Archive for the ‘Simple but briiiant’ Category

Tree pit planted with wildflowers

About 5 years ago, our community veg growing project was launched when Islington Council gave away free wildflower seeds for tree pits (the base around trees). Since then, pimping our pavements has become a regular part of our horticultural activities, and an edged tree pit has become the holy grail of our street planting.

Planting up tree pits

When the council included our community project as part of their entry into London and Britain in Bloom, they kindly helped us along with edging fifteen of our pits.

Just those few extra inches make all the difference,

Eugenie Biddle-tree pit winner

allowing residents to plant perennials alongside wildflowers and other annuals.

Nikki with Everedge edging

Sadly, these resources are no longer available from the council, but we do have enough funding to have a go at DIY tree pit edging. And here’s Nikki, our first DIY tree pit candidate. The metal EverEdge edging comes in packs of five 1 metre lengths, that easily interlock to create a continuous border. We were slightly alarmed at how rigid it sseemed at first, but bending was more do-able than we at first thought, simply wrapping the metal around a piece of wood (instructions are enclosed!) and using a bit of elbow grease.

Before pic of tree pit

Since it was our first attempt, we did learn a few lessons along the way.

  • Ask your neighbours to move their cars the day before, for easier access to the tree pit!
  • Don’t permanently join your lengths of EverEdge together until you have created all the bends on all of the pieces
  • You’ll need more soil to fill the tree pit (once it’s been created) than you think
  • You’ll need a large mallet for hammering in the edging, plus some wood for shaping the corners and to use with the mallet (see pic below) (more…)

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I was out gardening with friend Lizzie on a gloomy Wednesday afternoon and was hugely cheered and delighted by the sight of this Erigeron (karvinskianus) in pots.

Well into November and these blooms, having been in flower all summer long, are still looking fresh and enchanting. Not only a perennial, but Erigeron is drought tolerant too, so this is certainly an idea that I’ll be stealing next year for a window box or two.

P.S. Pots are from Hode Pottery in Canterbury, Kent


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Tim’s back and creating more fantastic topiary in our area.

At the beginning of the year on a bright winter’s day, Tim started transforming a neighbour’s troublesome and massively overgrown hedge into a thing of beauty. Troublesome, because it was such a solid and enormous mass, that people were doing bad things under cover of the dense privet.

On first sighting, Tim’s thoughts flew to an elephant herd, and no sooner thought of  than done!

Tim is a fast worker, even with a spot of tennis elbow,

and with ‘team elephant’ behind him, managed the first cut in a few 2 hour sessions.

Six months later and after its second cut, the herd is looking amazing. There are still a few areas that need to fill out, but we’re all mighty impressed with Tim’s achievement. Both ‘London in Bloom’ and ‘It’s your neighbourhood’ judges who recently visited our area were bowled over by this amazing transformation and if you stand to look and stare for a few moments, you will soon get into conversations with other passers-by who are similarly wowed by this wonderful herd.

The residents are delighted to have reclaimed their front garden and the rest of the neighbourhood  benefits from this fantastic piece of public art.

Tim Bushe’s previous topiary sculptures can be seen just up the road in Highbury and Tim can be contacted on Twitter @HedgecutterMan or at tim@walkerbushe.co.uk if you’d like him to create other works of art in your area, with all proceeds going to his sister’s charity, the HFT Trust. If you’d like to make a donation, go to Tim’s page on Just Giving.

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