An end of year report by Bhaktivedanta Manor ‘s Head Gardiner, Narahari Rupa das:
“As 2023 comes to a close, we take a look back and reflect on the work we have done and what we have contributed to the community. I am very proud of the work the Garden team have done, as well as thankful for all the volunteers who we had the pleasure of working alongside. The Temple grounds are always evolving and this year the pedestrian path – suitable for buggies and wheelchairs- along the driveway was completed. A very welcome addition to the grounds! The new Japa garden, found alongside the orchard, is almost complete and both the Srila Prabhupada and George Harrison Gardens had an uplift.
“In 2022, in partnership with Gratitude charity, volunteers planted an impressive 10,000 flower bulbs around the Manor grounds, it was a great success! So this year Gratitude brought even more bulbs – mostly bluebells and snowdrops – and again with our dedicatrd volunteers we managed to plant a further 27,000 bulbs along the driveway and around the lake. This spring visitors will be greeted by an array for spring flowers all through the season.
“In addition, we also planted around 200 trees and plants around the temple, some of these replacing unsafe older trees or trees damaged after storms. Replacing these British native trees ensure a healthy habitat for local wildlife for years to come. We take a similar approach when tending to our driveway hedge, balancing a tidy-look with a wildlife conscious overview, during the colder months where there are less leaves on the hedge. Visitors may notice that the hedge has been laid using an old English hedge laying method, which encourages wildlife and a healthy ecosystem.
“During the summer months Janakula prabhu has his hands-full, growing thousands of flowers for the Deities, although outdoor work can be physically demanding, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing these flowers offered to Their Lordships on the Temple shrine.
“One of this year’s highlights was building a ‘mini Ravana’ for the Krishna Club to celebrate Dussehra. It was a joy to see 200 children with their families celebrate the festival.
“Again, I would like to give my thanks to the hard-working garden staff, all the volunteers, New Gokul farm helpers, charities, Temple Managers and departments who support us in our work. We look forward continuing our efforts together in 2024 in service of Sri Sri Radha Gokulananda!”
Narahari Rupa das