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.
of the wild mustard. We were harvesting the young tips in March and April (they make lovely greens, if a tad bitter for some tastes). But those that managed to escape our attentions have now flowered and a magnificent display it makes too.
Calling all gardeners please to a communal event on May 22. The orchard garden needs you! As do the wonderful collection of new gardening tools we now have and some industrial size Thermos pots for warming tea or coffee, thanks to Richard and Vanessa,
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).
The new nature reserve on the south west corner of the park has activity. A large and hugely enthusiastic group of volunteers have started appearing on weekends to create a new reserve area.
Is it that dandelions are having a good year? Or that our senses are heightened? Whatever the reason, I cannot help but show photographs of them here, since they certainly gave pleasure. These were all taken in the orchard garden in the park.
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.
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.
Thanks to Richard and the Ealing park rangers, to Awards for All and to Habitats and Heritage, a fantastic set of gardening tools is now available!
Its late February, the snows have gone and the sun has come out. These are photos were taken on a circular walk which encompassed Perivale park and the blossom at the exit via Ruislip Road, on to the Cuckoo estate avenue and Hanwell community centre and park, then entering the Hanwell Big Local project and the discovery of a delightful small wood in the centre of the housing estates.
The show is always different and this one has its very own personality! Taken between 07.30 – 07.45
I am loath to describe our activity in the orchard garden as weeding. It is very much in the milder category of tidying. There are four wild flower meadows and four flower beds surrounding the benches to be tidied. Here are some photos of the ongoing process.
Some more, apparently unassuming, rainfall during the night transformed Perivale Park into an aquatic playground again. Here are some videos of the gushing waters.
Neil Anderson has sent this fantastic record of the birds he has spotted in the Park and surrounding areas, both in December and the whole of 2020. I will try to add a few photos of some of them later, but meanwhile can the Friends of Perivale Park wish everyone a happy new year and please call as often as you can to see the park and its birds!
Here they are:
With all these Zoom-based exercise classes which have taken off for obvious reasons in 2020, coupled with all the new facilities in the park, there is no excuse any more! And of course wash your hands after using them when you get home!
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.
I encountered a licensed drone pilot the other day, and we have just spent a delightful hour taking photos of the park from an angle I have never seen before. Fortunately, recent rains have filled up the ponds and even the sun cooperated by setting nicely.
This event will be taking place on Saturday 28th November, 2021. Please note that the time shown below should actually show a start time of 10.00, not 11.00.
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.
October is a favourite month for late summer colour. The Cosmos in particular always put on a good show and this year we had a lot of plantings of this flower around the park. In particular, the Gurnell-Greenway route along the Brent and Ruislip road and also the “three ponds” near the kids playground.
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.
The last three days have seen near continuous steady rain. So its time to go out and see how the park (and birds) have responded. The ducks and gulls are out in force enjoying their new ponds. Meanwhile, some of the new paths in the Longfield meadows area have become ponds themselves.
Rectory park is to the west of Perivale Park and just south of Northala fields. The spring show there was subdued but recent rains have brought out the autumn flowers such as the cosmos wonderfully well.
In April, I wrote about the Cuckoo estate and the associated Cuckoo park, which is just south of Perivale Park.
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.