Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Workday at the Triangle on 21st July 2016

Would it be too hot and humid to work in the Triangle garden? That was the question being asked the day before,after one of a series of very hot (over 30 degrees C) and humid days.
Would we have enough volunteers to make a significant impact on the overgrown plant beds?
The rainy weather in May and June, coupled with warmth, had seen a small amount of bindweed turn into a strangling mass of long thin strings winding round our herbs. The herbs had also grown and were falling across the woodchip path throughout the plant bed, hiding the path.
Herb bed looks more like a nature reserve
Hard to know where to begin!
As for the adjacent fruit bed, that too was overgrown. The raspberries were doing very well much to the joy of passers-by who grazed the fruit but the grass had grown so that it was impossible to see the stepping logs and the patch with primroses and blueberries was only visible if you knew it was there. Pulling away the long grass exposed this patch.
Grass removed to expose the blueberries and primroses
The woodland style wood chip bed that meanders behind the hedgerow and in front of the dawn redwood tree to the water fountain was bare and needed a deep layer of fresh wood chips, while the path edge logs were rolling away and needed to be bedded in.  The tree stump 'den' opposite the raspberry bed was shouting for a bit of a trim too.
Tree stump den opposite the raspberry bushes
It turned out to be a reasonable day, hot but not scorching,  with clouds and a light breeze. By 11am the Nature's Gym volunteers, and leaders Jess and Judith, had arrived. Before long the volunteers had done their warm-up exercises, tools were given out and work started. In total, and including Mayow Park volunteers, there were 13 people. 
Working hard at our tasks
Tasks were chosen and everyone got on with the hard work of making the beds look  cared for. We all worked so hard that the time flew but luckily someone realised that we had gone beyond the normal tea time/ lunch break.  Without further ado, hot water flasks came out of the van; tea-bags, coffee, milk and biscuits too. And everyone took a well-deserved breather.

Lunch break on the grass, in the shade of a tree, in front of the cafe
After lunch we all carried on with our tasks. And, as before, we lost track of time. The path by the dawn redwood tree looked better for a good layer of fresh wood chips laid along its length.
Wood chip path by the dawn redwood tree
It was almost time to stop. Two of the volunteers would not give up until they had finished laying wood chip mulch along the path through the herb bed.
The Nature's Gym volunteers were determined to complete the job
We cleared up all the green waste and piled it up ready for the Glendale grounds maintenance team to collect to take to a garden waste recycling centre.
When all was finished, Judith and Jess were finally able to pose for the camera knowing that a huge amount of clearing and tidying had been achieved and that the work of their volunteers was really valued by the Friends of Mayow Park.

It was time to look at the garden and note the cardoon plants, with their purple flowers just emerging atop the tall stem structures. Other park users were also admiring these grand architectural plants and noting the bumble bees flitting between the flowers. 

Cardoon flowers looking beautiful
There is still more work to do as the bindweed has also colonised parts we did not manage to clear. So a call to park users for another workday is on the horizon. 
Thank you to all the Nature's Gym folk who turned up and worked so hard to help.

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