This year has seen two major changes to the plots we manage. Taking advice from us Haringey robustly fenced the strip of land in Martins Walk and installed new planters towards the Alexandra Road entrance. The fence installation there did some damage which we are working to restore but many of our shrubs and colourful annuals are in surprisingly good shape. We’ve also used funds from Haringey to refresh and brighten the planters at the head of Park Ridings in front of the Mall goods yard.
Meanwhile St William have taken over the management of the lime trees between 101 and 125 Hornsey Park Road. They raised the crowns and thinned some excess branches and then made a nice job of pruning the spring fuzz. The health of the trees should improve with the bark boxes they have installed at their base. The new surface allows ground-water to penetrate – one reason why the trees have weathered this summer’s heat better than its equivalent two years ago. A tiny clump of birch, ash and holly has been retained at our request beside the electricity substation. There will be further changes in a year’s time when St William take up their planters and move their sales room to begin the pocket park.
Our most complex challenge continues to be the lavender garden at the junction of Clarendon and Hornsey Park Road. The big news is that the main plants – the lavender, roses, fig tree, olives, cypresses and buddleia – all get by without any watering. This plot has proved very successful in responding to global heating – all we’ve done is a little mulching to help the young roses. It is a haven for insects – bees in particular, butterflies and dragonflies. But the lavender has aged considerably and has proved difficult to replace so we are also looking at alternatives – a first experiment with euphorbias has done well. This winter we’ll be pruning the olives again and planning repairs to the north-south footpath.
The low-maintenance success of the cherry trees on the Hornsey Park Road build-outs has been good. Well done to Haringey for finally taking the cars off the pavement there - footway repairs must surely follow! We’ll be trying to extend the planting around the Mayes Road junction and the ever-disintegrating zebra crossing. A star this year has been the hibiscus in the little Umoja garden which is at last approaching middle height. Despite all this good news the most consistent requirement on our first Saturday of the month sessions is cleaning up rubbish. It’s a question of grin and bear it and the hope that when we install our new upgrades on Mayes Road we may see some welcome behaviour changes by the information board. Veolia do a brilliant job with the two rubbish bins by the benches but they shouldn’t have to cope with the misuse of the site for abandoned packaging, furniture and waste food!
Hornsey Park Community Gardening takes place from 10am on the first Saturday of every month.
Find us in Martins Walk or near the Mayes Road information boards.
Next session Saturday, August 3rd
The loss of trees is becoming an issue locally. The wonderful false acacia at the junction of Mayes Road and Coburg Road was removed because it ‘had a fungus’ - just in time for the planning application to build on the petrol station site beside it.
Photo: The gardening team – John. Ben, Polly and John – out on a Saturday morning
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