The Best Laid Plans..
Plans for our next Working Party have been seriously impacted by the recent spell of very wet weather. The site is still very wet.
The scheduled Monday 7th April arrival of the Maydencroft digger had to be postponed, and it is not likely to be brought on site for at least two more weeks to allow the site to thoroughly dry out. We will not therefore be able to complete some tasks scheduled to be completed this month, and we might have to put in extra hours if we are to prepare in good time for our big plant-up in May.
We will give you a further update next Thursday.
Site Clean up since our last meeting
You will undoubtedly notice that the site is considerably cleaner since the last Working Party due to:
- 26th March – a small group cleared leaves from the paths and burned off loads of twigs,
- 1st April Sue and Andrew cleared leaves and rubbish from the dropping well,
- Tuesday 8th April Harry cleared all the rocks and the stagnant standing water out of the basin, and with Andrew’s help cleaned the site in advance of last Wednesday’s visit by Kate Harwood and students of the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust.
The HGT visit was very successful. Kate Harwood showed her thanks by presenting the FOD with a fern Polypodium vulgare which she planted to a full fanfare of shouts and encouragement from all those present.
Tasks for Thursday 19th April 2018
Weeding and Nettle Control
If we have time to organise this with the Borough Council, we might undertake some nettle spraying in non planting-bed areas.
We should continue to hand weed nettles from the planting beds
We will dig out as many of the daffodils as possible on the Tufa Bed which are now past their best, and store them for later re-planting.
Whips and Shrub management
Clear around all the whips and shrubs planted in February, to allow them to grow unimpeded by weeds.
Removal of dumped tufa rock is scheduled as a task for the Maydencroft Digger, but because many of the dumped stones are unusable it will help if we can separate the more valuable pieces that we want to keep, including the puddingstones and some pulhamite fragments. The purpose is to maximise the use of the digger by presenting an uncomplicated pile of redundant stone ready to be removed from the site completely in one go.
The puddingstones are to be removed to a safe place to await further investigation.
Fill some of the rabbit scrapes where they have dug holes in the banks so that more grass seed can be sown.
These can be determined on the day, and will be dependent on available resources and ground conditions.
On Friday 20th April, we are expecting two or three members of the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust who visited us last week, and have asked to return to study our Puddingstone samples more closely.
Dates of Future Meetings
Saturday 5th May 2018 – Fernery Garden Group
Thursday 17th May – Fernery Working Party
Saturday 2nd June – Fernery Garden Group
SUNDAY 17TH JUNE – WELWYN FESTIVAL OPEN DAY – 2pm to 5pm
Thursday 21st June – Fernery Working Party
Danesbury’s Park Field – Scrub Bashing and Path Clearance
July/August/September – we will continue gardening activities, but we will plan some overdue scrub-bashing work on the Park Field.
Meeting Place – Thursday 19th April 2018
We will meet at The Fernery at 10 am. The leaders will expect to be on site from 9.30 onwards to get the tools ready, so if you are an ‘early bird’ and can help, please do so.
All team members should have good quality garden gloves and wear strong boots, and bring a hot drink for elevenses. We will provide small hand tools for general use.
For newcomers, the Fernery can be found at the top end of North Ride on the Danesbury Estate, AL6 9RD. For more details please go to ‘Where We Are‘ tab at the top of the page.