This month’s blog is late. The deluge of rain, plus a deluge of work, has kept me away from the Green most days. In fact, working from home means that sometimes weeks go past and I seem to hardly go outside at all. What does the Green’s wildlife do in such wet conditions, I wonder? Pigeons roost on local ledges – I can hear them - but worms and hibernating insects don’t have such ready shelter. I know from past FoFG Action Days how worm-rich the soil is, and I hate to think that all those invertebrates are struggling to breathe in the sodden ground. Aerating the soil just isn’t an option at the moment, but hopefully enough worms survive to keep the Green a healthy growing environment, and a well-stocked larder for the birds.
Venturing out of my burrow in the last couple of days has been a treat, though. The sun, still so low in the sky that you can be blinded and not recognise a friend approaching on the path until you are almost nose to nose, has real warmth in it. The arcs of daffodils look particularly startling – against such a muddy backdrop, they stand out even more than usual. I love them most when the buds are green-yellow, just before they open: now they are starting to reach their peak of fullness. Of course, non-temperate climates have their own happy floral harbingers of Spring too, but daffodils are something really special. As I strolled around, I was also very pleased to see that the other bulbs we planted in October around the children’s landscaped area are starting to show, and the hellebores, pretty and slightly sinister at the same time, are bushy and healthy and raising their delicate pastel lanterns in the Sager Building bed. Spring can’t be too far away now, surely.
Because of my work, I wasn’t able to join the volunteers for the first new-style LOGS (Love Our Green Sundays), but the thirteen Friends who turned up did a really great job. The Green looks grand. The heavy layer of Autumn leaves and dried up shrub foliage from last year has gone, so the hellebores and other plants have a clear stage to ‘perform’; grasses have been given a trim and now stand up neat and bristling; and the litter has been cleared. I don’t understand why some people think a public open space is a place for them to discard their food packaging, but thoughts on how to educate them is for another blog, I think.
Unfortunately, the Green is still churned and ugly where Camden has replaced the lighting cables. The work needed to be done as the lights fused repeatedly, but the Green now needs to be put back to what it was. As the Committee mentions in the News section http://www.fortunegreen.org.uk/news.html, it has been in contact with the Parks department to ensure that this is done: happily grass reseeding work has already been planned for later in the Spring, so hopefully Camden can rectify the one when they do the other. Maybe the churning up has been good for the worms!
- Catherine Allison
Scene on the