Floral St Saviour
Next team gardening meeting
We meet on the last Saturday morning of the month at St Saviour’s Community Centre to carry out floral tasks as a group. The next monthly meeting is on Saturday 24th September 2016 at 09:30 until 12:30. Everyone, children included, is welcome, whether they have gardening expertise or not!
We are delighted to have received the Nature and Conservation Award from Floral Guernsey for our work at Courtil Sous L’Eglise. This is the third time in the four years since the Award was first given.
This year was our strongest year yet in terms of how we felt about our entry. We receive many compliments from Community Centre users about how lovely the grounds and garden are, the Rectory looked superb with the addition of wall mangers, the Ste Apolline’s Chapel flower borders looked great and, of course, Courtil Sous L’Eglise won an Award. The judges marking was more realistic, perhaps, this year but it was certainly a disappointment to be awarded only Silver in the Community Competition.
Everything in the gardens and the meadow is starting to leap ahead in growth now as the weather warms up. The wild flower seeds sown in Courtil Sous L’Eglise have germinated and are growing well. The vegetation along the banks of the douit at Courtil Sous L’Eglise has been cut back to make the stream more visible, particularly for the children who like playing Pooh Sticks from the bridges.
It was great to have additional volunteers helping this month. A Team of ladies from St Saviour’s WI planted up the ‘Formal Bed’ at St Saviour’s Community Centre following a planting plan devised by their leader, Sharon Williams, in conjunction with advice from Phil Merrien, Manager of the States Parks and Gardens Team.
The Sensory Garden planting was completed, many thanks to Sue Chapman for the planning put into this with advice from Nigel Clarke at Queux Patio and The Green Legacy Project. The irrigation system has been completely re-vamped to ensure complete coverage. All beds have been mulched with wood chips to suppress weeds and retain moisture, many thanks to Ric at Wakefield Tree Services for donating the wood chips.
The Auberge du Val restaurant and B&B has taken over the planting and maintenance of the wooden planter opposite Courtil Sous L’Eglise, we are very grateful.
Planning permission has been received for a new Information Board at St Saviour’s Church. This board will provide historic information about the church and cemetery, it is on the Floral St Saviour Walk. We now have to apply for Faculty permission from the Church of England to install the sign on church property, the application has the full support of the Rector and Church Wardens.
April has been a busy month:
Floral Walks leaflet
Kindly sponsored by the Auberge du Val with top quality landscape photographs supplied by Nick Despres, we published our Circular Floral Walks leaflet which is available at the Tourist Information Centre and the Auberge du Val. It draws together the key aspects of the floral team’s efforts.
New entrance beds at St Saviour’s Community Centre
We have created two new beds, one either side of the entrance, which symbolise Lower St Saviour being joined with Upper St Saviour. The bed to the right when entering has a recreation of Le Trepied dolmen whilst that to the left has a miniature reservoir dam wall and jetty (many thanks to Nick Vining who sandblasted the reclaimed granite quoins from the entrance wall that was removed to widen the entrance).
The Community Centre entrance area has been transformed this month, the old wall and gates have been removed and new wooden gates allowing two way traffic and pedestrian access. Whilst completing this work two new beds have been created, one either side of the entrance to soften the impact of the tarmac and granite. The beds have been designed to symbolise Lower St Saviour with Le Trepied dolmen to the south and the reservoir dam wall and jetty at Perelle to the north. Pebbles and granite reclaimed from the Vraic drying area at the junction of Route de la Perelle and Bilotterie have been used to create hard landscaping, many thanks to Bonamy Martel for the tractor assistance and La Societe Guernesiaise for giving permission to remove the stone.
We had an excellent Working Party at the end of February when we had 8 volunteers working on a pretty cold day. We planted Pyracanthas into the bed by the Emergency Exit to the Centre. This bed was raised by one block height with the assistance of the CEPS Team earlier in the week, it will be rendered during March. The end result will be an effective and wildlife friendly screen for a large blank wall.
The Sensory Garden is being prepared for the season. We had a lesson on how to prune Hydrangea, which we were then able to put into practice.
We also carried out a general clearing of surplus plants to allow space for existing perennials to spread.
