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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The orchard garden “pocketpark” – at Wakehurst.

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.

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Flowers, for everyone to enjoy in their natural surroundings please!

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.

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First Perivale Park . . . then King’s College Cambridge!

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.

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Perivale Park Ponds get some perfused plant mats.

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!

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Weeding exercises in the park – and the ponds quickly refilled.

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!

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