I've moved. No longer in walking distance of Dog Kennel Hill - but I'm still on a bus route and cant bear for it all to go to rack and ruin. Like the last 2 or 3 years we've had a plant-friendly lush spring followed by a month or more of no rain with hot sun. On the plus side the Acanthus is now established enough to flower - and the artichoke I planted last year also flowered. Once again, the tough plants have still fried on this very dry strip of land. So, I made use of a garden mag offer for 25 free lavender plants for the cost of postage and got zillions of little ones - gamely potted on by my mum. Hopefully they will bed in and do better with climate change. In July, aided and abetted by troops old and new, I went to assess the damage and we cut down the dead and dug up the grass (which is the main suffocating weed now - even drowning out the michaelmas daisies). We planted lavenders and a pink yarrow along with a couple more Agave. Sadly no pics but lots of thankyous from drivers passing by (including a friend from Kent who I had told about our endeavours and who randomly drove by just as we were all hard at work).
2 months later and I went back solo and dug up another 3 bags of grass/weeds, planted more lavender, yarrow and a couple of red hot pokers.
pics to follow.
Friday, 3 April 2015
Since hearing that New Cross Road is one of the most polluted in the country I've become more determined to green it up. My enquiries suggest that getting the council to plant more trees is really hard work and in some of the sites that I think are desirable - in the emerging pavement cafe culture - impractical due to the traffic camera sight-lines and other bureaucratic stuff. So lobbying Boris on the evils of diesel in slow-moving city traffic is the longterm solution for the toxic air.
But in the short-term I have taken it into my own hands and risked planting a Fig tree and a Bay in the middle of the raised beds near the Launderette and Reyna Restaurant. They are bang in the middle of the beds so hopefully will be less obvious for the vandals who have yanked stuff out before. Actually my lovely fellow conspirator Wood put those two in, while I added another red hot poker, more mint, and did the usual litter clean up. We also put in two sarcococca (winter box) in the more shaded bed (where my friend Rosie has recently put in some more Hollyhocks). We got water for the trees from the fine folk at the LP Bar. Bay trees are slow but solid growing evergreens that can make a 7ft tree if left alone. Figs can get enormous but there will be some root restriction in that raised bed (which will be good for fruit production).
I need to go back with a decent camera to snap all the pits - lots of things are doing really well including Acanthus and a large day lily (I'm optimistic these will flower this summer). You can see the Leucanthemum daisies springing up in the top pic showing the Bay tree with one of the Acanthus in the far corner.