Page 11 - HGS Suburb News 142 - Spring 2020
P. 11

Gardening is the new normal

         So, feeling as I was, quite despondent  this particular unstoppable progression             devising and assembling his new water  mad  dash  to  install  them  once  the
         about the Current Situation, I decided  very comforting, summer will come,                  feature, and me, planting out my over- plants have fallen over!
         to browse my previous Garden Girl  the sun will shine, life goes on.                        wintered perennials. The sun shone,   My heart goes out to all the plant
         articles for some inspiration. This time   Simply being in your garden, or                  and in that warmth and quiet, we  nurseries at the thought of their
         last year I was exploring the vagaries of  perhaps taking an early morning walk             didn’t once think of the risks awaiting  carefully nurtured summer annuals
         fashion in horticulture. How frivolous  over the Heath, will bring you in                   us all in the outside world. The air felt  withering and dying. Some have
         that all sounds now. It’s obvious, isn’t  touch with nature. With so little noise           clean and we felt invigorated.   switched to mail order services to
         it, that I’m going to write about the  pollution from vehicle traffic, bird                    They say that necessity is the  maintain some much-needed revenue.
         virtues  of  gardening  during  self- song proliferates. We have time on our                mother of invention and I think we’re  Usually, by now, I am eagerly anticipating
         isolation and social distancing, but it  hands, deadlines don’t apply in the way            all falling back on untapped resources  the  upcoming  rare  plant  sales,
         also occurs to me  that I’m not  just  they did before. Somehow, admitting                  now! My greenhouse has been spring  horticultural society shows and all the
         writing this piece for confirmed  that you are enjoying this hiatus                         cleaned to  within  an  inch  of  its  life.  horticultural society coach trips to the
         gardeners. And not all of us are  brings an uneasy guilt. Get over it!                      I’ve never been very successful at seed  beautiful gardens of the South East. All
         fortunate enough to have their own  Grasp feelings of wellbeing with both                   sowing, but through sheer boredom I  cancelled. So thank goodness for BBC2
         outside space to escape to. So how can  hands, they are the antidote to these     Parakeets  have resorted to trying my hand at all  Gardeners World I say, still broadcasting
         we all benefit from Spring 2020?  challenging times!          several squirrels who have learned to  the free seed packets from gardening  at the time of writing, offering timely
           Well, I am writing this on the Spring   As I can only speculate on life in  use their own feeders. The larger birds  magazines: anything from tomatoes  advice and empathy to its horticulturally
         equinox; the clocks have Sprung Forward  April 2020, I’ve decided to write about  frequent the peanut and suet feeders  to tithonia! The patio has been swept,  starved viewers so as gardeners we can
         and we are able to enjoy an extra hour  the measures that I am taking to try and  under our rose arbour and the smaller  container plants have been repotted,  enjoy our plots and gardens in
         of daylight for a start! And nature does  inject some normality and positivity  birds  favour  the  feeders  sheltered by  borders fed and mulched. Even my  splendid isolation.
         not know that we are in the grip of a  into my world, and in doing so, I hope  the patio. Frogspawn is prolific, newts  plants supports are in situ before the    CAROLINE BROOME
         pandemic. By now, shoots are greening  to strike an optimistic chord with some  are swimming in the rill. What’s more,                          Epimedium
         up, blossom is out, the birds are singing  of you reading this. As someone who  our cats pose no threat to the wildlife,
         and pairing up. Here is a sense of  has suffered from anxiety for decades  happily ensconced in their very own
         anticipation of the positive kind. I find   it is very important for me to create  open air, mesh enclosed catio. All are
                                        some sort of normality to counteract  co-existing happily.
                                        the uncertainly of our daily lives.   So, every morning I wake to bird
                                          We have installed fourteen bird  song and for a few moments I can
                                        feeders into our garden over the last  forget the coronavirus. I’ll sit in our
                                        couple of years, and this Spring it  sunroom with my breakfast cereal,
                                        seems to have finally paid off. In order  and watch the wildlife going about its
                                        of size, regular visitors include five  daily business, creatures twittering
                                        parakeets, two jackdaws, a pair of jays,  and chattering amongst themselves,
                                        eight feral pigeons, a great spotted  not a care in the world, and I am calm.
                                        woodpecker, thrushes, blackbirds, chiff- Following the announcement of
                                        chaffs, goldfinches, all the tits, blackcap,  Lockdown, my husband and I spent
            Erysimum                    wrens and dunnocks. We also have   the day working in our garden: David,
                                                                     EMAIL: C.BROOME.GARDENGIRL@GMAIL.COM

                              Suburb rainfall                                                           Trees & Open Spaces

