Plantation

Leathermarket Hiver Beer_Team-1
The Plantation Team Celebrates – Hiver Beer-Style

On Friday 21st March 2014, a new Bermondsey Street Bees urban forage initiative came to fruition. Literally.

The first phase of our Leathermarket Gardens project was the planting of 6 varieties of Apple trees and 13 fruiting red and white currant bushes. We started at 10am and completed on schedule at 12 noon.

This plan for a comprehensive greening of a stark and unlovely wall running for over 100 metres on the northern perimeter of Leathermarket Gardens will provide sustainable, diverse forage for bees and other pollinators in the middle of busy Bermondsey, London SE1.

Leathermarket  Gardens - Guinness Court, Photo # 3-1
The Unlovely Leathermarket Gardens Wall

This project has been supported with imagination and commitment by Bankside Open Spaces Trust (BOST), who supplied the trees, shrubs and two expert plantswomen, Nicola and Mary. All organised by the boundless enthusiasm of Hej, of course.

There are two more phases planned: delivery of 8 tonnes of soil conditioner and the margin of wildflower sowing is planned for 23rd April and the final phase, the planting of bee-friendly climbers, is scheduled for 1st May. Each and every volunteer is welcome to join us – no need to bring anything with you, apart from a slight inclination to get down and dirty for a couple of hours in a great cause!

The roll of honour for March’s Tree/Shrub planting starts with Bob, who looks after Bermondsey Village Hall and who gave us access to water supplies to get the plantings well established (Thanks also to Christine, for her permission to take the water !)

Leathermarket Bob-1
Bob Opens The Water-Gate

Then there were Nikki, bee-elegant, as ever, in her pink wellies:

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Nikki In Her Bermondsey Street Bovver Boots

And Mike, whose stake-hammering would put Van Helsing to shame:

Leathermarket Mike-1
Now Let That Be A Lesson To You, Count Dracula!

Not to mention a male hairy footed flower bee bee-fly (thanks, Steve Alton!), spotted by Nikki:

Leathermarket Gardens Male hairy footed flower bee-1
It’s Male, Hairy-Footed And Likes Dandelions. But It’s A Bee-Fly !

Liz put in a supportive appearance “for two”:

Leathermarket Liz-1
Fayre Enough, Liz!

And Jon pitched in with a shovel on the brick-rubble-rich soil like a man possessed:

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Jon Gives His Blessing To the Planting

Throughout, we were guided and encouraged by BOST’s finest: Nicola made sure that we were watering properly, while seeming to dig holes in just half the time it took anyone else:

Leathermarket Nicola 1
An Orchard In The Making

While Mary was quite strict about the proper depth of hole to be excavated while telling us takes of her recent sabbatical, building schools and trekking in Tanzania:

Leathermarket Mary-1
Mary Modelling A Black Bin Liner

Job done, Nicola and Mary saddled up the BOST battle-bikes:

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BOST – Turning Pedal-Power Into Petal-Power

But not before posing for a celebration with Bermondsey’s own Hiver Beer (which recently won “Britain’s Next Top Supplier” – and is made with Bermondsey Street Honey!)

You will note that, consummate professionals of the gardener’s art, Nicola and Mary’s bottles are unopened in the middle of their working day. My and Mike’s bottles are distinctly open. You can draw your own conclusions….

Leathermarket Hiver Beer_Team-1
We Will Be Back On 23rd April And 1st May !

Now we need to ensure a rigorous watering regime to get the new plantings formly established. Plans are in place to work with Bermondsey Village Hall. All in all, a great local effort which will produce sustainable forage for pollinators, add greenery and character to an urban park and provide a smattering of Bermondsey fruit for residents.

I think that this is the way forward for forage in London! Be part of it: come and join us on 23rd April and 1st May !

Leathermarket Plantings-1
Job Done !

5 Replies to “Plantation”

    1. Steve, You speak with authority and a quick peek at a Bombylius major online backs up your claim. Thank you for the correction. Bee-fly it is, then. And you have to be impressed with its long proboscis!

  1. Well done all of you! Bermondsey is the other side of London to me, but I will be helping out with a wildlife gardening project in Ealing over the next couple of months. Hope to see more photos as the wall progresses.

    1. Hi Emily, Thanks for the look-in – and more power to your elbow in the Ealing wildlife gardening project. (I’m very much hoping to see Ealing’s very own John Chapple this weekend for tea and bees!)

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