So Much To Be Getting On With

THE VILLAGE GARDENER


So Much To Be Getting On With


As always there is so much to be getting on with in our gardens. Regular watering is another task to add this time of year, along with weeding and feeding. All this is essential to make the best of our displays. Hanging baskets will need feeding every week and watering every day. There never seems enough time to sit and enjoy the garden during the growing season but that’s the way of gardening. Just being amongst the plants makes us feel better.

Now is the time to take cuttings from lavender, forsythia and fuchsias. Plant seeds of primroses and pansies for transplanting out in the autumn. Canterbury bells and foxglove seeds can be planted now for flowering next year. Seeds planted at this time of year take a bit more looking after as shallow seed trays seem to dry out very quickly.

Watering is key to success. We are advised by the RHS of the need to water wisely due to some areas of the UK having severe water shortages. They advise we water in the mornings as plants start to use water when the sun comes up, with the soil and foliage likely to stay drier for longer than when watering in the evening, which will discourage slugs snails and mildew diseases. When watering soak the soil well as light watering encourages root systems to reach towards the surface and as soon as the top of the soil dries out the plants will suffer. The less room a plant has to collect water the more water it needs as in containers or pots.

If the weather patterns continue with very long dry spells, we will need to consider the plants we buy and look for more drought tolerant varieties, which seems not in keeping considering we have just had the wettest spring on record. So it’s a water butt on every down pipe on every house with a garden in future.

The National Allotment Society advice on jobs for June. Hoe at every opportunity to remove weeds and break up the surface of the soil to allow water to soak in. Train in your climbing beans and continue to add sticks to the peas and water these well to get the pods to swell. Successional sowing of salad crops and sow winter cabbage seed. Use soapy water on any black fly or greenly. Cabbage root fly can be a problem, the fly lays her eggs in the soil close to the young plant. When transplanting put a collar of cardboard at the base of plant to prevent the laying of eggs. There are nematodes for this problem that destroy the larvae.

Take care and happy gardening

 

THE VILLAGE GARDENER

 



An Unusually Dry Morning

VILLAGE ENVIRONMENT GROUP



An Unusually Dry Morning


On a day when rained threatened to curtail any activity, a skeleton crew tidied up and replanted the flower beds at the memorial, with plants donated by Michelles nursery in Suffolk. . The missing members had excuses beyond belief. Big John announced that his wife had glued his hand to his foot so he couldn’t come out, Gareth (the gypsy wrangler) had by all accounts, been set in a bucket of concrete because of an altercation with ne’er-do-wells, Alan said he couldn’t find his way to our location, Martin tweeted that the dog was blocking the exit and Mark had claimed to have eaten too much cake at the plant sale on Saturday and wasn’t in the mood for activity.

Our next gathering will be on Monday 10th June at 9.30 to check on the pile of stones and get the rest of the concrete off Gareth. Bring a hammer.

 



Another Great Day At The Plant Sale



Wenvoe Wildlife Group



Another Great Day At The Plant Sale


 

Another great day at the Plant Sale which generated over £1,600 for the Wildlife Group. Our thanks to Mike and Glenys Tucker for continuing to organise these events which not only raise funds but act as a social gathering for both residents and visitors. Shirley, Judith and Sian manned the Wildlife Group table so we are grateful to them along with all those who donated plants. Our appreciation to all of you who turned up on the day, bought plants and raffle tickets, donated raffle prizes and purchased the delectable cakes on offer. And well done, Geraint, for his great idea of having a bring and buy table for garden tools and pots with all proceeds to the Wildlife Group. We have had a big programme of noticeboard refurbishment in our orchards and the photo shows the completely rebuilt noticeboard in the Welsh Orchard

 



What Am I ?




What am I ?


 I breathe through my skin and have 5 pairs of simple hearts

 I am eaten by the Makiritare people of Venezuela, the Maori of New Zealand, the aborigines of Australia and Papua New Guineans

 Our ancestors were on the planet around 209 million years ago

 I am a keystone species; that means that without us humans would struggle to survive

 Sophie Smith, aged 10, charmed 567 of us in half an hour – a World Record

 I can live for 10 years or more

 I have been an ingredient in medicines for centuries

 Charles Darwin wrote a book about us which sold as many copies as The Origin of Species

 Our babies can move a weight 500 times heavier than their bodies. This is equivalent to a human pushing a Humpback Whale to one side

 Mucus from our bodies is often added to anti-wrinkle and skin regeneration cream

 We are so sensitive to sunlight that just an hour of daylight can paralyse us

 We are neither male nor female but both

 We can be as short as 1cm or as long as 3 metres

 Seeds that we have eaten and passed through our bodies are more likely to germinate

 The collective noun for us is a ‘clew’ from an Old English word meaning a ball of string

And for more fascinating insights read ‘The Book of the Earthworm’ by Sally Coulthard.

