Monday, 4 July 2016

Cross Country

Finally I've been back to the pits of New Cross - aided and abetted by Rosie, guerrilla gardener of the highest order. Actually we started at 'her' patch  - the triangle of scrub land near the Sainsburys carpark now covered in wild flowers, chicory, lavender and hardy geraniums (pics to follow). I had pooh-poohed that patch as a lost cause of desolation a couple of years ago, but she has persisted, combatting Sainsburys' habit of mowing over the 'weeds' and got them to stop that nonsense. Apparently they even conceded to plant a tree in the middle of it, which is ok. Anyway she cleared away some of the poppies that had gone over and I brought down some more iris foetidissima and a pink hardy geranium. 

Next up - arms weighed down with the plants I've set by (planted up in heavy London clay), we set off for the pits near the bus stops and shops. This time we concentrated only on the first and largest pit - also the most filthy. Rosie spent over an hour digging out some very tenacious matting type of weed (thus giving the self-seeded sunflowers there some room to grow). 

I did the litter clear up as well as some rough and ready pruning back - of tatty Acanthus leaves, and of the unknown shrubs that were crowding 'my' Fig, Holly and Bay (all of which are otherwise happily growing). R planted a red hot poker, 2 batches of crocosmia, and a penstemon as well as some roots of chicory and rudbeckia. A very nice young man from the Yip Oriental Store gave us water for them. Really hoping no-one a. yanks them up, or b. has a fight on them. Despite the amount of time we spent - and great work was done - there's a lot more weeding and pruning to be done. In fact I went back a couple of days later and put in another day lily, another verbena, and did another whole sack of weeding and pruning. That said the middle 2 pits are doing quite well - they are overcrowded with self-sown flowers and tenacious matting weeds (still) but mostly good. 

Spot the Fig tree thriving in the middle here...

 The Holly and Bay are both doing great at the back of this pit.

The pit at the end nearest the London Particular gets a lot of vandalism (urination?) but the rudbeckia Rosie donated about 3 years ago is going strong.