A small but enthusiastic band of gardeners tidied up the orchard a little bit this last Sunday. After the copious mulching of the area last year (in preparation for the London in Bloom judging!), the ground cover of weeds was far less than a year ago.
Twenty four fruit trees were planted to create an orchard in 2019. Three years on they are now having their fourth summer – which promises to be a scorcher! I have taken photographs of all 24, shown below.
Jon has sent me this fantastic link for exploring georeferenced maps with historical overlays. Click on the map below or use this link.
The seeder has visited the park flower meadow, after having done Horsenden meadows and Cayton green park.
The last addition to the orchard area was the planting of roses about two years ago. It been a good year for roses in general and the orchard roses have really grown and flowered this year, with only minimal pruning last year.
On Jubilee day, June 2, 2022, we capture the park with the new Walnut tree planted by Ealing May Councillor Munir Ahmed in March as a contribution to the Queen’s Green Canopy. It is looking very healthy indeed!
The oak processionary moth can be a scourge of parks with lots of oak trees. And Perivale park has quite a few mature specimens. Almost three years ago we highlighted what can happen when a tree becomes infested. So it was good to see that the parks department continues to regularly spray the trees to avoid any resurgence.
Well, its been a few months since the orchard garden was spruced by a team of gardeners and so we have organised a session on Sunday 19th June at 10.00 am. All welcome.
Refreshments will be provided and the tasks might include some or all of the below, but you are free to come along with your own ideas!
The park has two wonderful cricket pitches and for the summer season there are always matches being played on them. So it is no surprise that after the match, some of the teams have a picnic and refreshment. The trouble is that all the detritus that accompanies food and drink is sometimes‡ simply left scattered, as the photos below show for yesterday’s match. For someone else to pick up.
I show two photos set to the friends by Ros, asking what caterpillar they are. The photos were taken in the park near Costons bridge.
Herons come in a wide variety of tameness and approachability. The most approachable we have seen was sat on a canal boat moored on the grand union canal near Stocker’s lake, who hardly stirred as we walked along the tow path and got to perhaps two metres of him. In contrast, the canal near Horsenden hill often has herons who fly away when you are still perhaps 100m away.
There are some sights you simply are not going to capture in an urban park in London. So to see these you will have to go a little further afield – to Wakehurst or “Kew gardens in the country”, one of our “guest” park appearances here.
Foxes are now very much part of the urban park and garden scene. Like the bats we went out to see last week, they are best seen at dusk, when the cubs are brought out to frolic by their mum. So it was that we captured this scene of (six?) cubs playing in a local garden.
Occasionally other parks in London make a guest appearance here. In April, none can beat the display of sheer exuberant colour that the Isabella plantation puts on. After visiting, you just want to go a lie down in a darkened room to recover.
Organised by Paul and the Ealing Wildlife group, a group of twelve intrepid bat watchers set off into Perivale park at dusk. Bristling with sensitive bat detecting equipment, which reduces the sounds the bats make from ~45 KHz down to human-audible form, we first aimed for the pond areas. There insects fly at night and the bats hunt them.
There is a national fruitwatch under way, looking out for flowering times of fruit trees across the country. So here are a few sent to Fruitwatch from our orchard garden, at the peak time for the avenue of ten Crab Apple (Mallus, Red Sentinel) trees.
We have received two absolutely delightful emails from Caroline, who recollects her childhood spent growing up in Perivale Park. I quote her emails (with her permission) here for everyone to relish. Caroline now lives in Canada, and has not visited the park since the late 1980s.
Out and about today (very strange weather, one minute blue skies and sunny, the next driving wind and snow), we spotted a wonderful marsh marigold. There will be many more to come, but this one is the first large one seen this year.
Last December, volunteers planted bulbs in the orchard area, including the easily accessible and diggable raised beds. Here is the result.
One criticism often levelled at the amenities in the park is that there is no information about them! Well that is about to change. The first phase is the refresh of the notice board next to the Golf pavillion. Its been a few years since anything new was put there, but take a look at it now!
With events in the world as they are, its good to go out and have at least some cheer. And since its daffodil time, I thought I would try the cheer by showing them.
The locals know the original park pond for its tadpoles. For a few years in the recent past they have been abundant in what was actually quite a small pond. Unfortunately, the tadpoles have become less abundant, and last year (2021) we think there were none that could be seen. In an effort to prevent premature drying out of the relatively small pond, it was enlarged about 18 months ago in an effort to allow water to be retained past the peak tadpole time to allow frogs to emerge and survive. After about a year where the clay stirred up by the enlargement was still in suspension, the ponds are finally starting to look more settled. Now with recent rains, the three separate ponds have joined up to make a single stretch of water.
Perivale park is surrounded by blackthorn and hawthorne bushes/trees. One particular corner on the Gurnell-Greenford greenway along the river Brent is always one of the first to flower. These are also a highly scented varieties and as one walks along the path, both senses detect the arrival of spring.
As it passes through the southern edge of Perivale park, many trees overhang the river Brent. Occasionally one of these is felled by strong winds and there it forms a barrier to all the rubbish that is brought down the river from the Welsh Harp and the tributaries to the Brent.. On this occasion, the rubbish has accumulated to the extent that almost the entire surface of the river has been blocked by the stuff. Caused perhaps in part by the large polystyrene blocks that are also floating on the surface.
The agenda for the AGM will include the Chair’s annual report about what happened in the park in 2021. It contains 30 items, some small some big. To find out what they are, do send the friends an email at email@example.com to request the report and to attend the meeting via a Zoom link.
In addition to Perivale featuring on the Ealing Foundation site as January’s park of the month, GoParks are now featuring the whole borough. If you go to www.goparks.london/boroughs/ealing you will learn that Ealing has 209 parks and blue spaces, of which six have friends groups.
We are lucky that our bedroom window faces south, which means that in the mornings we can see the sun rise in the east and in the evening we can see it set in the west. Sometimes it can feel like a display of modern art, and a few times I have here shown the morning artwork. Today the atmospherics have led to an interesting alternative evening display.
Sometimes, when going for a walk in green areas in Ealing, one can come across football or cricket pitches that do not seem abundantly used. Not so in Perivale Park, when during the winter months, the football pitches have freshly painted lines, teams young and old and even a good smattering of spectators. Below you can see these in the park today.