      The year 2020 has started as a   continuing the phenomena   is very tempting to search for   The RA Trees and Open Spaces
      year with all sorts of strange   reported in the last Suburb News.  some causal correlation with   Committee continues to be active
      happenings but not all weather-  Another result of the high pressure   climate change.   during the current lockdown.
      wise. It has been mild, with only   has been a lack of rainfall in   We are supposed to have   Emma Howard, RA Chair, and
      three sub-zero temperatures   January and March. As this   March winds and April showers   Colin  Gregory,  Chair  of  the
      recorded over the whole period   followed a very wet autumn, we   to bring forth the flowers we   Committee, have been in touch
      from January 1 to the time of   were probably mostly very glad   hope for in May. Is it climate   with the Superintendent of
      writing (April 3). While there   of it. Now, however, a little rain   change that has raised the   Hampstead Heath about the
      were gales around the middle of   would be nice for the garden.  pressure unusually high and so   measures taken on the Heath
      February, there have been long   The coronavirus outbreak is,  made winds weaker and less   Extension,  particularly  the
      periods of high pressure with   of course, the strangest of the   able to blow away the virus?  consequences of staff reductions
      accompanying wonderful sunsets,  current strange happenings. It   DIANA IWI FROM MEADWAY  and the need for social distancing.
                                                                                      All litter bins and dog bins have
                                                                                      been removed (because the City
          The delights of growing your own                                            do not have the resources to
                                                                                      empty them), and visitors are
      In those long lost days before     Throughout  the  UK,  while   of plants and compost through   urged to take all litter and dog
      coronavirus took over our lives,  so many of us are confined to   home  deliveries.  If  you  are  a   poo home with them. Barnet
      at the turn of 2020 Chris Page,  our  homes for much of the day,  new gardener and need advice,  have not removed bins from
      Chair of HGS Horticultural Society,  people are suddenly discovering,  check the Horticultural Society’s   parks  but  are  monitoring  the
      wrote the following, presciently,  or  re-discovering, the mental   contact page at and   position. Playgrounds and outdoor
      in his introduction to the new   relaxation and freedom from   we will try to answer your questions.  gyms are closed and as the weather
      members’ handbook: “2020 will   stress that growing our own   Sadly, all the members’ events,  warms up and the urge to go
      bring its pleasures and delights.  food and enjoying the sights,  outings, garden openings and   outside increases it’s important to
      In a few weeks, snowdrops will   scents and sounds our gardens   the three-day trip to the gardens   remember to keep your distance
      be pushing through the soil,  can bring, if we are lucky enough   of north Devon that were due to  – and we’ve been reminded that
      the winter shrubs will be in full   to  have them.  Sales  of  seeds   take place over the next few   picnics are not allowed.
      scent and the days will be   have hit new highs, and garden   months, have been cancelled or   Before the lockdown, the   the  tennis  club  in  Northway   because the tree is implicated in
      getting longer. Soon we will be   centres, though closed to face-  postponed in line with govern-  Trees & Open Spaces Committee   Gardens. Barnet have also just   subsidence nearby. Barnet’s policy
      frantically sowing, planting,  to-face customers, are continuing   ment advice. Previously, since   was working closely with Barnet   finished planting 55 new street   is to resist removal of trees wherever
      staking and harvesting...”   to provide an amazing assortment   its foundation in 1909, only the   to bring about various improve-  trees  across  the  Suburb  to   possible and take mitigating steps
                                                            Second World War managed to   ments.  It is  still intended to   replace those that have been   instead, but the legal position is
                                                            call a halt to the Society’s flower   plant  an  orchard  in  Lyttelton   cut down, including seven paid   not favourable to tree owners.
        Four Seasons                                        very likely that the June Show,  (see article on back page) and   for by the RA.  We are working closely with the
                                                            shows, but this year it seems
                                                                                      Playing Fields in the autumn
                                                                                                                                            Council to try to minimise the loss
                                                                                                                    We continue to monitor
        GARDEN MAINTENANCE                                  and even possibly the September   install a table tennis table next   proposals to remove trees, both   of trees due to subsidence claims.
                                                            Show will not happen. We hope   to the outdoor gym. We were   those in gardens (for which   Fresh air and exercise is vital
         Weekly or fortnightly maintenance contract  Garden clearance  you are continuing to grow the   delighted that Barnet replanted   Barnet and Trust permission is   for our wellbeing and we hope
         Lawn care (mowing, turfing, fertilisation etc.)  Planting  potatoes you were given for the   six purple plums (prunus cerasifera   needed) and Barnet’s own trees.  we will soon all be able to enjoy
         Weed killing & treatment  Hedge trimming, tree works  ‘Grow a potato in a bag’ competition.  nigra) to replace those felled in   Sometimes these are related to   it to the full on the Suburb’s
         Patio cleaning  All general garden services      Maybe we will have to ask you   the avenue across the brook from   tree health, but often they are   wonderful open spaces.
        We offer a professional, reliable service with 10 years of   to count and weigh your own
        experience at an affordable price. Call Roland or leave a message   and your family’s potato crop on
        for a free quote.                                   13 June and report your results
          07584 574520      to the Horticultural Society (we
                                                            trust you not to cheat!). At the
                                                            very least, you will have a bag or
                                   I specialise in all domestic and  two of delicious new potatoes to
                                      commercial carpentry   eat, perhaps with a little fresh mint.
                                  to the highest possible standards     MARJORIE HARRIS
                                  Professional decorating services
                                  also managed with over 10 years
                                        of excellence
                                                                                       We’ll bring your dream garden to life
                                  Call now for a free quotation
                                                                                       Our professional team with seven years experience specialises in all types of garden   Naomi
           For all your professional                                                    landscaping including • Fencing • Decking • Driveways & Patios • Turfing • Irrigation.
              carpentry needs                           Also monthly garden maintenance undertaken. For further details or a free quotation,    Landscaping
                                                                                        contact Noemi: 07718 592955 / 8374 8103 •
      SUBURB NEWS IS PRODUCED AND DELIVERED TO YOU BY RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION VOLUNTEERS                                                                            11
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