The Herb Garden fence has been removed and an area cleared to make way for compost bays that we will introduce in the coming weeks. This will make it easier for volunteers to dispose of gardening waste as it is closer to the source of the waste.
We were disappointed to discover that all of the 5,000 crocus corms planted in November have been dug up and eaten by what we believe to be rats. The lesson learned is that the soil should have been well trodden down after planting.
A good use for the Christmas tree, creating some bedding for insects in the bug hotel at Courtil Sous L’Eglise.
Our first Working party of the year was rained off, this is the first time in 3 years of holding regular Working Parties that this has happened so we cannot complain. We put the time to good use by holding a planning and budgeting meeting at St Saviour’s Community Centre, please see the minutes here.
We received a sack of crocus corms from the two Rotary clubs in Guernsey – Rotary Club of Guernsey and Rotary Guernesiais and Floral Guernsey with the cost being covered by Ravenscroft. This is in support of The Purple Crocus Project which aims to raise awareness of the global fight to eradicate polio. A small group of volunteers planted the corms at St Saviour’s Community Centre where they will complement to 2,000 daffodil bulbs planted in the same area.
The hanging baskets at the Centre have been removed for the winter and the window planters have been replaced with the winter and spring displays.
A fairly depleted Working Party planted 1,000 daffodil bulbs at the Community Centre and completely cleared the car park bed ready for substantial redesign and re-planting in Spring.
Our first Working Party after the summer break saw a new member joining in, welcome Brenda! We carried out routine maintenance at both the Community Centre and Courtil Sous L’Eglise. Over the summer break the Community Centre car park has been completed and, as a by product, the earth bank at the bottom of the field has been completed and trenches for hedge screening of the compost and general working area have been dug. Trees have already started to be planted and The Green Legacy Project have promised to supply Hawthorn etc to complete the planting.
In Courtil Sous L’Eglise a Bug Hotel has been constructed. Maylands Nursery children will be helping to create the ‘rooms’ for our insect guests later in Autumn.
We were delighted to be awarded a SILVER GILT in the Community Competition and absolutely over the moon to win the NATURE & CONSERVATION AWARD for the work in Courtil Sous L’Eglise over the last 5 years.
Ongoing maintenance of all areas continued with the last Working Party before the August break.
We collected the hanging baskets from our friends, the Gardening Team in Herm. This is third year running that Brett and Rosie have helped us by planting up the baskets and we are very grateful. The new earth bank created at the Community Centre dries out very rapidly and the trees we planted need help to establish. We applied a very thick mulch of wood chips from our stockpile as well as laying weeping hose to apply water more gradually which should help it soak in. We hope this will help retain moisture as well as suppressing weeds. Finally, the wild flowers are starting to bloom in Courtil Sous L’Eglise.
The plug plants we have been growing on since the beginning of April were brought to the Community Centre from Vic de Garis’ greenhouse, after hardening off for a week. They look pretty good and are certainly a cost effective way of producing plants to fill the gaps in the beds around the Community Centre.
As part of the 70th Liberation Celebrations former Bailiff Sir de Vic Carey, a Parishioner for 48 years, unveiled the Information Board at the newly created second entrance to Courtil Sous L’Eglise. There were about 100 Parishioners and children in attendance with the added bonus of several visiting Military Vehicles enthusiasts who happened to have stopped to admire the meadow and the nearby German Tunnel entrances.
We were very pleased to be able to recognise our very generous sponsors of this major project:
- Constables of St Saviour
- David Lesbirel
- Dunnell Robertson Partnership
- Island Construction Limited
- Jules Le Gallez
- Marquis Surveys
- Norman Piette
- The Green Legacy Project
- Wakefield Tree Services
We purchased very nice looking new terracotta pots to replace the recycled tyre planters outside the Floral St Saviour HQ outbuilding at the Community Centre. We were lucky that the Rainbows visited us to plant the new pots with this year’s flowers.
At the suggestion last year of the Floral Guernsey judges, we reworked the Formal Bed at the Community Centre to make it more colourful and less labour intensive.
A new earth bank has been created along the bottom of the field at the Community Centre. Now that the large Monterey Pines have been felled we were very grateful to receive a gift of several hundred native trees with low pollen count from The Green Legacy Project. we spent a few hours planting them and they should create a windbreak once established that can be kept low to retain the stunning views whilst being very good for bio-diversity.
