As some of you may know, my son, Nick sadly died in the Netherlands in September 2012. His friends asked if we could make a place in St Albans where they could go to remember him. He was only twenty-three and we lived in St Albans for sixteen years so it seemed a very good thing to do. We were originally thinking of a tree or a bench. Then, I found out that the Highfield Park Trust was creating a new area of woodland in the park not far from where we used to live and were asking people to sponsor trees and get involved in planting them. I contacted the park manager and explained about Nick and that we wanted to sponsor some trees and if possible have a bench.
On a sunny Sunday morning in December about forty friends and family got together and planted an area of 240 trees in Nick’s memory. I think most of us found it a cathartic and positive thing to do. Obviously, some of these trees will be thinned out over time but it is good to think there will be trees there for many years to come. Nick would have been twenty-four at the end of February and we should have the bench ready. If the weather is suitable we want to plant some wildflowers at that time. Hopefully, we can carry on and have several planting sessions.
I was going to buy some wildflower plugs but then I thought the Hardy Planters might like to help me and it would be nice to have plants that have been grown locally.
Do you have any wildflowers you would be prepared to give me to plant in the new wood? I’m thinking of things that are fairly tough as the trees are only small whips at the moment and the site was a field. So things like snowdrops, primroses and foxgloves come to mind, but I’m sure there will be other suitable plants. If you have any plants you could spare, please bring them to the February, March or April meetings.
I would be really grateful, thanks, Margaret Marshall
When we found out Nick was missing some friends of my ex husband set up a “Missing Nick Marshall” page on facebook so when we were organising the tree planting we told people about it on facebook – “Remembering Nick Marshall – Tree planting at Hither Wood” (http://www.facebook.com/events/297887183645810/). There are some pictures here to show people what it might be like in a few years and also some taken of us all at the planting which have been posted on the Highfield Park St Albans Facebook