Monday, 28 November 2016

Storeton Road Tree Planting.

It was 2014 when we had the big tree planting event on the Oxton Fields, with the help of countless enthusiastic volunteers, many of them children. However, since then, lots of the trees were vandalised or succumbed to lack of rain or disease. Only two of the ten larger alder trees which were planted along the Storeton Road side of the fields managed to survive, although they too are looking sickly.
After discussion with Neil Garnett from the Council, we agreed that replacement trees should be planted this November. The Council paid for some of the replacements and the Friends funded the others.

Despite dreadful rain and hailstorms the night before, we met by Rightway on Saturday 19th November to plant the new trees. A mechanical digger had already dug large holes then refilled them a few days earlier, so our task was much easier. The main problem we faced was that the ground was so saturated that our tree holes kept filling with water and mud.
Here you can see our Secretary Peter next to one of the alder trees.               

Perhaps you can see from this picture how muddy it was. We had to leave planting one of the trees as the ground was far too wet nearest to Rightway. Each bare root tree was given a good start with a whole bag of compost, a sturdy stake and tree tie and a protective metal mesh cage, to prevent vandalism or damage of the young tree bark from Council mowers.

This picture shows how large the trees were when they arrived, ready for planting.

The completed row of alder trees. Let us hope that these trees remain healthy and are left alone to grow into beautiful mature specimens for us and future generations to enjoy.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Summer Border

The long herbaceous border in the Rose Garden is looking wonderful at the moment. At the top end nearest to the Quarry the pink Phlox and orange Alstromeria are in full bloom. Many of the Geraniums are starting to go over now, only to be replaced by the Sedums and other late Summer flowering perenniels.
 About halfway up the border all the Leucanthemums are opening their bright white daisy flowers. There are huge swathes of them which make a real impact. In contrast you can see this impressive Veronica, its blue flowers standing like candles, which are highly attractive to bees and hoverflies. Nestled close to this is Lychnis Coronaria. The cerise blooms above silver foliage complement the Veronica beautifully.                            

In this photograph you can get a feel for the length of the border; the cerise flowers of the Lychnis Coronaria are punctuating it at intervals. At the back of the border the Philadelphus is arching over with a mass of orange blossom scented white flowers. The Sedum is visible in the foreground.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Phase 3 Rose Planting

 After lots of hard digging to prepare four large beds for replanting, the Friends gathered in the Rose Garden on Saturday 19th March 2016. All the new bare root roses had been delivered the day before and the weather was ideal. After a dry week the soil was much more pleasant for the task  of replanting up the four rose beds. The roses going in this time were orange roses called Fellowship and white roses called Pride and Prejudice. Also some white roses called Silver 25th Anniversary.

The scouts and other youth groups had prior engagements so it was a real team effort to get all the roses planted. We worked hard and by 11.15 am the first bed was completed. After a short tea break, we cracked on and managed to plant up two more beds before stopping for a late lunch.

Here in the picture on the right  you can see our refreshment table . Some of us used wheelbarrows to pile mushroom compost onto the beds prior to planting, others assisted greatly by dipping the bare root roses in a Miccorrhyzal  
solution before passing them to the diggers as soon as a hole was ready. All this team effort meant quite an efficient system and all four new beds were finished by 3.15pm.

We still had some orange roses spare so decided to plant them in another bed of orange/red roses where there were lots of gaps. Although we were starting to tire, we carried on and all the bare root roses were in the ground by 4.30pm.

Many passers by spoke to us as we worked. One couple joined the Friends group and another young girl walking through handed us a £10 donation towards our Rose Appeal.