Profile: Darren Larbey

Darren Larby

Darren is a Preston Park Gardener. He’s been gardening in Preston Park for around 12 years.

What is it you enjoy about the work?
I enjoy working in the park – I like the variety of flower beds, different sorts of sports and the lovely trees. I think the park’s got everything. I like gardening. It’s satisfying to make something look nice and the praise I get from people in the park makes me feel good. I like working outdoors too, except when it’s freezing cold like today!

What would you say are your contributions to the park?
Well, one of the things I’m proud of is the annual border [that’s the border on the east side of the tennis courts, facing the children’s playground] – it’s now more of a mixed border. I’ve been trying to improve it over the last three years and have used a lot of my own stuff – my own seeds and plants I’ve acquired as well as some bulbs. I regard it as my own project really; it’s not finished yet though.

I helped to create the wildflower bank along the lime tree walk at the north of the park. The rains washed the seeds down so the flowers didn’t go right up the bank. I’ve prepared the area under the old hedge ready for sowing a mix of wildflowers which will look good in the spring/summer.

What do you think is the best thing about the park?
I think the dahlia walk [that’s the borders which line the path between the tennis courts] – in the spring and summer it looks amazing. And, at the beginning of the Autumn, if you’re by the clock tower looking back towards the Rotunda, the rusty autumn colours of the trees in the woodland walk looks fantastic. I love the variety of trees.

What are your ambitions for the park?
I’d like to see something more creative done with the unused bowling greens – perhaps combine two of them and put in wooden fitness apparatus.

Any personal message to readers?
Yes, would people please stop their dogs from pooing in the flower beds!!