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The East Dulwich Forum
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messageFlowers in East Dulwich
Posted by jamesmcash 06 September, 2019 22:01

Dear all

A resident recently contacted me about wild flowers. As you may be aware, in addition to the visual benefits, wild flowers have a significant environmental impact in supporting pollinators like bees and butterflies. We can make a small contribution to averting ecological disaster.

I would like to introduce more flowers - either wild or from bulbs - into the local area. I already have a few ideas for potential locations but I would be keen to hear more. I am talking about existing grassy areas - not spaces for raised beds. They do not need to be large though: a few square metres can have an impact.

What do you think? Would you like to see more flowers in East Dulwich?

And do you have any ideas for where they could go?

Best wishes
James

--------------------
James McAsh - Labour Councillor for Goose Green ward
James.McAsh@Southwark.gov.uk
[www.jamesmcash.com] [twitter.com]

Surgeries: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7pm, East Dulwich Community Centre on Darrell Road

Sign up to the Goose Green councillor newsletter: [www.jamesmcash.com]

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Elaine25 06 September, 2019 22:23

It would be lovely to see wild flowers in Peckham rye park or piermont green.Dulwich parks wild flowers this year were beautiful!

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Sue 06 September, 2019 22:52

The Goose Green wild flower area was very disappointing this year.

It looked like it had had no attention at all since last year (which was lovely).

I would like to see wild flowers planted/sown in tree pits.

But when my grandkids did this a few years back, the plants were sprayed by the council weed killers sad smiley



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit was 2019:09:06:22:54:16 by Sue.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Pugwash 07 September, 2019 15:19

In some country areas - wild flowers are sown around the base of trees, along grass verges and in front of hedges.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by se22cat 07 September, 2019 16:08

Totally agree with Sue, they were a lovely feature, assumed this year there just wasn't enough funding? Goose Green does seem to have less attention paid to it by the council every passing year sad smiley

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Humdinger 09 September, 2019 12:37

I'd probably prefer to see a Wetherspoons ahead of some flowers, to be honest.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Penguin68 09 September, 2019 13:43

Some nurseries offer packs of 'naturalising' bulbs - which would be good for areas which are not frequently disturbed. This is the planting which keeps on giving. Otherwise pollinator friendly wild flowers would be a good choice (expenditure on Goose Green roundabout tends to be of the 'rebuild because another over-large lorry has rammed it' nature. Perhaps there's nothing much left for horticulture there?).

We are lucky in the south of the borough to have so much parkland available. And to have quite (and quiet) leafy streets (the planting of ornamental cherries really paid back this year).

Planting in tree pits has the drawback that these are often quite arid and can be vandalised. When it does work it's lovely.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Sue 09 September, 2019 15:46

Penguin68 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> Planting in tree pits has the drawback that these
> are often quite arid and can be vandalised. When
> it does work it's lovely.


The soil can be enriched, though.

Somebody in Ashbourne Grove (I think) has planted up several tree pits, which are lovely to see.

A lot of residents in Islington do it, and there is (or was, I presume there still is) a category in Islington in Bloom for them. To the best of my recollection, the only vandalism was by council workers spraying them despite having been sent a list of where they were sad smiley

My younger grandchild put a poster on the tree outside my house (North Cross Road area) asking that the plants in the pit not be sprayed, but still they did it sad smiley

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by sjsl 09 September, 2019 16:30

The path from Greendale to Sainsburys... I've sown wild flower seeds there in the past but it's mostly mahonia shrubs, I'm sure more could be made of the edges of this path.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by katanita 10 September, 2019 20:37

I'm hoping someone here is more expert on this than me, but my understanding is that it is sometimes ecologically preferable to allow an area to rewild itself rather than introduce new species. May not work for smaller areas, or in central London with so many introduced plant varieties around, though? Anyone know more?

Would love to see more wild areas generally!

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Sue 10 September, 2019 22:04

I think that refers more to introducing new species which would not normally be found in that geographical area?

I might be wrong.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by katanita 10 September, 2019 22:18

It might do. I was following this twitter conversation with interest. Refers to larger brownfield sites though [twitter.com].

