'The best thing about a picture is that it never changes even when the people in it do.'

Norman Leddy Memorial gardens is a true hidden gem in Hayes. Nestled behind the Beck Theatre it is easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there.

Stepping into the gardens it is like someone has pressed the pause button on the day to day stresses, everything gets much quieter, you can no longer hear the traffic, the soundtrack is the birds chattering and singing. You could easily forget the busy Uxbridge Road is less than a 2-minute walk away.

The garden has a spectacular collection of exotic trees and shrubs, with a bog garden and woodland area and there is always something to admire and delight in. Each season the garden has treasures to reveal and it always looks amazing.

My favourite season at the gardens is spring. The gardens host a large expanse of daffodils, all standing proudly and looking fantastic. The first time I found the gardens that was the first thing I could see, daffodils stretching for ages and it was a magnificent view and that was the moment I fell in love with this beautiful place.

The garden itself was once part of a private house with a formal garden and walled kitchen garden, it was gifted to Hayes and Harlington UDC and in 1961 it was established as the Hayes Botanic Garden. It was extended in 1990 and renamed the Norman Leddy Memorial Gardens after the former assistant director of parks who died in 1993.

Pride of place in the gardens is ‘Night time scene’ a sculpture commissioned by the council to make use of an old yew tree that had died. The sculpture is of a girl watching a fox at night-time, it is looking at a moment in time and evokes a sense of fascination and awareness between the fox and the girl.

The BoB camera club visited the gardens in December and it was a first time for everyone as they had never been there. It was lovely to see others delight in the gardens and some fabulous photographs were taken that day. We had planned to return to see the daffodils in the spring but sadly Covid-19 came along and BoB was closed until further notice.

Finola Sullivan

Service Manager

Hillingdon, Build On Belief