Wednesday, 13 May 2020
Clearing the fruit area at the Triangle beds by Pippa
It seems the combination of weather events this year (excess rain followed by warm and dry weather) meant our currant and berry bushes were being heavily invaded by long grass, nettles, 'sticky buds' (also known as cleavers, Latin name Galium aparine) and the odd bramble and in fact when we started this clearing project the fruit bushes were really very hidden.
As people stopped to say hello we explained what they were and many hadn't realised. Anyway it's pretty rewarding pulling up all that stuff (bar nettles, hate those, I always get stung) and gives you a feeling you are 'freeing' the good stuff.
The currents and raspberries are already fruiting in small form on the plants so there should be a good crop for people to pick a few as they go past.
The plum and apple trees look better too. The plum fruits suffer from 'pocket plum' and no longer form proper fruits.
We cleared loads of 'weeds' the first session. A second session was needed to finish that job - by now I was crawling pretty much inside the fruit bushes as you get slightly obsessed with getting every last strand of grass out.
Alona then wheelbarrowed the good-quality compost we'd created in our bin in the park, and we started spreading it around the cleared beds. It looks really great now.
During these sessions I was very distracted by The Triangle looking stunning with Forget-me-nots (Myosotis) but really taken over by the 'sticky buds' so I couldn't resist clearing some of those out. There's bindweed in there too though that's a big job for next time.
It was great to be back having a 'presence' in the park (Alona and I working at 2m apart was easy). People do always stop to ask questions and we can remind them about FOMP.
We even had our first FOMP Zoom meeting this week so the Friends certainly are still being active despite many of our planned activities having to be cancelled. At least we got our new benches (from the Greening Fund) put in just before lockdown. Just a reminder that we always are looking for more people to join the small but active FOMP committee!