Flaxen meadows.

The four wild flower meadows in the orchard area of the park were planted with a variety of exotic plants about 18 months ago. One of those was flax, which made a brief appearance last autumn but has now come into its own. It has not yet reached its peak, and should last throughout the summer. As is often the case, (my) photos do not do it justice, you really should visit in person.

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Bluebells, Cowslip and Stitchwort in Gutteridge and Ten-acre Woods.

The bluebell season is lasting a bit longer than usual, due to warm weather early in April and then cold spells. A lesser-known local bluebell wood is Gutteridge. As with Perivale wood, where the glory was stolen to some extent by the Celandine, in Gutteridge wood its the white Greater Stitchwort that takes your breath away (and the bluebells as well of course).

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The Greenway project nears completion.

Two years ago, work started on the Greenford  Greenway project, which aimed to create a variety of green corridors in the area between the  Gurnell leisure centre and Greenford town centre. This area of course includes all of  Perivale Park itself, and the eastern extension into Longfield meadows where the wetlands were part of the project.  Now that it is nearing completion, Richard has kindly sent me a list of the remaining things still to be done as part of this project.  The COVID pandemic has of course delayed some aspects of this, but Ealing parks are still hoping to complete this.

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Magnificence of Marsh Marigolds

The Perivale wetlands, which increasingly feature here, have a little stream feeding the ponds. In December 2019, a group of volunteers planted the edge of the stream with aquatic plants. Of these the Marsh  Marigolds took a year or so to settle down and now there are lots of them along the stream and surrounding the ponds. Many of them look very healthy and we might expect this spring display to only get better with the passage of time.

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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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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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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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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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