News September 2014

We have published our latest newsletter. The text is below and the PDF is available via the link at the bottom of the page.

HIGHLANDS GARDENS is located at the junction of Abbotts Road and Leicester Road.

Autumn Picnic Saturday 27th Sep 2pm-4pm

Please come along on Saturday 27th September 2014 from 2pm to 4pm. Bring a picnic blanket or chairs to relax. Come and meet your neighbours. There will be free food and hot drinks. Traditionally 'the games' include Tug of War, Treasure Hunt and fun races on the main field. Please note that should the weather be unkind to us this event will be cancelled. Check the sky or the notice board nearer the time for information. We will also have a key for the toilet block (which is only open on special occasions).

Friends Group Update

The Friends of Highlands Gardens Committee meets every few months. The complete minutes are available under Meeting Minutes. Helen stood down as Treasurer but then decided to stay on in the absence of a replacement - if you would like to volunteer or join the team please let us know.

We plan and run the picnics and liaise with and encourage Barnet Council Greenspaces Team to improve and maintain the gardens. We are very pleased with their dedication. We discuss the trees, plants, shrubs and weeds in the gardens and try to restore the gardens to their original glory and structure them to flourish in the years to come.

We have pondies, shrubbies, planties, flowerers, tree lovers and those that know nothing about nothing but are willing to lend a hand and learn.


There are about 15 fish, we believe, in the pond now. However, they have been really hard to spot recently. Do have a look and see how many you can see.

A Greek Proverb

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

Thank YOU

A big THANK YOU to everyone who uses Highlands Gardens and picks up the litter left by less tidy people. Please also continue to use the Dog Waste bins to keep the area as clean and safe as possible. Anything we can do to keep our space looking good and feeling welcoming can only benefit us all.

Gardening Club

The last Gardening Club of the year will be Saturday 4th October from 10am. We'll be planting a few new shrubs as well as weeding and light pruning.

Please come dressed for gardening, with gloves and stout shoes. All ages and abilities welcome.

October will be the last Gardening Club this year until we resume again on Saturday 7th March 2015 at 10am. There may be enthusiastic efforts outside of these times though.

Gardens Update

With the water so low in the pond due to lack of rain, the pump has not been running. Also, the old pipe taking the water to the top of the stream has corroded away, so if the pump was turned on most of the water would end up in the surrounding soil and not the stream. You may have noticed a trench being dug from the old pump house up through the flower beds to the top if the stream. Barnet Green Spaces Team are having a new pipe installed and once it is fitted we expect the stream to be flowing regularly again. Quotes have been requested to repair a crack in the pond.

Adopt a Place

The council runs an Adopt a Place scheme, and the Friends of Highlands Gardens have officially adopted the flower beds around the pond, inside the fenced area. This means that the council's contractors will no longer maintain those flower beds, and will leave them to us. They will still mow the lawn in the upper half above the bridge, and look after the trees. The council remain responsible for the whole of the rest of the gardens, outside the fenced area round the pond.

We can plant new plants, as we have already done, and are hoping to get some mulch to spread, but our main task is to keep the weeds down. In most of the area we won't be able to get rid of all the weeds, so it is a matter of letting the current ground cover grow, whether it is ground elder, docks or buttercups, and removing the growth at strategic intervals to avoid the decorative plants being swamped. We are gradually establishing a pecking order amongst the plants, for example the plan is to remove all the sedge in favour of the plants around it. New volunteers are always welcome. We mainly do the work at the Gardening Club sessions on the first Saturday of each month (10 am to 12 noon), but we can arrange to be there at other times if it suits people better. No particular skills are needed to join in --we can tell you all you need to know.

Cyclamen Sedge Cyclamen

Notice Board

Take a look at the Notice Board in the Gardens for up to date information on our very successful working parties (first Saturday of month from 10am -noon) and other activities.

AGM Report

The AGM was held on Tuesday 6th May at 18 Abbotts Road. The accounts were adopted and existing responsibilities maintained.

We are also delighted to see the growing attendances at the picnics/planting days. If you are interested in knowing more then please introduce yourself - whatever your skill set.


Don't forget the Met Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team: Office 020 8721 2846 for reports of any anti-social behaviour. The general number for non-urgent calls is 101.

Don't Forget

We hope to see you at the Autumn Party -- Saturday 27th September from 2pm.

Support Us

We ask for a small suggested annual donation of £5.00 to help us with the administrative costs (which are very small) of the Friends of Highlands Gardens. The donation also covers the cost of public liability insurance which is necessary so we can have working parties in the garden and hold community events, like the recent picnic. Please drop it in to Helen Oubridge (Hon Treasurer).

Please make cheques payable to Friends of Highlands Gardens and send them to 122 Leicester Road with your name, address and email address and whether you are an existing member. Many thanks.

HG Newsletter - September 2014.pdf167.5 KB