The orchard garden was originally planted with four rectangular flower beds surrounding the avenue of Crab apple trees, with four larger almost square wild flower and spring bulb meadows (parched yellow below). Last year those meadows put on a fantastic display of flax. Now, a year on all these areas have all evolved.
As part of the grant we obtained from the Freshwater foundation, we are organising two sessions of free five-a-side football training for 8-10 year olds on Wednesday October 26, 2022 (half-term). The training will be done using the park MUGA (multi-use games area) by Brentford FC community sports trust, who have many years of experience in running such programs.
About three years ago, a group of youths attempting to play five-a-side football in the MUGA court in the park, next to the tennis courts, handed me a list of things they would like to see fixed in the park. Top of their list was to have the MUGA lines repainted. This had last been done at the time of the 2012 Olympics, but the lines had faded badly, making competitive games difficult. This was about the time that the Friends of the Park group was being formed, and we added it to our list of projects. Earlier this year, we became aware of the Freshwater Foundation, a charity operating in Ealing and Hounslow that gives grants for exactly this sort of project. We put in an application in May and in late August we heard we had been successful. This Monday, contractors from Centurian turned up to revitalise the lines. Rain paused their activities but they came back yesterday and finished the job! You can see the results below.
IMPORTANT: As a sign of respect to Her Majesty and the Royal Family, we have postponed this event by two weeks to September 25th.
Well, its an odd year this year. In one meadow, sunflowers are making a rather late appearance, whilst in the adjacent orchard, new fruit has recently set on the trees as if it were April. The fruit looks abundant, but whether it will ripen is touch and go.
Here is a guest article by Carmel, who has been out and about in the park.
The park has changed so much in the last 24 hours.
A few days ago I noted that many of the fruit trees in the park orchard were putting out new leaf buds. Well, what happens next? New flower buds!
Today Neil Anderson gave a group of 21 of us a masterclass in nature observation. Thanks also to Sean McCormack of the Ealing Wildlife group for organising!
The Green Flag award scheme aspires to Raising the standard of Parks and Green Spaces and is the International mark of quality. Earlier this year its judges visited Perivale Park, and we walked them around, showing the various points of interest. Now the judging is complete and we are delighted to announce that the coveted Green Flag has been awarded to the park. Thanks to everyone who made this possible, but especially to all the folks at Ealing Parks who pulled out all the stops this year for us!
This year, the spring and summer has been very dry with little sustained rain. July is turning out to be one of the driest on record. No wonder the trees everywhere are suffering. The walnut tree planted as part of the Queen’s Jubilee is looking quite stressed for example.
Coston’s brook is a tributary of the river Brent, joining it at the south west corner of the park (red arrow on 19th Century map of the area).
Neil Anderson will be looking for Dragonflies, Damselflies and no doubt interesting invertebrates on July 30 (Saturday), starting under the arches at the Stockdove entrance to the park. Do come along!
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.