Garden News


These pictures tell the sorry tale of a crab apple tree which was previously such an attractive feature of the garden down by the Gardeners’ Gate.  Between the hours of 10 am and 5 pm on Friday July 10 someone stripped off much of the bark and also scored the trunk with a knife or similar sharp instrument. As a result of this attack the tree will most certainly die as the bark is the conduit for the water it needs to survive.  If anyone witnessed any of this or has any information which could help to identify the perpetrator please contact Westbourne on 020 3626 0095 or as a matter of urgency.


This kind of vandalism is absolutely not acceptable when so much time and effort and – yes, residents’ money – is spent on making the garden look as lovely as it does right now, to the particular benefit of all of us, particularly at this time of crisis over COVID 19. Such deliberate acts of sabotage are thankfully rare but there have been several incidents of anti-social behaviour during lockdown: there have been three floods caused by children turning on the water in the manholes and three sprinklers broken by children – no doubt accidentally, but requiring costly replacements even so.


This garden is a wonderful asset to us all and it is in everyone’s interests that it is treated with respect. It’s beyond unfair if the behaviour of an unruly minority starts to impinge on the enjoyment and well-being of others who play by the rules - so please do take responsibility at all times for the actions of yourself and your family, particularly if it includes young children.

The Formosa Garden Board regularly produces a Newsletter that gives residents an overview of how the Garden is progressing against our plans as well as helpful tips on getting the most out of our Communal Garden.  The latest newsletter is shown below and copies of previous newsletters are available here.

Viv Robins is the Editor of the Newsletters and you can send her any ideas for content via

May 2020 Newsletter

A GARDEN IS A LOVESOME THING, GOD WOT wrote the minor Victorian poet Thomas Edward Brown, and he hadn’t even been banged up indoors for the best part of two months. But those of us who have are likely to be appreciating anew the beauty and tranquillity of our acre and a half of garden, which has given us an opportunity to relax and exercise afforded to relatively few in our densely populated capital. While this crisis is undoubtedly horrible it is nevertheless true that more people are out enjoying the garden than ever before and registering, perhaps for the first time, the huge amount of work that goes into keeping the flower beds so colourful and the lawns so well-maintained. The results are well captured in these pictures taken by a local resident, Hala, on a sunny day back in April.




Of course the work that goes on to maintain the garden in its pristine state can’t always be unobtrusive and we’d like to thank residents for their co-operation and forbearance during the recent pollarding and felling of trees. The felling was a particularly noisy operation and some might query why it needed to be done at a time of lockdown while so many residents were obliged to be at home, but the advice from our arboriculturalists was that those trees that did come down were in a bad and dangerous state.

In particular the interior of some of the major branches of this tree were found to be completely rotten and could have fallen without warning, representing a serious danger to life and limb.  As for the pollarding, that’s part of a long-established annual maintenance cycle which is in place to control the growth of trees to minimise the risk of subsidence, particularly to those properties along Warrington Crescent which in some cases are only about 10 feet away from the tree line. Even so we know there is nothing like the persistent whine of a chainsaw to get on people’s nerves at a time when they are already likely to be frayed, so thank you again for your forbearance in putting up with it. But the good news is the work is now done and we did provide employment for tree surgeons who might otherwise have struggled during lockdown.


A further piece of work which is literally in the pipeline is the installation of 50% of the new irrigation system for the flower beds. And our Garden Guru Sandy David is also investigating the cost of getting the perimeter path re-gravelled after the heavy rains – remember them? – which swept away much of the surface at the beginning of the year. 


Can we thank people for in the main observing the government’s rules on social distancing which have just been loosened by the government – though not a lot! Importantly the two-metre stipulation still remains in place when encountering those from other households. Please also abide by the revised Formosa rules which state that people should run or walk round the garden in a clockwise direction and that joggers and runners should keep their distance from the Warrington Crescent patios by coming off the path at that point and running a little further in on the grass. Please also ensure that for the time being no guests are brought into the garden which should be used solely by residents and their families. 



As you will know the various events planned for the summer have all been cancelled and the only one still in the diary is the Bonfire Night event on November 7th. At the time of writing it’s still hoped this can happen -- and if it does it should be quite a party! The AGM, scheduled for July 1st, is going to have to take place virtually via Zoom and Crispin Sampson-Bancroft of Westbourne Block Management which oversees the gardens will be circulating instructions nearer the time as to how people can get access to this.

Meanwhile these Newsletters are having to go out largely by email but as not everyone is on Westbourne’s data base please share your copy with anyone who might be new to the gardens or with tenants, and perhaps for the future encourage them to register with Crispin via or go directly to the Formosa Garden website at

The sense of community here is a wonderful thing. And perhaps now we can add a new slogan to that of the government: We’re stronger together!  

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