Saffron Central wants to go out with one last burst of colour

Croydon’s town centre saffron farm is again appealing for donations and volunteers for one last summer spree of colour before the builders move in on Queen’s Gardens and the site of the former council offices.

This year’s theme is to be “Hearts and Rainbows”, with Croydon Pridefest taking place in Queen’s Gardens on July 15, the 17,000 crocus sativus corms which were once bedded down on the building site have made way for what the organisers hope will be “a stunning display of colour and creativity in the heart of Croydon”.

Donations of plants and artworks are needed in the colours of the rainbow as seen in the Pride flag: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple.

“With half-term and heat waves imminent, it’s a great time to be outdoors and what better way to show some love and pride for Croydon than to share plants, arts and good conversation in this very special yet unusual community garden,” said Ally McKinlay, Croydon Saffron Central’s founder.

With 90 square metres to fill with plants and crafts, the garden will be judged for the RHS London In Bloom “It’s Your Neighbourhood” Awards on June 30 before unveiling at Croydon Pridefest.

“While we hope the community will support the project by donating plants & art installations we’d be also very grateful for people helping to repot plants, watering, feeding and getting the site to look as great as possible,” McKinlay said. “Any spare plant pots that are 4 inch (10cm) diameter or wider would be useful for repotting.”

The gardens will be open for volunteers on the following dates:

• Sat May 27 – noon-5pm
• Tue May 30 – 6pm-8pm
• Thu Jun 1 – 5.30pm-8pm
• Sat Jun 3 – noon-5pm – Artists Paint and Create Day (Plants welcome too)
• Tue Jun 6 – 6pm-8pm
• Sun Jun 11 – noon-5pm
• Sun Jun 18 – noon-5pm

Croydon Saffron Central is within the former Taberner House site. The best way to gain access is to stand at the old fountain in the middle of The Queens Gardens and look towards the blue glass building. There is a small door and there should be a flag flying whenever we’re open. It’s about a seven-minute walk from East Croydon and 10 from West Croydon. Lots of buses and trams stop nearby.

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