Compost spreading

We seem to have finally gotten over the compost hill as GoodGym  came out in force to help us move the last of it off the lawn in preparation for the council’s work to aerate, scarify, level (with the correct compost!) and drill seed the lawn areas. You can read the GoodGym report here.

We have seen signs of (happy) life on the square as the spring flowers start poking their heads out and Hellebores and anemone continue to flower. We had a very successful planning meeting on the 22nd – thank you to everyone that attended.

Some exciting plans afoot- we will shortly be placing three options with planting layouts for the square on this site as well as the square itself and would greatly appreciate your feedback on which you think would be best for the park.

Don’t forget, it’s Community gardening this Sunday the 5th at 10 am!

I leave you with pictures of last night’s antics.

Merry Christmas and an opportunity to work off those mince pies!

Happy Christmas to everybody!

It’s been a busy year on the square but it’s not over yet! It seems we were slightly over-enthusiastic with the compost that was recently delivered, which means it has to now be moved from the lawn area to the borders which does give us a wonderful opportunity to get some post- turkey exercise.

Let’s gather at 10 am on December 29th and show our strength and get that compost moved. The council have very kindly promised to then help us level the ground properly and also aerate and reseed the lawn areas.



Preparing for a blooming spring

It has been a very very busy few weeks on the square.

During the community gardening day on December 4th we planted about 900 spring-flowering bulbs from the Taylor Bulbs of Spalding received free via the Bulbs for London scheme run by MPGA. Under Ellen’s watchful eye, the bulbs were planted at the appropriate depth so as to be properly squirrel-proof.

Just for extra awesome, Ellen has also planted hundreds of wallflowers throughout the square.

Last Friday, another long- awaited delivery arrived and we took in 14 tonnes of soil improver, delivered by London Waste as part of their Community Compost Giveaway scheme.

Given that we had been working towards receiving this delivery since about spring, we were still surprised when the notice of delivery was given only a few days in advance. Islington council were extremely helpful in lending us some wheelbarrows which Tony and Isobel kindly stored.

GoodGym were also quick to come to our rescue and posted a mission on their website which, due to the short notice and time of day was not terribly popular but yielded in a very very useful volunteer who helped us move all of the compost.

Well done, everyone! The square is now almost ready for spring and the compost smell is already fading.

Thank you so much!

So GGmany things to be thankful for this time!

First off, thank you so much, everyone who voted for us in the Grassroots Giving campaign from Skipton. We have been awarded one of their £500 grants and will put it to good use in beautifying the square.

The weekend before last we had a very successful gardening day where we collected a lot of lovely leaves and made some chicken wire rings to store them to make leaf mould which will be used to improve the soil.

In other news, it looks like there might finally be movement on the compost front as out Treasurer is valiantly taken on the quest to resolve all permission and logistics issues. Our next gardening day is December 4th – taking bets on whether or not we’ll have compost by then!

We also had a fantastic Halloween party with a great turn-out on October 30th. The parents were happily chatting as the kids pinned arms on skeletons and had a generally ghoulish time. Thank you to everyone who helped organise- specially the Foy/ Hehir household who did most of the heavy lifting.

A few (badly lit) pictures here:

Autumnal gardening tomorrow

Well it’s getting very very autumnal out there and on Sunday we will have many many leaves to tidy up. Last weekend, Merje and her little helper started some tidying by creating a cage for all the fallen leaves behind the rosebed so on Sunday we will be able to top it up with even more leaves as we tidy.

Still no news on compost delivery unfortunately so we may need to consider starting to plant in a smaller way and improving the soil by adding compost into the soil whilst planting.

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Successful tidying with GoodGym

IMG_8081.JPGThis Monday, we had the pleasure of a very very useful visit from the runners of GoodGym who swung by to help us tidy up the square. The small helper was busy decorating the square when a group of runners in red tops appeared and got stuck into raking, chopping and weeding around the square- these guys are very useful! You can read all about their run on their website report here.

I have gotten in touch with another local square who also have the runners helping out to ask them for tips on how to make the most of this amazing (and fun!) resource as we will definitely be asking them to come and play again.

Meanwhile, a mysterious collection of black bags containing what looks like compost has arrived on the square- does anyone want to confess to delivering these? If nobody minds, I would love to dig it into the rose bed and plant some more flowering shrubs around there.

Also, please could you keep watering the flowers under the three trees between New North Road and Wilton Villas so they survive this heatwave? It would be a shame to lose them as they bring a lot of joy to the people who pass them daily.

I leave you with some pictures of Monday’s session:

GoodGym helpers

We have been in touch with the GoodGym coordinator for UnknownIslington and they have agreed to come and lend us a helping hand with looking after the square.

A little bit about GoodGym:

“GoodGym is a community of runners who get fit by doing good.

Whether you’re new to running or are trying to beat your marathon PB, we’d love to have you involved in doing some good in your area.

We do physical tasks that benefit our community and keep us fit. You can run in a pack to work on a community project, do one off missions to help vulnerable people or commit to visit an isolated older person every week.

You’ll get the help of a qualified trainer and support to achieve your goals.”

Does that not sound a little bit amazing?imagesI have added the event to the calendar – please do feel free to come along to help if you have the time. I’ve also asked the council to lend us some tools on Monday so fingers crossed they will come through!


Coming up roses

IMG_7410This week we have been focusing on the rose bed behind the single bench, mainly getting rid of the surprising amount of rubbish that accumulates there, as well as weeding and tidying up the bushes and deadheading the stunning roses that grow in that space.

It seems that the stones demarcating the rose bed have sunk into the ground over the years and are no longer consistently visible. This has happened with all the borders around the square but you can only eat an elephant one bite at a time so starting small.

With the compost delivery imminent, I wonder if I could ask for your opinion? Broadly, I a wondering whether you would prefer that we dig for the slabs currently used and raise them up to ensure they are visible OR do we create a more naturalistic feature of the rosebud with some wooden borders, as seen at the Chelsea Flower Show this year?

Personally, I am in favour of the more naturalistic approach as it would benefit the creepy-crawlies on the square as well as providing a good use for the twigs and branches around the square. What say you?IMG_7288

In other news, the annuals we planted earlier in the year under the three trees between
New North Road and Wilton Villas are growing nicely, helped by the wet weather.

Don’t forget, the next community gardening day is this Sunday 10 am- 1pm. Hope to see you there!