I’m not superstitious. But whenever we convene to work on the edible planting/wildflower space in Leathermarket Gardens, it rains. Trundle a wheelbarrow onto the site and the heavens open. Uncanny.
It happened again yesterday, although it had the common Sunday decency to hold off until 2pm. Not so bad, considering that it kept the pigeons off the opened ground which we had prepared for sowing wildflower seeds – the soaking rain gave the worms a chance to retreat and the seeds a toe-hold in the soil, unmolested by beaks, so there’s every chance that the pollinator-friendly wildflowers will set, take root and provide attractive forage for the Bermondsey Street Bees.
The pigeons weren’t the only visitors, either, we received encouragement from local Philip Wood, Mark Roelofsen and Brice Gentilhomme and also Henrietta Oliver, as they passed through this popular park. And then Simon Hughes, Lib-Dem MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark for the last 29 years, also lent a hand. Community projects are right up his street, he remarked – so once again thanks to all at BOST, to Andy Chatterton at Southwark Parks and to Paul Toal at Quadron for making our LMG project possible.
In the interests of demonstrating Apis’s political neutrality, though, I note that the “hues” of all of the major parties are represented in the picture: blue, yellow and red. And for good measure, I thought it only fair to juxtapose this political photo opportunity with the reason we were there: our pile of mulch.
Come to think of it bees are rather unusually organized, politically: they are absolute monarchists (Queen) who live their lives as unswerving democrats (“voting” decisions by majority) in a marxist collective (equally sharing means of production and the surplus of their labours). But on the subject of torrential rain, they adopt a straightforward position: they don’t much care for it. Understandably. Heads lowered into the downpour, we carried on shovelling the mulch.
Anyhow, by 3pm, we had finished: wildflower strip weeded, opened up, seeded and setttled. Beds with crisp-cut borders, stripped of grass and creepers and topped with a layer of chipped bark. Apple trees, currant bushes and herbs all mulched-up and looking good.
Time to go home and dry out in front of the fire.
This was a non-political broadcast on behalf of the Forage Party.