Congratulations to Frances and Caroline for setting up a lovely stall on Starch Green at the May Madness festival. They managed to sign up quite a few new members to WPGF as well as raising nearly £70 from the sale of plants, seeds and homemade cakes and jam to help buy more plants, compost and tools for the park!
We received another large delivery of shrubs and plants on the 10thMay, fortunately after a day of heavy rain which made it much easier for the volunteers to dig them into the south border. This has made a great difference to the appearance of the western end of this bed and several gaps have now been successfully filled in.
On the north side of the park, pupils from Wendell Park School have planted seeds at the eastern part of the narrow border which runs between the dog exercise area and Cobbold Road and these are doing well, particularly the sunflowers. The Gardening Friends have also planted a small herb garden at the western end of this border which transformed this formerly overgrown area into a very interesting corner.
The ideal growing conditions of the last few weeks has also benefitted the weeds which have sprung to life and are aggressively colonising the borders. We are doing our best to keep them under control and are hoping that as many volunteers as possible will come to help with weeding, feeding and watering on Saturday 1st June from 10am and on every 1st Saturday of the month over the summer and autumn.
Great excitement in the park today when a swarm of honeybees paid us a visit. Fortunately our local Bee Keepers Association representative was on hand within twenty minutes to find them a new home!
It is so lovely to receive positive feedback from local residents who are now seeing the results of all the hard work put in by the Gardening Friends last autumn.; and with the temperatures looking to stay warm this week, things are only going to get better!
Next Saturday 2nd March will be the first monthly gardening morning of 2019 (first Saturday of the month from March till November) we hope to see as many people as possible armed with gloves, boots and whatever garden tools they can get their hands on. Come and spend a couple of hours in the fresh air and help us get the borders tidied up and ready for summer!
The snowdrops planted last year have been flowering in the southern border since Christmas and have now been joined by celandines and crocuses whilst a lot more bulbs are pushing through the soil’s surface and will form a colourful swathe beside the path. Bulbs planted by the local scout group will soon be brightening up the northern border and the Gardening Friends have put a low willow edging here, the willow comes from trees cut back by the Council on Wormwood Scrubs.
During the last few weeks a considerable amount of ivy has been removed from the border between the dog area and Cobbold Road which will help the roses flower more easily during the summer, there is still some digging to do here and children from Wendell Park School and also cubs and scouts from the 28th Hammersmith Group will then be able to help with the planting. Ivy is also been removed from the Cobbold Road gate pillars.
More bushes, shrubs and plants have been ordered which will fill out the south and north borders, they should arrive Friday 1st March and we will be planting them on that day and the also the morning of Saturday 2nd March, volunteers are most welcome to come and help.
A great deal has been written about the health benefits of gardening. Take a look at this article published in 2017 in The English Garden magazine
Be sure to check them out here!
On 13th October we were joined in the park by a team of Scouts from 28th Hammersmith Scout Group led Group Scout Leader Neil Docherty, who jumped to the task of clearing leaves and planting spring bulbs. We look forward to seeing them both again (the Scouts and the bulbs!) in the Spring and we are hopeful that this will lead to a long-term collaboration.
Our Annual General Meeting was held at the Duchess of Cambridge on 1stOctober 2018 and was attended by members together with Councillors Rory Vaughan and Rowan Ree.
The chairman, Simon Grange, gave a resume of the busy year’s activities, reported on income and expenditure and also future plans for the south and north borders in Wendell Park.
Thanks were given to Stefan Czedlazinski (LBHF Parks Officer) and Steve Cassidy (Wendell Park gardener, idverde) and all members of the committee who have worked so hard during the year, and particularly to the volunteers who have supported the group.
Regular users of Wendell Park will have seen a group of dedicated volunteers watering the newly planted south border during the long summer heatwave, some days bringing heavy plastic containers of water on shopping trolleys and doing it by hand and other days running a hose from nearby houses until the council installed a tap in the park and we could run a hose from there. Apart from one tree, everything appears to have survived the summer heat, including the two new birches planted in the dog exercise area.
Several volunteers (adults and children) joined the first Saturday of the month maintenance days when weeds (which seem to flourish regardless of the temperature) were removed, persistent new snowberry shoots popping up through the soil dug out and some necessary pruning was done.
As the summer progressed, the sunflowers and nasturtiums grown and nurtured by children from Wendell Park School brightened up the bed between the dog exercise area and Cobbold Road.
We have now started removing the ivy which completely covers the north border and once it is dug over shrubs will be planted on this bed which enjoys the sunshine particularly in winter months.
We have ordered over a thousand new bulbs and will be planting them on between 10 am and noon on Saturday 6th and 13th October in both the north and south bed, we hope families will come as it is a great opportunity for children to get involved.