A glorious  sunny morning ended  with rain just as we had finished.  13 of us spent a couple of hours weeding and tidying the beds round the entrance and sides of the memorial garden, clearing the hard standing, and  clearing the pond and filters  of leaves. We also removed a number of Ailanthus seedlings and saplings in the Park. Thes trees , the Tree of Heaven,  has number of  medicinal uses in the far east, but is a  foetid, quick growing  and unstable tree as was found in Hedgemead when one came down, taking out the railings and  the roof of a neighbouring house.

Clearing the Hard Standing and the Pond

Clearing the Hard Standing and the Pond

Gardening, November 22

Tidying and weeding the Entrance to the Memorial Garden

The gardening volunteers spend a good few hours a month in the park and have done for the last 7 years. So we decided to have a little gathering upstairs at the Pulteney Arms  just to say thank you for all the hard work, and to have a gossip about everything other than the park and plants.

Volunteers gathering at the Pulteney Arms

Volunteers gathering at the Pulteney Arms

Volunteers gathering at the Pulteney Arms

Volunteers gathering at the Pulteney Arms

Volunteers gathering at the Pulteney Arms

The Chair, Secretary, and Park Keeper

The threat of a miserable morning held off for an hour’s good gardening with 10 people turning out : Clearing the pond and filters, sweeping the paths and entrances at Sunderland Street and Henrietta Street,  tidying up some of the  perennial bedding plants and starting work on one of the hedges.

Last week the Council had grubbed out some of the laurels  where a new low maintenance insect friendly bed is planned.  More work for the future…

New Bed in the Memorial Garden

New Bed in the Memorial Garden

Gardening Team

Gardening Team in conversational mode.

In spite of a gloomy start to the morning of the 23rd, it turned out sunny and we had a splendid turnout and achieved  quite a bit towards our new forward plan which is on the website under gardening.

The Box moth has devastated British Box over the last few years, and all our plants except one have been removed, including two ‘domes’ in the memorial garden. We will replace these with Yew  taken from elsewhere in the park and which we will clip into shape.   We also had to remove a Viburnum carlcephalum in the Memorial garden which  died over the summer. Elsewhere weeding, pruning of laurels sweeping of the paths was completed.

The council have been busy as well and have grubbed out a number of laurels in the Memorial garden where we plan a new low maintenance bed for insects.

We trimmed the Holly by the Sunderland Street entrance which caused such amused adverse comment from the Visiting Austrian Gardeners and SW in Bloom and  we had a very welcome visit by volunteers from Bath University brought by our councillor, Dr Kumar. Many thanks and a good job was done by all.

Sunderland Street Holly

Trimmed

Golden Lime Leaves

Golden Lime Leaves

Dr Kumar brings student volunteers from the University of Bath

Dr Kumar brings student volunteers from the University of Bath

Clearing the Yew Berries

Sweeping the paths and clearing the yew berries

Autumn colours

Autumn colours

We had two  excellent gardening sessions in August in spite  of the heat. We have  concentrated on the Sunderland Street entrance   and the Memorial Garden.  Watering has been an issue  but most plants have survived. A number of trees have been taken down: ash has suffered from die-back and several have been removed; part of an Acer negundo fell near the Henrietta Street Entrance, and the rest has been removed; a fine old Birch in the Memorial Gardens has been taken out as the bark  round the base had rotted away. This still leaves the holly at the Sunderland Street entrance, and  a major branch of the Bhutan pine has died.

The pond pumps have been a problem for years  but we now seem to have got  a solution with two new pumps that are designed for permanent running. So far they have  worked 🙂

Sunderland Street Entrance

Clearing the weeds

Pond Work, August 2022

Pump renewal

Pond Work 2, August 2022

Pump Renewal

You will have noticed the flag put up a week ago. Maria, one of our regular gardening volunteers  was up in London and volunteered to collect  the documentation. Many Thanks Maria.

 

Green Flag award

Green Flag, Lambeth Assembly Hall.

Green Flag award

Green Flag, Lambeth Assembly Hall. Maria collects the awards and the calories for Bath.

Green Flag

Green Flag, Lambeth Assembly Hall.

Green Flag

Green Flag, Lambeth Assembly Hall.

Sunderland Street was  watered and weeded this morning   and the pond and beds watered in the Memorial Garden.

You will be pleased to know that we have been awarded the Green Flag again, and Maria, one of our regular volunteers, will be up in London to receive the flag. So well done to everyone.

Then last week we walked round the Park with a fascinating group of Austrian landscape people (designers, gardeners, engineers and a forensic botanist) who were on a garden tour in Britain. We  exchanged  views –  the Austrians apparently have no  history of voluntary work in their Parks. We pointed out that with so many cut backs over the last 20 years, the voluntary sector is very important, not only in physically maintaining the green spaces, but in developing a sense of community and ownership.  Gardening problems  and climate change were discussed over a pint in the Pulteney Arms : the Austrians are currently cutting down all their conker trees which provide such excellent shade, as the moth, which attack our trees, damage the trees so much.

A very enjoyable couple of hours.

Some of you will have noticed the work being undertaken by the tree team. Ash die-back, the removal of the Witch Hazel by Sunderland Street,  trimming of some of the lime trees ( which are renowned for dropping branches)  have been dealt with in the last couple of weeks. One of the two Silver Birch trees in the Memorial Garden will have to be removed soon as well. Silver birches are not long lived trees and this one is losing its bark round the base. The ash trees were probably saplings that escaped management and the ginkgos will benefit from their removal.

Tree TeamHamamelis

A glorious Sunday was spent  tidying up, weeding and watering.  A new man was on thebin duty last week and misssed  some of the bins but  he will soon find out where they l  were. Last week we lost half of an Acer negundo near the main entrance quite unexpectedly. The fall did no damage and the tree was cut up  the next day.

This week we will be taking out most of the Box bushes that have succumbed to the Box Moth caerpillars  but we will try and keep a couple of them. And the Catalpa bignonioides aurea, the Golden Indian Bean, is looking splendid at the moment. I have included an   excellent example of  stretching exercises should you feel inspired to do little more in this glorious weather.

Acer negundoexerciseThe best treesCatalpa

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