The weather turned out much better than forecast. Still a cold wind blowing from the East, but the rain held off for the 14 volunteers to enjoy a good morning’s work, and to welcome our visitors..
Task 1 We started attending each and every staked whip and shrub that we had planted in February to ensure that a secure wire surround was fitted, and that protective tubes were well anchored.
Task 2 We began to seriously weed the planting bed to the left of the entrance path which we are confident is another of Anthony Parsons’ special ‘tanked’ beds. (See How to Grow the Best Ferns)
We tidied up the immediate surrounds of all new whips and young trees. This will be the start of a continual process to prevent Ragwort smothering the new trees before they are properly established.
Tasks 4 and 5
The wet ground underfoot prevented us from tackling scheduled Tasks 4 and 5:
- Leaf blowing
Task 6 Fencing
Stephen, with help from Andy, continued to expose wrought iron panels deeply buried on the East side of the site, which we plan to lift and use as infills to complete the run of fencing on the West side, adjacent to the site entrance.
Visitors – British Pteridological Society (BPS)
We welcomed Dr Peter Blake. Peter is the Area Representative of the British Fern Society, and he had travelled across from Norwich in poor weather to join us. Peter and Nick were given a guided tour around the site, which they were surprised to find is more extensive than they had imagined. They also saw that we do not have many ferns showing at this time, but nevertheless Peter gave us good advice on the types of ferns we should be aiming to plant, and he also recommended the areas on the site where they would do best.
Peter Blake declared that he looks forward to visiting us again, although unfortunately he will not be available to join us on our Open Day on Sunday 17th June 2018.
It is evident that Peter will spread the word about our Project within the BPS, and hopefully thereby attract their interest in our activities. Through our membership of BPS we will hope to gain the benefit of members’ advice and perhaps their surplus stock too!
Following the visit, we were asked to provide The Pteridologist with a Report of our activities for publication in the next edition of their regular Journal, all of which attracts wider publicity to our benefit.
Dates of Next Meetings
Monday 26th March – Ad Hoc tidy up work party
Saturday 7th April – Gardening Group
Wednesday 11th April Visit by the Hertfordshire Gardens Trust
Thursday 19th April – Working Party
All the above dates and details can be found on our website under the Calendar Tab.
N.B. Maydencroft operatives and their heavy equipment will be on site from Monday 9th April to 20th April and extra precautions will need to be taken.