Public garden in Watton set to open after four year wait

A town centre garden which has spent years waiting for refurbishment could finally be opening this summer.

The Jubilee Rose Garden, in Watton, was named for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and was supposed to open for the celebration in 2012, but almost four years on it has yet to open to the public.

Now the town council has mounted a serious effort to get the garden near Tesco, off Thetford Road, open in time for Her Majesty's official birthday next month.

Yesterday three volunteers from the Watton branch of Norwich and Peterborough Building Society visited the garden, the first who have offered to help the small team managing the project.

Mel Wellard, Sam Head and branch manager Sharon Clark worked alongside Watton Mayor Beryl Bunning and councillor Keith Gilbert in the spring sunshine to trim existing plants, and weed and turn the flower beds ready for rose bushes to be planted.

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Eventually the garden will be fitted with benches to provide a town centre resting place for shoppers and families – as well as giving those without their own garden a chance to stretch their green fingers and indulge in some weeding and pruning.

Mr Gilbert, who has been spearheading the renovation project with his partner Rita, said: 'It is starting to look more like a garden now.

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'We want it very much to be a community garden. Hopefully this will inspire people to come along a do a bit of weeding.'

As well as being planted with rose bushes, the garden will have some apple trees planted, which members of the public will be able to pick fruit from.

Mrs Bunning said: 'What is happening in this garden, and the work the ladies from Norwich and Peterborough are doing, is a real inspiration.

'It is looking so much better now and once it is finished it will be a nice place for the people of the town to come and sit, to play, and do some weeding and pick some apples.'

The team managing the garden's renovation is currently in desperate need of more roses to fill the garden's beds.

Mrs Clark said the N&P branch in High Street will be serving as a collection point for people to donate roses for the garden.

If you want to volunteer to help with the project, contact Keith Gilbert on 01953 880172.

What do you think of the Jubilee Rose Garden project? Email

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