively assist in gardening and the general upkeep of the flower beds.
Vauxhall Park really is a wonderful hidden gem that is clearly valued by the local community. Beneath the canopy of trees is a hidden oasis – perfect for escaping the concrete jungle and relieving the stresses of urban life.