On the A35 intersection by Oakdale Surgery in Poole there is a little bit of a tucked away heaven for reading and nature!
Oakdale library is one of the smallest and most underused libraries in the Borough, yet it is the perfect place to come find a new book and sit down for a little bit of peace and quiet. On top of that when you exit the library you walk in to a surrounding area of stunning garden, which has been created and maintained completely by a small and dedicated group of volunteers. The Oakdale Library Gardens Association began in April 2013, when local users of the library realised the potential in the relatively large bit of grassland behind the library. What began as a humble piece of lawn has now been turned in to ‘The Bookerie’ which could not be made more perfect for grabbing a book from the library and sitting down to a bit of reading in the sun. ‘The Bookerie’ area was created purely from incredible work from volunteers and a lot of donated plants and fencing from local businesses.
On top of ‘The Bookerie’, the group have developed a children’s play area dedicated to get young library users to get engaged in nature and reading. From a man built out of plastic, to bug hotels and a small sink tub pond, this is an area for children to revel in and make a mess, what children love to do best!
This isn’t all either! The group have taken up the work of three more areas of the surrounding garden to the library as well. On top of the serene ‘Bookerie’ and nature area for children, the group have also developed a commemorative garden, an adventure trail and a rockery garden, all in smaller areas of the garden yet all perfectly formed and incredibly well-thought out. The commemorative garden has a bespoke mosaic of a poppy as well as some beautifully maintained plants and shrubs. The group have created an adventure trail through the front of the library, where children can hide in bushes, sail a pirate ship or look at murals dedicated to reading. Then at the front of the library is a rockery planted up with perfect plants for the recent dry weather. The use of spaces never fail to amaze and is the perfect excuse for anyone to volunteer or get out in nature in general.
However, whilst all of this sounds amazing it really is the smiles of the volunteers that make the garden such a unique experience. There are only a small group of volunteers who look after the garden, around 5, but they are dedicated and love nothing more than coming down to the garden each Monday, what they have achieved really cannot be undersold. If you want to carry out gardening in an amazing space with a lovely lot of volunteers, and maybe pick up a book from the library afterwards, this is the place for you!
Oakdale Library Gardens Association have a volunteering session at Oakdale Library every Monday morning between 9AM and 11AM. they are always open to new volunteers joining!