The image from Gower is Worms Head

 



Thanks for The Photos of the Wildlife Sightings



Wenvoe Wildlife Group



Photos of the Wildlife Sightings


Our thanks to all residents who have sent in photos of their wildlife sightings including Bee Flies (see photo), Brimstone butterfly, Bumblebees and wildflowers Ivy -leaved Toadflax, Wild Arum, Lungwort and the rare Herb Paris. With the help of our wildlife cameras we have recorded 20 bird species and 5 mammals. These are all recorded on the South Wales Biodiversity database which can help to inform planning decisions and designate nature protection areas.

We have been mentoring Rosie Robyns who lives in the village and is doing the Welsh Baccalaureate. To help with one of her assignments she has carried out various activities with the Group and has designed 2 anti-litter posters which are being displayed on our noticeboards. Rosie writes: I had a wonderful experience with Bruce and Judy from the Wenvoe Wildlife Group. They were very kind and willing to help me with my community action project for the Welsh Baccalaureate. I had to complete 15 hours of community action that would benefit my community. Judy helped me gain experience whilst working within the orchards and showed how we can do little things to help keep their habitat clean. Bruce was also very informative and knowledgeable when it came to the orchards. He helped explain to me the types of trees and animals that live in the orchard. Overall they were really kind to give up their time to help me with my project. I would like to thank them for being so kind and welcoming towards me. It has motivated me to try and become more involved with the Wenvoe Wildlife Group in the future.”



Enter Two More Dragons In Your Garden




Enter Two More Dragons In Your Garden


Our next two Dragons in this Chinese Year of the Dragon are the Lizards. The most common in Wenvoe is the Slow Worm, neither a worm nor snake but a legless lizard. They are amazingly long-lived, amongst the longest-living lizards in the world, often reaching 30 years and known to exceed 50. They eat slugs, snails, worms and invertebrates and whilst they lay eggs these are held inside the body and hatch there so that the lizard gives birth to live young. If you have room in your garden for a small sheet of metal or old carpet tile you will often find all sorts of wildlife sheltering there including slow worms. Juveniles can look very different with gold, silver or copper-coloured sides and often have a dark stripe running along their back. They hibernate in old trees or underground. Then there is the Common or Viviparous Lizard which is fairly common throughout the UK although it has not been recorded in our Parish. It tends to be found in grasslands or heathlands and you are quite likely to see it if you venture out into higher land in South Wales and moors but also sand dunes. It can be up to 15 cms in length and, like the Slow Worm, gives birth to live young. One to look out for and, if you can get a photo, even better.



The Soil Is Now Warm Enough

THE VILLAGE GARDENER


The Soil Is Now Warm Enough


Whilst weeding the flower beds, a couple of passers-by advised me to let the dandelions flower as they were a good early source of nectar for pollinators. These pretty yellow flowers seem to turn into seed clocks in a matter of minutes, you would need to watch them like a hawk if you don’t want your garden covered in them by the end of the season. These broad-leaved weeds smother everything around them. Just try digging them up, it’s nearly impossible, especially when they get established. Your neighbours will not thank you for spreading these across their borders. A few years ago, the authorities dug up 12,000 sq. metres of verge around Wenvoe, where weeds (wildflowers) were in their element.

Slugs are out in force now so protect the young shoots of hostas, lupins and delphiniums. Some of the new shoots of delphiniums and lupins can be cut off at the base, then potted up and put in a plastic bag, these Basel cuttings root easily and are a great way of getting more plants at little cost. The new leaves of roses will benefit from a fungicide spray now to prevent black spot and rust, before it can get established. If you follow the advice given by tv gardeners to wait until April before cutting hydrangeas back, they will give a better display. Cut them back to a new shoot.

This month the people at Greenmoor nurseries will be planting up their hanging baskets. These will stay undercover until established. Don’t put these outside until late May at the earliest, or they will go back and not give their best. As with potted up plants they will need a regular feed and consistent watering throughout the season, along with deadheading to keep them flowering.

And so it begins, the annual fight at the allotments between man and beast. This spectacle goes on until the end of the season. The young plants have been nurtured by the growers then planted in the hope of providing produce. On the other side we have the foe – slugs, snails, mice, rabbits and birds all vying for their bit. Runner beans are one of the favourites of both man and beasts, we like them in a dish smothered in butter, but the pests love them as they come out of the soil. Onion sets planted in neat rows are scattered about by the birds looking to see what’s underneath. There is still time to plant more peas to make sure you get at least some to cook as the mice will have decimated the first planting. Carrots planted earlier to avoid the carrot root fly need to be thinned out, allowing those remaining to grow on so the rabbits can have their fill.

