We had a very good turnout of 13 volunteers all of whom worked in the Fernery. on a dry and bright day. Fewer record photos than usual were taken because we were so busy!
Weeding and planting
Jenny brought more wild flower plugs to plant in the Northern Chalk Slopes and in the Southern perimeter, with Sue and Sara’s help.
The team continued the work of weeding the fern beds, which are beginning to show nicely, Colin had more ferns to plant in the Parsons Bed. More mulch is needed to help suppress weeds and maintain dampness.
Andrew cleared some more nettles on the North East Bank in preparation for later fern planting. But the denseness of the root systems is causing a problem, and it is possible that we might have to resort to weed killers once we have reduced the tops to encourage fresh growth.
Nina worked non-stop filling watering cans and watering all the recently planted specimen trees.
John hosed most of the planting beds.
Cathy Walker was on site and started detecting fragments of lead and iron in the areas above the grotto.
Arrangements have been made with the WHBC for Maydencroft to be on site next month – probably in the week of the 3rd June 2019.
We are meeting with the Borough Council on site on Monday 20th May to finalise times and dates, and agree the task list.
It is anticipated that we will ask Maydencroft to restrict their work to the South side of the Dell as follows:
- uncover and level what are believed to be 2x planting beds on the Southern Slopes
- uncover the Drainage Sump in front of the Grotto once again, and secure it for ease of future access
- fit a safety grill to the face of the cistern, and clean out the cistern itself
- test the tap near the basin
- prepare a channel to allow us to bury a hose extension to the Full Stop
Communications – WhatsApp Fernery Gardening Group
Linking messages to the website was tested last month and worked well. We will continue with links so that we can contain the number of emails.
But we still need to encourage more active volunteers to register with the WhatsApp Fernery Gardening Group. Active volunteers who have mobile phones and would like to join this group should send a mobile message to John and he will add you to the Group.
2019 Danesbury Leaflet
A new draft is in preparation and will go to the printers in the week commencing 20th May 2019. We will print 500 copies and have them ready for the Open Evening, when all visitors will be given a copy..
Ad Hoc Gardening Groups – Safety Issues
A second reminder is not out of place – please all note carefully.
We should be mindful of an informal, and practical, rule agreed with WHBC that if work in the Fernery is restricted just to gardening, then it is not necessary for a First Aid qualified member to be present, provided that a minimum of two members are present at all times, for safety and security reasons.
We should also always be aware of the need for assessing the risks before work commences.
We have to be especially mindful that the overhanging trees present a potential hazard in high winds, and we should also not underestimate the hazards of dragging the hose reel extension around the slopes when watering. It is for this last reason that we are going to rig-up a permanently buried hose extension from the grotto area to the Jig-saw bed so that we do not have to physically move the extension reel around, but simply plug the end connectors into the main reel and tools.
Next Working Party Meetings
Thursday 23rd May 2019
Thursday 30th May 2019
Thursday 6th June 2019
Thursday 13th June 2019
Thursday 20th June 2019