The local Community Woods group kept up our work parties through most of the worst of all this pandemic malarkey. After all, it’s all outdoors. And we keep well apart one from the other. So except for the first six weeks from late March 2020 we’ve been meeting and doing short stints in the open woods park area.
The cool wet spring has kept plants at their best when usually these parts of the woods dry out under light shade. The lungwort have benefitted from the cool wet, and the feverfew seems to stay in flower for weeks and weeks!
The Echium in the old leaf compost area is thriving and starting to stand tall amidst the lower growing edible calendula. We also have hollyhock seeded in this patch.
The acanthus we planted into the middle of the woods bed last summer have settled in and set flower this year.
A month ago a local resident and sometimes woods volunteer gifted us a selection of potted plants, including a large potted Australian bottle brush. I’d not had much to do with this plant but said ‘yes!!’ anyway.
The bottle brush plant looked gangly and pretty hopeless, but it has repaid the kindness we paid it to remove it from the constriction of years in a plastic pot to put it into the cool moist earth, because it has exploded into wonderful red pom-poms of bloom. Behind the bottle brush you can see the tall flower stalks of the acanthus patch – all of which set against the background of dense branches of bird cherry.
And yes, that’s a healthy patch of nettles in the front – left to promote the life cycle of butterflies and other friendly bug life. We also leave lots of leaves and twigs on the ground for the other woodland inhabitants. At the allotment snails and slugs are the enemy, but in the woods they are part of the tapestry and mainly tolerated.