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Chris99 12 September, 2019 13:17

Some planting of wild flowers can be beneficial for wildlife and attractive for people - but Katanita is right - it's also amazing what can happen if you just stop mowing grass within an inch of its life and let nature do its thing.

Green Dale Fields is a good example of this (old playing fields left for 20+ years and reclaimed by nature).

There are loads of places in the area where week after week the summer the Council will cut the grass, even though the areas aren't used by people (often areas around Council estates, for example). Reducing the cutting of some of these areas once or twice a year, or leaving patches unmown, so wild plants can grow would make these areas much better ecologically - and save the Council (and, by extension us, the tax payers) money.

It would be great if James could explore this, as well as some planting of wild flowers.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Humdinger 12 September, 2019 15:15

There's a good chance any flowers planted will get wrecked by loutish pub goers on the way home after a skinful.

There were some destructive looking types eating the 24 (*now reduced to 19.95) Sunday roasts outside the Palmerston on Sunday, i overheard them saying they were intent on going and breaking branches off the palm tree thing in the middle of Goose Green roundabout. Exercise your green fingers and brighten up the area at your own peril, ill say.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by JohnL 12 September, 2019 15:48

The weeping willow tree on Peckham Rye that was chopped back to a trunk has spouted loads of greenery - it's not anywhere near dead like I thought smiling smiley

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by BrandNewGuy 12 September, 2019 15:52

Yes, in fact that tree split and toppled over last year. The council then tidied it up and I was glad they didn't remove it entirely. Its sibling weeping willow next to the road is looking fabulous.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by katanita 23 September, 2019 14:46

An article on why just not mowing is usually better than planting [pollinators.ie] but also suggestions on what to do if that isn't an option (e.g. the land has been covered)

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by wee quinnie 24 September, 2019 13:59

There is a wee patch of green on Upland Rd., adjacent to Crebor street. Crying out for a sprinkle of wild flowers.

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by rch 25 September, 2019 14:41

I would love to see the hanging baskets back on the lampposts on Lordship Lane!

--------------------
Robin
Twitter: @ex_cllr_rch

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by jamesmcash 27 September, 2019 10:01

Hi all

Thanks a lot for all the great comments. Really useful and interesting.

I am by no means an expert on these matters so I have been passing your comments onto the council's Ecological Officer to find out more.

When there is a good amount of space then leaving the area to naturally 'rewild' is really effective. But in an urban area where the green areas are smaller, this is more of a challenge. The beautiful flowers tend to be edged out by more 'thuggish' plants like thistle. These are less aesthetically pleasing, and they do not have the same ecological impact.

For an example of this, have a look at the 'wild flower' garden in Goose Green park - it is totally overrun.

So if we move forward with this I am keen to ensure that the project has money put aside for maintenance. I don't want this to happen again.

Best wishes
James

--------------------
James McAsh - Labour Councillor for Goose Green ward
James.McAsh@Southwark.gov.uk
[www.jamesmcash.com] [twitter.com]

Surgeries: 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month at 7pm, East Dulwich Community Centre on Darrell Road

Sign up to the Goose Green councillor newsletter: [www.jamesmcash.com]

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by Jakido 27 September, 2019 10:16

James

it would be good if this could be part of, more ambitious wider plan to make our streets healthier. For example see pages 13 & 16 in this for ideas:

[content.tfl.gov.uk]

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by katanita 28 September, 2019 17:07

Thanks James, glad to hear the Ecological Officer is also involved and that you're thinking about the long-term maintenance.

On a related note, I hope Southwark will also take on board this new guidance on managing roadside verges for wildflowers
[www.theguardian.com]

messageRe: Flowers in East Dulwich
Posted by el_capitaine 02 October, 2019 23:23

Hi, great idea!
I work for TfL and we are trialing cutting some of our verges less. Happy to share lessons which might apply to verges in East Dulwich. Wildflower verges are definitely a cheap and attractive way of supporting wildlife. Plantlife's new guide should be very helpful.
Charles


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