28 September 2020
Let there be light
At last, the garden has four new colour changing LED lights on the back wall, with lighting modes set on a remote control and On/Off settings, programmed on a digital timer.
Soon after the new installation, the digital timer developed a fault and started running away with the time at 10 times the normal rate! Life is fast enough as it is, so the clock was replaced very quickly and all is well again.
One of the old LED light fittings was still viable so this has been installed in the canopy of the Umbrella Pine tree as an uplighter, with its own digital time clock.
All this work, amounting to £560, was funded by subscriptions from the Friends of the garden and a donation from Woolston Community Association. If you can help fill the large hole in our bank account, it would be much appreciated.
23 June 2020
Umbrella tree and lights
Things have been very quiet in the garden since March 2019, with just regular housekeeping on our monthly maintenance days. There were a couple of high points, or rather low points, when we had to spend £370.00 on reducing the canopy of the Umbrella Pine tree, as it was starting to envelope our neighbours property and then the coloured LED lights to the back wall failed and blew the main fuse. Power has now been restored and we are looking into the best deal to replace the LED lights.
Due to Corona virus, the team haven't been able to get together in the garden since 29th February 2020. Individuals have been tidying the garden occasionally during the lockdown, but we are pleased to report that we will be starting up operations again on Saturday 4th July 2020 for a socially distanced gardening session.
Please say hello as you pass through the garden!
7 March 2019
Woolston Millennium garden then......
Have a look at the two fascinating photographs below - one showing the present day garden site and the other superimposing the bombed out National Provincial bank onto the present day view. As you can see in the present day photo, an ornamental pier from the old bank still exists. The images are courtesy of Mike Johnson.
For a better view, go to our Picture Gallery page and click on the images.
19 November 2018
Feather's foot freshened
We recently bought new masonry paint stock for the feather sculpture plinth and it has now been repainted in three vibrant colours. We just love a subtle paint job!
12th November 2018
Communicare will be shining a light in Woolston
Communicare's now traditional Tree of Light in the millennium garden will be switched on by the Mayor of Southampton, Stephen Barnes-Andrews at 5pm on Saturday 1st December 2018. This will be preceded by carol singing from 4.30pm. Woolston Christmas Fayre will be underway in Victoria Road from 2pm.
26th October 2018
Shadows of the past
To mark remembrance day and particularly the centenary of the end of WW1, a 'silent soldier' figure has been installed in the garden. This is part of a city wide initiative by Southampton City Council. Woolston's figure is actually a Royal Flying Corps pilot holding a propeller. The figure will remain in the garden until the new year, when, by arrangement with the council, it will be relocated to a more suitable position nearby.
20 October 2018
Mind the gap!
Following the removal of the large Pampas grass in July, we have recently planted Bay Laurels and Holly and seeded grass to fill the gap.
28 Septermber 2018
Spotlight on the digital age
The old analogue timers for the back wall feature lights and the large Umbrella pine tree have been unreliable for quite a while now. At last they have been replaced with state-of-the-art digital timers, at a cost of £155.00, funded by the Friends of the Garden. These timers are far more accurate and automatically adjust for British Summer Time.
In 2017 the Christmas lights were moved from the Umbrella pine to one of the pine trees in the raised garden adjacent to the car park. We hope to install an up-lighter in the Umbrella tree canopy as soon as funds permit.
20 April 2018
Noticeboard - new pinboard backing
The old pinboards inside the noticeboard frames were degrading rapidly, due to drawing pin exhaustion and UV light damage. We decided not to replace them with the same kind of material and instead have fitted pre-finished metal panels over the existing pinboards, to enable us to use small magnets to secure posters.
The metal panels were donated free of charge, thanks to a local resident and his business connections. This meant we only spent £17.52 on stainless steel screws, drill bits and tiny magnets!
22nd December 2017
Spotlight on the garden
We are pleased to report that a LED spotlight has now been installed to highlight the feather sculpture. The spotlight is fitted and powered from an adjacent lamp post and there will be no ongoing running or maintenance costs to the garden. Many thanks are due to the Friends of Woolston Millennium Garden, as the spotlight installation was funded from their kind donations.
6 December 2017
Woolston Christmas Fayre
Woolston Christmas Fayre took place on Victoria Road on 2nd December 2017.The now traditional Communicare "Tree of Light" was switched on in the garden by the Sheriff of Southampton at 4.30pm, after the children's lantern parade had arrived from Centenary Quay. This was followed by carols in the garden led by musical group "Rising Stars".
Find out more about what went on at the fayre at
14th November 2016
Itchen Spitfires Running Club
Our bank account is looking a lot fitter following the receipt of a £400.00 donation from Itchen Spitfires Running Club. The club have been using the garden as a meeting/starting point for a long while now and the members really wanted to make a contribution to the upkeep and development of a place that they really love.
In recognition of their support, we are pleased to display their logo on a plaque which was attached to the feather sculpture plinth today.
You can find out more about the club at www.itchenspitfiresrc.co.uk where you will also find links to Facebook and Twitter.
28 September 2016
Drastic Ceonothus pruning
The Ceanothus adjacent to the one we cut down in March has not been looking very well for a while, with the foliage seemingly dying back at the top. On 24th September 2016 we carried out some drastic pruning, removing the entire top part of the main trunk - a long coffee break afterwards plus multiple trips to the dump required! We hope that the plant will now grow into its new shape.
The photo below shows garden volunteers during the big prune and cleaning the named bricks on the path.
3 August 2016
Refurbishment of the feather plinth
The spikes at the top of the feather sculpture are doing their job in keeping the plinth below free of noxious pigeon droppings.
Now it is nice and clean, we have at last found the time to apply a fresh coat or two of masonry paint to brighten up the plinth. We have also fitted three circular metal plates to cover the long redundant light fittings.
20 March 2016
DOWN and OUT!
On 10th March 2016, we discovered that the large Ceanothus plant had collapsed away from the back wall. It crushed the pampas grass and ended up leaning against the feather seat. Over time the shrub had somehow developed into a full blown tree with a wide canopy and a very thick trunk and we were aware that it grown at an awkward angle. It is possible that a combination of persistent rainfall loosening the soil and gusting winds may have contributed to the eventual collapse. A local tree surgeon responded quickly and cleared everything away on the same day. A stump with a growing shoot has been left, in the hope that the plant will regenerate.
This has punched an unwelcome £150.00 hole in our funds, which were already depleted following the installation of the new lights. Any donations towards this would be most welcome at this time!
The loss of the tree has left a rather large gap behind the pampas grass, which we will have to address, pending the hoped for regrowth.
New Garden Lighting - November 2015
Check out the new feature lighting to the Triton wall in the garden. We're impressed - we hope you are!
Many thanks to the friends of the garden who provided the means to pay for the installation. Funds are a little low now, so please keep on supporting us!
Anti-pigeon measures - April 2015
Since the garden opened in 2002, we have been plagued by pigeons perching on the top of the feather sculpture and fouling the plinth below.
After much research for a suitable solution, we discovered we could buy short strips of transparent plastic anti-pigeon spikes which could be fitted to the top of the feather (to quote Corporal Jones from Dad's Army "they don't like it up em"). However, fixing them 10m up at the top of the feather proved more challenging!
On 28 April, Ally and his mate from St Mary's fire station came to the rescue and used their truck with access platform to do the job for us. Thanks are due to them for taking the trouble to help us out.
The spikes are unobtrusive and don't detract from the appearance of the feather sculpture. It will be great to clean the awful mess from the plinth for the last time and redecorate without fear of it being marred the very next day.