August 2016

Green Flag Award


We have heard that all three of our applications for a Green Flag award have been successful so the Upper Orchid Field, Community Orchard and Elizabethan Orchard will soon be displaying their award certificates. We have not yet seen the results for the rest of Wales but the probability is that we are the only village in South Wales, possibly all of Wales, to have three sites with Green Flags and we may have the first green space on farming land to have achieved accreditation.

Despite the indifferent and unpredictable weather the wildflower plantings are doing well and the Alps roundabout has been spectacular with its open and ‘sunny’ location. The blues of Borage and Bugloss came first followed by the oranges of Californian Poppy, Closer inspection (don’t try this when you are driving) reveals Clarkia, Cosmos, Zinnia and Coneflower.

We are grateful to Waitrose at Barry for including us as one of their charities for June. Unfortunately we heard too late to let people know for the June issue of Whats On so that they could consider voting for us. If you want to keep abreast of news from the group keep an eye on Facebook (Wenvoe Wildlife Group) which has up-to-date information and images. We would particularly like to hear from schools or other groups of young people as we can arrange guided visits, outdoor activities, pond-dipping etc.

The image in the photo is of a small bug and bee hotel which you will see popping up in our orchards. These can be purchased for a few pounds, look good and are used by solitary bees and wasps.

Children’s corner

You will need a map or and atlas. Choose a place name from the map and challenge your friend/parent to see if they can find it within a couple of minutes.
If they manage it, they choose the next place.. If they don’t find it show them on the map and choose another place for them to find.
You may be surprised to find some of the names of small villages.
This is a good game to play in the car to help make the time pass on a long journey.

August in the Garden


Well, we’re already more than halfway through the year and what a rotten summer it’s been so far. It seems to me that the few sunny days we’ve had have lacked warmth due to the continuous wind, and I mean wind and not gentle breezes. Already the winter seed catalogues are being delivered – I’ve had a few, almost before I’d planted out my summer bedding and I don’t really want to be thinking about winter pansies and primulas in July.

Recently my attention has been drawn to a couple of gardening questions in the newspaper that are appropriate to this dismal summer season.

First of all advice was sought as to what trees, if any can be planted in very wet ground. The answer is that very few trees like to be permanently waterlogged although the Swamp Cypress is a deciduous tree that thrives in the wet. The Alder and Aspen grow well in boggy ground, as do Willows, particularly the Weeping Willow.

The second questioner wanted a rescue plan for lawns that have been soaked repeatedly by heavy rain. The advice is as follows – Assist drainage by pushing a heavy garden fork into the earth, therefore breaking up the subsoil to allow the water to drain away more freely. If the grass has grown a lot longer than usual, raise your mower’s blades before the next cut. A few days later, when the grass has recovered, mow a second time with your blades at their usual height. Don’t be tempted to feed grass damaged by too much heavy rain as the roots won’t be able to take the nitrogen