The Willow Gardens has 11 courtyards, several large grassed areas and walk-ways, and garage areas all of which have a wide variety of trees, shrubs and plants. It is part of the identity of the estate and one of the attractions of living here. The job of maintaining the gardens is the responsibility of Greg Ramsden and Greg has looked after the gardens since he took over the maintenance in 2000. Greg also lives on the estate.
Most of the responsibility for the hands on work now falls to Colin Lewington and the other members of his team – Richard Benton, Peter Lavelle Maurice (who many of you will recognize as our litter remover) and Nigel Harriman. Colin and his team have worked with Greg for several years and their faces will be familiar to many of you. We keep our own gardening machinery and equipment on site, and as we do not contract the work out to a garden maintenance company we are able to keep the cost of maintenance down.
This group of gardeners has sole responsibility for ground care on The Willow Gardens and the gardeners are responsible for the care and maintenance of the planted areas. These include the parking areas, the walkways, the grassed areas and particularly the courtyards. The gardens are a communal resource for the enjoyment of all the residents and leaseholders are not expected to look after them. However if leaseholders wish to attend to the gardens outside their own properties (and it is clear that some do) by planting flowers or shrubs etc the management committee will not object provided the following requirements are observed:
- Gardening must be restricted to the planted area immediately outside the leaseholders own property.
- Pruning is the responsibility of the gardeners and existing plants/shrubs must not be cut down or removed.
- Invasive plants which may spread to other areas are not to be used and any additional planting must be in keeping with the rest of the courtyard. Plants which do not meet this requirement will be taken up by the gardeners.
- Pots, tubs, bins, containers and other obstacles which in the opinion of The Management Committee may constitute a hazard to free passage within the courtyard are not permitted.
- The composting of waste material within the courtyard causes offence to other residents and is not permitted.