Plug plants being re-potted and the Plant Nursery area being demolished to make way for the car park
Last October we received 800 daffodil bulbs from Floral Guernsey and planted them along the wall at St Saviour’s Church. They are now in full bloom, as the picture below show:
The working party tackled remodelling the formal bed at the Community Centre in extremely wet conditions. The established ground hugging Hebes have been re-distributed to create ‘half-moons’ on the face of the bed and on top, these will be filled with a combination of perennial flowers and small shrubs to reduce the amount of ongoing maintenance required.
The ramp at Courtil Sous L’Eglise is really starting to take on its final form. The woodchips have all been laid, over 500 Hawthorn and Crab Apple planted and our new ‘Throne’ has been created by Ric from Wakefield Tree Services:
A small group met at the Community Centre to tidy the Herb Garden and another small party continued spreading woodchips on the ramp at Courtil Sous L’Eglise. We held a planning meeting after completing the work, minutes to be published soon.
November and December 2014
We held our normal working party at the Community Centre at the end of November. We finished tidying the Sensory Garden and weeded the native tree hedge around the plant nursery and daffodil area. The Sensory Garden continues to look great with many plants still flowering this late in the year.
We received planning permission from Environment Department for the grass and wildflower seed mix to be sown at Courtil Sous L’Eglise and ordered the seed. Sadly, the weather beat us for our planned seed sowing session and we will now have to hold this over until next Spring when the wether turns warmer. We received 500 young trees with canes and tree guards free from The Green Legacy Project for the ramp project at Courtil Sous L’Eglise. We held a tree planting session in early December and were delighted to attract some new volunteers.
Work on the earth ramp at Courtil Sous L’Eglise is moving on. This month a small Working Party started laying wood chip pings on the path surface having installed oak sleepers at intervals on the slope to prevent the soil migrating downhill.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the Working Party were at the Community Centre continuing to weed, deadhead and prepare for winter. The Sensory Garden still looks colourful prior to real Autumn and Winter setting in.
The first team gardening meeting took place at the end of the month at the Community Centre. 8 volunteers, including the Parish Senior Constable, spent the morning picking up hedge trimmings from the road outside and weeding and dead heading the Sensory Garden which still looks great.
The earth ramp at Courtil Sous L’Eglise is almost complete. Environment has agreed our proposal to plant a Hawthorn hedge interspersed with Rowan and Crab Apple trees on the edges of the ramp, this will be attractive to wildlife whilst acting as a barrier to keep people away from the slope edges. We are very grateful to The Green Legacy Project for donating the 200 trees required to create the hedge, we will plant them in November. We are working with La Societe Guernesiaise via Guernsey Environmental Services, known as Environment Guernsey, to come up with a seed mix that will stabilise the slope faces and that is acceptable to Environment Department.
The log seats at Sous L’Eglise have been completed and have already attracted positive comments from Parishioners. We plan to sow patches of wildflowers by each to add a splash of colour that will draw the eye and attract people into the field.
Preparation work has also commenced on creating the earth mound and ramp that will provide access through a second entrance. We are very grateful to Norman Piette for donating sheets of wood to provide tree root protection by creating a roadway for lorries to drive over. The roadway consists of 200mm of wood chips donated by Victor de Garis, the wooden sheets laid on top and finally a 200mm layer of grit donated by Dave Lesbirel. The creation of this road means that work can commence in September on creating the earth mound.
Work has commenced on creating the second entrance to Courtil Sous L’Eglise. A tree that has to be removed has been felled and Chris Stonebridge of Treevolution has carved 6 seats out of the trunk. 5 seats are being placed in Courtil Sous L’Eglise and 1 at the Fief Stone near the former Strawberry Farm to replace the bench that has rotted away. Each seat weighs something like 2 tonnes and was moved by a tractor with a grab. Water permeable matting was laid under the seats to ease the ongoing maintenance burden by suppressing grass and flower growth around the seats. This membrane will be covered with wood chippings donated by Victor de Garis.
If you are able to offer some time, an hour a month would be fine, please contact Andrew Courtney 07781 105606 or email email@example.com .