Friday, 31 October 2014

Two vols, one barrow + mulch: 31st Oct 2014

Mike and Alona came prepared for today's session, each bringing a spade and a fork. Our lightweight wheelbarrow came too, and journeyed to and fro from the hard-standing area near the orchard where our remaining mulch pile is located.

Although the last day of October, it was warm and sunny,  both volunteers working in short sleeves. Plants are still in flower in the plant bed and ripening raspberries were still on the canes prior to work starting.
Berries on a flowering shrub

primroses  beside the blueberry bushes

toadstools on rotting logs
The park was buzzing with families and some toddlers came to watch the two workers. A small frog hopped away, avoiding a spade blade stabbing into the ground and a robin fluttered into the forest of canes in search of a tasty treat.
First some serious weeding was carried out round the blackberry bushes, the plum tree and the apple tree by our volunteers. Mike took the barrow and made numerous trips to collect mulch while Alona pruned the raspberries. A young child came along, hoping to pick some of his favourite fruit but, alas, the canes had been cut down. Some were cut to ground level and some were pruned to around 50 cm high.
After two hours, it was time to stop. The volunteers had put in 4 hours between them, making a significant difference to the site.
There is plenty more to do in the fruit bed.  November could be a busy gardening month for the Friends of Mayow Park with hedgerow planting and orchard maintenance in addition to work at the two Triangle beds.
weeds removed

blackberry bush overwhelmed by 'weeds'

mulching one blackberry bush

raspberry canes before mulch

mulch cover on the beds


Thursday, 30 October 2014

Plaque for drinking water fountain 29 October 2014

There was excitement this morning when a new plaque was installed beside the drinking water fountain. Mr & Mrs Jarrett, active long time members of the Friends of Mayow Park, applied to the Drinking Fountain Association a few years ago for a grant towards a drinking fountain in the park. The lack of this facility was regularly noted by park users. The grant application was successful but it took quite a while to choose a fountain and get it installed.
Mr and Mrs Jarrett wanted a plaque in recognition of the support of the Fountains Association. With the help of Glendale a plaque was made and ready to install. This morning Steve and Fred from Glendale set the plaque in its permanent new home adjacent to the fountain.
before work started
Base plate in place
The plaque

Official opening of Pavilion and cafe plus community cricket

Here is another post that should have been written many weeks ago.

The Pavilion building, as people may recall, had an extensive renovation to bring it back into use. The efforts of Lewisham Greenscene have to be applauded. First, the dry rot within the building was far more widespread than had originally been expected, going right into the rafters. Then, just as things appeared to be improving, it was discovered that the foul water drainage ( sewage pipework to you and me) had collapsed a long time before and this would be a hugely expensive job to put right.
Thames Water contractors dug a very deep vertical shaft right in the middle of the front garden to Grow Mayow, the community garden behind the Pavilion . The deep shaft then continued horizontally under Mayow Road to link with the mains sewage system. For a while, the entrance gate by the Pavilion was closed to all park users due to this major work.Without this work there would be no chance of public toilets in the park and using a Portaloo is not the most exciting experience.
Iris and Erika run the community garden so  their garden and their activities were overturned for many months in order for the deep excavations and essential repairs to take place.
With the sewage system back in working order and the work on the Pavilion nearly complete, Lewisham shortlisted for potential businesses to run a cafe on the ground floor of the Pavilion. Twin sisters Jess and Laura of Brown and Green Cafe were chosen and they opened their cafe in early August.
The sports changing facilities on the top floor of the pavilion were kitted out and ready for our cricket home teams.

Finally, on 31st August, came the official opening of the Pavilion, together with the start of  a one-week cricket festival. Here are photos of the official opening with  Councillor Rachel Onikosi delivering a speech, Susan Wise cutting the ribbon, Councillor Alan Hall,  plus the cafe owners Jess and Laura with their children.

 It was good to see a large, supportive crowd of people. Among the gathering was Peter Ranken, without whom the long process would not have started. His interest in cricket, meetings with Mike Gatting and the English Cricket Board, applying for grants to create a cricket square and plans for the Pavilion, paved the way to what is now a valued building, two home cricket teams and a wonderful cafe.
Many thanks to Martin Hyde for these photos.

Nature's Gym in Mayow Park, July 2014

This post should have been published in late July 2014 but somehow got forgotten with all the other excitement that was happening in Mayow Park in July and August.
Nature's Gym volunteers, led by Judith from Glendale and Jordon for Lewisham, ran two sessions in July to help our park volunteers with some of the gardening tasks that had been neglected. We were lucky that both days were sunny, 24th July and 31st July. The volunteers could choose from several tasks.

 One task was to rebuild the 'bug' hotel in the woodland near the hard-standing. The pallets were moved to a more visible position, stacked on top of each other and filled with leaves, grass, twigs and other woodland bits to create a cosy habitat for any creatures that would be interested.

The bug hotel begins to take shape

At the Triangle beds and across the path from the raspberry canes, there is a bench. Behind it is a maple tree stump with suckered growth around it. The growth  looked like a giant, unkempt, bush. Instead of removing all the suckered growth, it was decided to remove some only, to create a den and to reveal the tree stump with its fungi. Thank you J & J for this great additional feature in the park. Over the past couple of months since then children (and adults) have had great fun running in and out of the den.

Jordon in the new den
Judith in the new den

Another task for the volunteers was to re-mulch the woodland path between the larger plant bed and the magnificent dawn redwood tree. More volunteers pulled out overgrown plants and pruned the herb plants. The photos here hardly give the true flavour of what was achieved. Thank you to Nature's Gym. Since their visit more of our own park volunteers have been busy tidying up the Triangle beds and working on the orchard.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

time to prepare fruit trees and canes for winter

It has been a great autumn and the time has come to prepare the Triangle garden beds for winter. over the  past few weeks a few volunteers have dropped by and weeded out some of the overgrown plants, pulled up strings and strings of bind weed, created a low fence to protect the bed at the apex of the Triangle and given some TLC to the wild flower mini meadow. Thank you to those volunteers.
On our list of things to do in the Triangle next are:
Cut  the raspberry canes down to ground level and give a good layer of mulch covering
Weed around the apple tree, plum tree , blackberry and currant bushes and give them a blanket of mulch
More weeding around other shrubs
Plant more hedgerow whips

Moving on to the orchard our tasks are:
Cut down three more of the guards
Remove weeds inside the guards and otuside
Prune each tree to keep their shape
Put a good layer of mulch round each tree

A list of dates for all these activities will be prepared.
Our first date is Friday 31st October from 11am to midday and possibly longer if enough people are available. Bring a trowel or hoe and gardening gloves if you have them.  The Friends group will also bring a few tools.
If anyone is interested in helping with these tasks, do contact us on