Only a week after our 4th Open Day event saw us back to our usual routine of the monthly volunteer events. Over a dozen people helped out with today’s tasks. The weather is really starting to warm up now, so extra watering of our new plants is required. Of course, this means that the weeds we try and keep at bay are also rapidly growing. The “Mound” area was also weeded to.
One of the more unusual weeds we were removing was Spanish bluebell. This plant is a threat to our native species because it readily cross-breeds resulting in the fertile hybrid, which is a problem because crossbreeding dilutes the unique characteristics of our native Bluebell, changing future generations forever.
The Spanish bluebells are a very common garden plant and are quite invasive in the right growing conditions. They are characterised by having little or no scent at all and are generally a much paler blue that the strong blue of our native bluebells.
One of the woodland’s more interesting plants we have acquired are some Elm saplings. These have been especially grown with the hope of offering resistance to Dutch Elm disease. As can be seen in the photo below, this small sapling is looking very healthy. The tree can grow up to a height of around 20 feet before the beetle that spreads the fungus through the tree starts to cause the tree to weaken. It will take many years before the planted saplings reach this size. Finally, our recently constructed pond is going from strength-to strength. The pond’s margins are looking very impressive, with the grasses and plants looking very healthy.