Remember don’t be greedy when planting potatoes, it’s tempting to cram them in. If you do there will be no air flow between the foliage, and they will be more susceptible to blight.

Next month the Tuckers Spring plant sale will take place at the Church Hall on 11th May so if you have some extra plants you’d like to sell, this would be a good opportunity. There will be a raffle with proceeds going to the Wenvoe Wildlife Group and homemade cakes sold by the slice to take away or enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. See you there.

Take care and happy gardening

 

THE VILLAGE GARDENER

 



An Unusually Dry Morning

VILLAGE ENVIRONMENT GROUP



An Unusually Dry Morning


 

On an unusually dry morning the boys cleaned up at the front of the Community Centre. There were six working when we started but with Gareth extolling the virtues of socialism to a not so captive audience, the work soon petered out. To be fair, they had done their bit, and one has to take in the age of the group along with medical conditions, plus the fact that the carers were on the way to collect them. These lads are so good for the parish. You will never see them walk past a piece of litter without retrieving it, if you help them cross a road, they will be so grateful. Come along and meet the good folk at the plant sale, in the church hall on May 11th.

All being well our next meeting will be at the Village Green on 13th May, to assess a new venture before father time catches up with us.

Thank you for your support

 



Let The Dandelions Flower

THE VILLAGE GARDENER


Let The Dandelions Flower


Whilst weeding the flower beds, a couple of passers-by advised me to let the dandelions flower as they were a good early source of nectar for pollinators. These pretty yellow flowers seem to turn into seed clocks in a matter of minutes, you would need to watch them like a hawk if you don’t want your garden covered in them by the end of the season. These broad-leaved weeds smother everything around them. Just try digging them up, it’s nearly impossible, especially when they get established. Your neighbours will not thank you for spreading these across their borders. A few years ago, the authorities dug up 12,000 sq. metres of verge around Wenvoe, where weeds (wildflowers) were in their element.

Slugs are out in force now so protect the young shoots of hostas, lupins and delphiniums. Some of the new shoots of delphiniums and lupins can be cut off at the base, then potted up and put in a plastic bag, these Basel cuttings root easily and are a great way of getting more plants at little cost. The new leaves of roses will benefit from a fungicide spray now to prevent black spot and rust, before it can get established. If you follow the advice given by tv gardeners to wait until April before cutting hydrangeas back, they will give a better display. Cut them back to a new shoot.

This month the people at Greenmoor nurseries will be planting up their hanging baskets. These will stay undercover until established. Don’t put these outside until late May at the earliest, or they will go back and not give their best. As with potted up plants they will need a regular feed and consistent watering throughout the season, along with deadheading to keep them flowering.

And so it begins, the annual fight at the allotments between man and beast. This spectacle goes on until the end of the season. The young plants have been nurtured by the growers then planted in the hope of providing produce. On the other side we have the foe – slugs, snails, mice, rabbits and birds all vying for their bit. Runner beans are one of the favourites of both man and beasts, we like them in a dish smothered in butter, but the pests love them as they come out of the soil. Onion sets planted in neat rows are scattered about by the birds looking to see what’s underneath. There is still time to plant more peas to make sure you get at least some to cook as the mice will have decimated the first planting. Carrots planted earlier to avoid the carrot root fly need to be thinned out, allowing those remaining to grow on so the rabbits can have their fill.

Remember don’t be greedy when planting potatoes, it’s tempting to cram them in. If you do there will be no air flow between the foliage, and they will be more susceptible to blight.

Next month the Tuckers Spring plant sale will take place at the Church Hall on 11th May so if you have some extra plants you’d like to sell, this would be a good opportunity. There will be a raffle with proceeds going to the Wenvoe Wildlife Group and homemade cakes sold by the slice to take away or enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. See you there.

Take care and happy gardening

 

THE VILLAGE GARDENER

 



Old Entrance to Whitehall Quarry

VILLAGE ENVIRONMENT GROUP



Old Entrance to Whitehall Quarry


Having been given permission from Alex the narcissist, to work in Upper Wenvoe, the boys tidied up the verge at the old entrance to Whitehall Quarry. If you recognise the chap in the light blue conservative coat, first left, could you let the police know, as every time we work in this area he comes along and berates passing motorists on their driving. When a driver takes offence, big John has to save him from a battering. Apparently, he’s French so that may explain the behaviour. We’ve asked at the new home, but they haven’t started taking residents yet. Ieuan thinks he may be an onion seller, as he looks like one that used to reside in the village during the war.

 

Our next outing will be on 8th April at the Community Centre. We are of course grateful for the offer of biscuits from well-wishers when we’re on duty, but without tea to dip the ginger nuts, we find them too hard. We are mostly wanting Jaffa cakes!!

 



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