Essential tasks completed in November 2021

In recent weeks two major tasks have been completed successfully both of which are intended to have a good impact in the future.

The first of these was the re-lining of the wildlife pond in the Middle Bourne Lane Community Garden. This had to be carefully planned and approached in a methodical way by draining the pond, taking out the plants, trimming the edges before placing the new liner on top of the old. Each step required strenuous physical effort and we are very grateful to the small team that undertook this work in the course of a single week.

Above: stages of work on the pond in MBL garden

After that it was a matter of re-potting the plants in aquatic compost, finishing off the sides with an attractive pond edging liner and fresh turf and then refilling with water. The last stage has taken some time because the decision was made to use rainwater rather than the chlorinated variant from the tap and it has been a long dry spell throughout most of November.

There were logistic challenges along the way including keeping the rolls of turf moist in the dry weather and disposing of a surprising amount of waste material such as plant and turf cuttings.

There is still some peripheral work to be done including rebuilding the nearby wicket fence, but there is confidence that the site will now settle down and become an enhanced attractive feature for both the aquatic species when they return in the early spring and the many human visitors.

The second big job was to rejuvenate the raised flower bed at the Lower Bourne Crossroads. Once again, the bed had looked magnificent in the summer, but it was apparent that the plants were getting too large and were overcrowding each other. This was to be expected as no such major work had been undertaken since the original planting in November 2015.

Work on the flower bed at the Bourne Crossroads

Once again careful planning was required to get the right people and right stores onto this difficult corner site – something that was not helped by the main A287 road being closed off unexpectedly on the very day work was to have started. However, thanks to the dedicated efforts of the small team under the direction of Cathy Stewart, all difficulties were overcome and the task completed in quick time.

In the coming days a few fresh plants will be put in and the usual array of allium and tulip bulbs inserted to give a fine display at this our most prominent site in the spring.