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.
Earlier this year, I put up a list of areas in the London borough of Ealing that had been seeded with flower mixes. Today a comment on the post alerted us that Trinity way open space in Ealing was looking particularly great at the moment. Curiously it was not part of the original list of sites in Ealing. So I headed in that direction and took some photos, seen below.
With mid-summer approaching, and with the help of a few rain showers, the summer seed-mix planted into the meadow next to the three new park ponds is showing its most colourful diversity.
We are currently starting a big butterfly count in the UK. Suitably inspired and anxious to see some birds as well, we ventured off to Horsenden hill, with the added bonus of Horsenden farm opening its new shop selling vegetables, breads, honey and microbrewed beers. The Gruffalo also always provides interest (to those who have not seen him before, he is rather BIG).
A Friends group for Perivale Park was formed and constituted seven months ago. We will be celebrating the park and its role in helping to cheer us all up during the 2020 pandemic by having an autumn event on Sunday 13 September at 14.00. The program is still being finalised and will be announced here and elsewhere in the next month or so.
Even slightly “formal” gardens or planted beds in parks nowadays are not as common as they used to be; the cost of maintenance (= a lot of weeding) has reduced their number. More likely now are wild flower mixes along borders and meadows. Perivale park however does have one such planted area, in which four square meadows‡ mingle with borders surrounding seating and crab-apple trees adjacent to an orchard area that also has four community raised beds. A sort of informal allotment and garden rolled into one. Here are some photos of the flower meadows and raised beds as of mid-July. The maintenance by the way is done by a combination of Ealing Parks and volunteer weeders and waterers.
Last weekend a group of us gathered to do some weeding in the orchard garden. This is right next to the Capital Ring path and the Nicky Hopkins bench and so there is a fair amount of footfall. One of the visitors on that day was Damian Walker, who is a professional photographer. These are the photos he took for us.
On Sunday July 5th (2020), we had a community weeding in the orchard garden part of the park.
Perivale park has a small “pocket garden”, being the old bowling green converted into an orchard with 34 fruit trees, four raised beds, four seating benches embedded in floral borders and four larger garden quadrants. These latter were prepared with a layer of sand last year and planted with bulbs, of which the allium (ornamental flowering onions) are currently in full glory. But earlier another bulb had its moment of glory, the Eremurus or foxtail lily (desert candles). This was quite an unusual planting, and a bit of an experiment to see if it will survive a winter and flourish.
The original meadow, first sown in profusion in 2017, has now morphed again as encouraged by recent showers. The flowers showing up now have a certain delicacy which requires a little extra attention from passers by. The cosmos about to come will soon balance this with a different more robust perspective. Note the allium in the orchard meadow that is finally starting to show its own colour.
Here are some photos taken around the newly replenished “playground” ponds in the park and sent to me yesterday. The dog is Paula’s and his name is Forrest and the photos are by Joana. Thanks Jo!
News has reached us that Ealing Wildlife Group have reached their funding target to convert some abandoned allotments on the edge of the park into a new Nature Reserve (the allotments were abandoned due to propensity for flooding). Congratulations to them!
In 2017, a large meadow in Perivale Park was transformed with wildflowers. Next, the erstwhile manicured lawn of the old bowling green was similarly transformed last year, after it has to be said a few years of neglect. Now, news reaches me that another pristine and rather more famous lawn, apparently previously manicured and most definitely not neglected for 300 years or so, has imitated Perivale Park and gone all colourful.
Today we undertook a litter-picking exercise walk around the park, taking in the Greenway walk to Gurnell. We armed ourselves at the start with two litter pickers and (optimistically) just ONE collection bag.
Although this forum is about Perivale Park and its surroundings, I could not resist celebrating the partial release from lockdown by allowing visits to other gardens. In this case, RHS Wisley, about 40 miles away from the park.
After the yellows of spring, we now have the whites of early summer. Here are some of the daisies that are showing up well everywhere around the park, and indeed further afield.
Well, Greenford is newly on the map. It now (i.e. 29 May, 2020) has the least used station in London! Well, let’s try to lose that record by saying why you would want to come to South Greenford, the station with this unenviable (and hopefully temporary) record. Continue reading “South Greenford – Least Used Station in London”
The Perivale Park orchard garden (a “pocket park” project) after more than a year of preparation and planting, is starting to show its full colour.
All but one of the photos shown here, taken during our exercise around the perimeter of the park this morning, need no explanation.‡
Several people have asked me about the tennis courts in the park. A keypad system has recently been fitted to the main entrance from the Capital Ring and which is currently locked. What is going on?
The raised beds are located in the midst of the 24 orchard fruit trees. The first harvest they have produced has just been gathered (winter garlic). There are still some left to harvest if you want to help yourself!
The park friends group are putting up posters around the park. The first batch of twelve went up about a week ago and another 12 are being prepared.
Time for an exercising walk around the greater Perivale Park to see what is new. Literally a week can make a difference.
We revisited Horsenden west meadows today and returned to where we saw the salsify a week or so ago. It did not let us down. From a distance you might think the meadow had just grasses, but get up close and the effect is stunning. Much better than photographs taken with a phone camera can do justice to.
With golf courses closed to golfers, the rest of us can happily explore them. Part of Perivale Park is its golf course and that is where we went for our exercise today. And found it was snowing!
One aspect of the modern world is accelerating its natural time scales. So when a new pond is created by moving large amounts of earth, the pond is initially largely devoid of any life, whether plants or invertebrate. But a solution is to hand: plant mats. Grown in a nursery and implanted with plants, these mats 1m by 2m in size, can be dropped into the pond for hey presto almost instant pond life!
Weeding remains the central activity for us in Perivale park itself. But we have noticed a star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) emerging in the bulb glade where they were planted 18 months or so ago. Unlike the Fritillaries, this one has not (yet) emerged in abundance. But it is doing better than the wood anemonies which are so far elusive.
With the recent rains and abundant sun, the beneficiaries have been the “weeds” (which if they did not dominate so quickly can be appreciated for themselves). The four raised beds in the orchard garden area of Perivale Park needed some attention! Three of the beds are planted; one with winter garlic, another with flowering and about to seed winter brassicas and the third with a still germinating wildflower mix. But we still need gardeners to come along and plant/deplant/replant something there! Vegetables, herbs, flowers, anything you fancy!
Today’s exercise was to perhaps the best known green area in Greenford/Perivale (after the park of course!); the heights of Horsenden Hill. The hill has a myriad of footpaths, some well trodden but many less so. We have visited often over the years but still manage to get lost!
Greenford Birch Wood is one of the smaller green areas northwest of Perivale Park, running alongside the A40 and where most of the drivers there have no idea it exists.