Bulbs for London

Read the story of our initiative: Bulbs for London, bringing plants to the city center.

By Metropolitan Public Gardens Association

Chinbrook Meadow, LB Lewisham by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

Brightening up London

We're very proud of our Bulbs for London initiative, run in partnership with Taylors Bulbs of Holbeach. Instigated in 2012 by two of our Committee members, it's a real success story. Each Spring our bulbs brighten up London's parks and green spaces, large and small.

Rayners Lane Station by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

Helping the Community

All public parks and gardens in the 33 London boroughs are eligible. A huge variety of green spaces have received bulbs, including squares, wildlife gardens, housing estates, schools, hospices, city farms and streetscapes.  We also seek out forgotten sites, many in deprived areas

De Beauvoir Square, LB Hackney by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

London Squares

Squares are part of the mosaic of the London streetscape.  Apart from Brunswick Square featured here, we have also given bulbs to Red Lion Square, Russell Square, Arlington Square and others.

Abbey Gardens, LB Newham by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

BfL is an annual project which distributes spring bulbs to London's parks and green spaces, large and small, and brightens up London in the Spring.

St Paul's Cathedral Rainbow Bedding by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

This feeds into our remit to preserve, enhance and protect green spaces in London and is very much in line with the ideas of the MPGA founder, Lord Meath. He was one of the first to recognise the importance of green spaces for the health and wellbeing of city dwellers back in in 1882.

De Beauvoir Square, LB Hackney by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

In November each year, at the end of their selling season, Taylors let us know how many bulbs they have available and then the challenge is on to find suitable homes for them, bearing in mind the bulbs have to be planted before Christmas.

Each year from the many applications we receive, we have to choose around100 deserving recipients. To do this we enlist the help of some of our friends in the gardening world, including London in Bloom, CPRE London, LGT, Fields in Trust and the LFGN.

They help us by circulating the offer to their wide range of contacts, giving the scheme the vital coverage we need across all the London boroughs.

Roe Green Village, Brent (2020) by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

In 2012, our first year, the response was incredible and this has continued, with each year being oversubscribed. Back then we adopted, with Taylors, a criteria to enable us to be as fair as possible when considering the applications.

Any public park or green site within the 33 London boroughs is eligible to apply for bulbs. We have supplied renowned locations with a high public footfall, such as the Garden Museum, Chiswick House, Southwark Cathedral, London squares and parks. 

Arlington Square, LB Islington by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

In addition we seek out sites which are often overlooked, many in deprived areas, as well as wildlife gardens, orchards, housing estates, schools, hospitals, hospices, city farms and streetscapes.

Raphael Park, LB Havering by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

We also try to keep abreast of events, for example in 2018 we gave bulbs to several First World War memorial gardens to mark the First World War Centenary.

Myddleton Square, LB Islington by MPGAMetropolitan Public Gardens Association

Renowned Locations

Taylor's prize winning bulbs can also be found at several of London's renowned locations, with a high public footfall, such as the Garden Museum, Chiswick House, Strawberry Hill House, Southwark Cathedral. In 2018, marking WWI Centenary, we gave bulbs to several Memorial Gardens

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The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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