September 2014 ....

PREPARING TO PLANT ...

Last month we reported on various improvements to Eastfield Park carried out by a small group of volunteers during August. These included clearing weeds from the west-facing side of northern end of the Crescent Rock Garden in preparation for planting 'tête-à-tête' (dwarf) daffodils in the area during our autumn tidy-up. Work on the Rock Garden has continued during September with the removal of some large branches and small trees from the north end of the garden.

The purpose behind this work was to allow more light and rain to reach the garden thus encouraging better plant growth. The work was recommended by the RHS assessor who inspected the garden subsequent to the FoEP’s entry in the ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ campaign. The work was also agreed with a representative from NBC and is likely to benefit the bottom pond as well as the garden.

Area for planting bulbs - Sept 2014
Branch overhanging daffodil area removed - Sept 20
Small trees removed from Crescent Rock Garden - Sept 2014

During our annual 'Autumn Tidy-up' in the Park on Saturday, 4th October (between 10.00am and 4.00pm) we hope to add compost to this area and plant the dwarf daffodils. We also have bulbs of larger varieties of daffodils to plant elsewhere in the Park and should have some other plants for the rock garden.

The branches and other material removed from this area in September has either been added to the 'dead hedge' around the culvert leading into the top pond or has been left in a pile near the Crescent Rock Garden for future use. It is hoped that during the October tidy-up, volunteers will be able to strengthen and tidy the dead hedge using some of this remaining material; the rest can be composted elsewhere in the park.

The 'sunflower garden' (now referred to as the 'Eleonore House Border') again needs weeding and edging. The sunflowers, now dead, should be removed and the border planted with perennial herbaceous garden plants. (For possible future developments of this garden, see 'Other News'.)

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OTHER NEWS ...

The FoEP have recently acquired some new equipment including a Honda brush-cutter and two long-bladed garden tools. For health & safety reasons these will not be in use at community clean-ups but will be used by small groups of trained volunteers.

Apart from spares and safety equipment for use with the brushcutter we have also bought two new loppers and metal posts with safety fencing and safety tape so that we can cordon off areas where we are working.

These items were purchased using a grant from the NCC Empowering Councillors and Communities Scheme provided by Councillors Mike Hallam (Parklands, including Lakeview) and Arthur McCutcheon (Headlands, including Eastfield). The grant has also provided funds for plants and food for the autumn tidy-up, insurance and hosting this website.

The FoEP and a manager from Thomson Holidays are currently discussing the possibility of volunteers from that company coming to work in Eastfield Park one day next April.

The project suggested by the FoEP for the vol-unteers to work on involves the creation of a flower border along the whole length of the metal fence separating Eastfield Park from Eleonore House. This would be an extension of the present 'Eleonore House Border' (formerly the 'sunflower garden') and would create a border about 30m long. The west-facing part of the garden would be a continuation of the present garden and would be planted with more perennial herbaceous garden plants but the north-facing border would be planted with native wild flowers.

We believe that the proposed border would benefit the residents of Eleonore House as well as Park users. By slecting plants that are beneficial to wildlife, particularly pollinators, we will also bring wider ecological and public benefits.

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