Spring bulbs for 2021 – the Costons Lane entrance.

The last two years we have applied to Bulbs for London and this year we were also successful in getting a lovely box of assorted bulbs and seeds. Amazingly, it included some Eremurus tubers! Now that is exotic for you. A start to the planting was made yesterday and this time we have selected the south-west corner of the park for the planting.

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Early dawn ponds – and soft exercise areas.

Just before lockdown in February, six new exercise areas on the path of the “5km” run around the park were created. But the lockdown delayed the surfacing with a soft compound (which health and safety presumably nowadays demands of such places). They have now been lined and appear to be ready for use.  They are aimed very much at runners who want to address the upper parts of their bodies for some exercise.   The last photo shows the large area recently lined and with anchoring points for six “full body” machines that will be installed at some point.

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Another pond starts to take place in park.

From having just one pond in the park three years ago (the one known as the frog pond)  we now have an abundance, big and small.  At the last count it was nine in the main park and three on the other side of the railway embankment. Perhaps the most photogenic are the three ponds close to the kids playground, close to  Coston’s brook, where the reflections of sunrise can make for some fantastic photos.  Now these ponds are being added to. A fourth swale is now being dug on the other side of the little feeder stream, in-between it and the surfaced kids playground.

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For all fungus lovers – an autumn abundance.

A combination of constant rain and showers coupled with very mild weather has produced one of the best displays of fungi in the park for a little while. A particularly rich location is next to the large pond in the centre of the park (first photo, now gradually filling up with water) which was surrounded by trees in December 2018 by a Trees For Cities volunteering event. Each of the young trees were mulched with bark chippings, but a large mound was left over at the end and it is there that you are guaranteed to find fungi at this time of year.

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Dawny ponds.

Visiting the park just before dawn is an interesting experience. It can be full of joggers and dog walkers and if you visit regularly you get to know most of them! I tend to go out to tidy up the park of litter before the commuters take over and perchance to pick up a spare roll of litter bags from the refuse collectors, who also tend to be out at that time. Today, dawn rose whilst I was passing the ponds and I managed the following snaps.

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Amphibians galore – next year?

Those of us of a certain age remember distant childhood times when everyone so it seemed had access to a local pond with abundant tadpole populations. Such a rain-replenished pond was dug perhaps 10 years ago in Perivale Park. For a fair few of these subsequent years tadpoles were indeed seen.  However the pond was fairly shallow and had often dried out just before the tadpoles were due to leave it as frogs.  Now its been enlarged!

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Arum or Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) is actually Cuckoo Pint/Lords & Ladies (Arum Maculatum)

London is sweltering at the moment (Greenford, ~34, Algiers a mere 28°C). Visitors to the park do not linger long in the open sun but seek secluded glades for relief. One such glade in Perivale Park was discovered this morning when a few of us gathered informally for some exercise. After half an hour of flexing as many muscles as could be reasonably stressed on a hot day, I noticed a splash of red colour in the background. Colour too is none to abundant at the moment, with the seeded and now parched wild flowers suffering as well.

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