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.
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.
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.
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.
Out and about today (very strange weather, one minute blue skies and sunny, the next driving wind and snow), we spotted a wonderful marsh marigold. There will be many more to come, but this one is the first large one seen this year.
Last December, volunteers planted bulbs in the orchard area, including the easily accessible and diggable raised beds. Here is the result.
One criticism often levelled at the amenities in the park is that there is no information about them! Well that is about to change. The first phase is the refresh of the notice board next to the Golf pavillion. Its been a few years since anything new was put there, but take a look at it now!
With events in the world as they are, its good to go out and have at least some cheer. And since its daffodil time, I thought I would try the cheer by showing them.
Perivale park is surrounded by blackthorn and hawthorne bushes/trees. One particular corner on the Gurnell-Greenford greenway along the river Brent is always one of the first to flower. These are also a highly scented varieties and as one walks along the path, both senses detect the arrival of spring.
As it passes through the southern edge of Perivale park, many trees overhang the river Brent. Occasionally one of these is felled by strong winds and there it forms a barrier to all the rubbish that is brought down the river from the Welsh Harp and the tributaries to the Brent.. On this occasion, the rubbish has accumulated to the extent that almost the entire surface of the river has been blocked by the stuff. Caused perhaps in part by the large polystyrene blocks that are also floating on the surface.
If you happen to visit Greenford town centre on a Saturday, do pop in to see if anyone is working at the close by Costons Nature Reserve. There it was that I met Sean today, who showed me some of the new additions that have recently appeared.
Several blogs here cover Horsenden Hill, including its magnificent west meadow. It is an ecologically unique and precious wildlife resource in west London. So the idea of up to 15,000 people entering the meadow to have a music festival does not bear thinking about.
The Bulbs for London project, together with Richard Spencer-Smith, have come up trumps with two large boxes of spring bulbs delivered on Tuesday. At very short notice, I managed to persuade two members of the “Red Green” park group to come along and help us plant some of them on the Wednesday.
At round 07.40 at this time of year, the sun rises. With appropriate cloud cover, the effects can be spectacular. So, for collectors of sunrise as a “visual art form”, here is the one for 2021.
The orchard in the park comprises 34 fruit trees, or it did until a few hours ago! Now some trees needing a new home have been replanted there.
The cosmos this year were self-seeded and they are putting on a nice autumn show for us.
In July this year, Perivale Park was included in the itinerary for the judging of the City category of the London in Bloom competition. Just to clarify, each London borough is considered to be the size of a city. Competition amongst the boroughs is intense! On Wednesday we heard that Ealing has been awarded the Gold category by the judges! So the park played its part in this award! Well done everyone who helped to make Perivale Park such a feature of the London borough of Ealing.
Our second community celebration of the park took place in lovely weather yesterday. We estimate one hundred or so people might have dropped in during the day, either to participate in the dog olympics, to buy cakes from the LAGER can stall, to go on the inspirational nature walk, to learn about Horsenden Hill and Farm, to hunt for treasures in the park, to work it all off with a bit of exercise or to meet our park ranger Mark. Many from the RedGreen group (who exercise on Tuesdays and Thursdays and were the original inspiration for the Friends) turned up, as did the Gurnell-Greenford Greenwayers. Thanks all!
LAGER (Litter Action Group Ealing Residents) visit the park frequently, either as a group or as individuals. Here is one such visitor’s report. Thanks Ian!
I have been following the colours in the park from the violets of early spring to the oranges of late July. The fairly regular rain this year has encouraged them all this year.
It is mid-July now, but one blessed with more rain than usual for this month. Apart from everything spurting growth, a more diverse mid-summer colour has now appeared with unusual blues, pinks and yellows.