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🐦🐦🐦 Three Pigeons Post: Water Colour

8 runners ran to help the Richmond Council in Richmond.

  • Richmond runner
  • Salwa Wardeh
  • Samia
  • Anita
  • JP
  • Adam Stephens
  • Cathy Aicardi
  • Harry Capewell
Sunday, 2nd of August 2020
Led by Anita

Three Pigeons Post: Anytime Sessions week ending Sunday 2 August

With the mercury rising, watering was essential so it was something of a 'Water(f)all' week.

Someone asked JP about the seawater content of the Thames water. Although the river is tidal up to Teddington lock , the tidal rise in Richmond is mostly fresh water pushed back upriver by the mass of incoming tidal water in the Thames estuary. It is probably ever so slightly brackish compared with the water on the other side of Teddington lock but nothing to worry about. Everything would have died long ago if it was too saline.

Anita Tuesday 28 July . 'Plant Rescue' On Tuesday I visited Homebase Richmond to see if they had any plants available to donate for GoodGym garden projects (Three Pigeons and the Hounslow Mosque). The manager gave me permission to have a rummage in the yellow hippobags behind the store, where plants that had suffered badly during the lockdown closure had been left. I rescued a good number of discarded hebes and strawberry plants and a few spirea and found soil and pots for them up at home. Most went to the Hounslow Mosque but I did put aside 6 hebe (aka dwarf ‘shrubby Veronica’ ) but unfortunately I loaded them up with the Hounslow Jamie Masjid donations by mistake.

Salwah. Wednesday 29 July pm. I cycled along to the 3 Pigeons plot on Wednesday evening to do a spot of watering. The tide was coming up and by the time I finished the task, the sun was setting and casting a beautiful pink hue into the evening sky, and the river had covered 3 more steps than when I had arrived!**

The plot and the recently assembled insect hotel were looking lovely, and as usual, many passersby stopped to chat and admire all the hard work that's been put into it.

Anita, Friday 31 July am. ‘Mercury Rising’.

Friday saw me returning to Homebase, Richmond to see if I could rescue anything else for The Three Pigeons. Lunchtime on the hottest day of the year (the mercury hitting 40 degrees behind Homebase), this was probably not the most sensible timing but I did rescue another 20 or so plants, mainly hebes and a few spirea. I was also able to pot them up as I worked, using compost from the hippo bags and pots scavenged from rubbish fly-tipped during lock-down.

These hebes are very tough, woody, very pretty plants and these (I think they are either ‘Caledonia’ or ‘Carl Teschner’ varieties) are a dwarf type with tiny evergreen leaves and blue-purple flowers. Although they look almost dead at the moment, I’m confident they will recover and they will be an ideal bee friendly plant for the edge of The Three Pigeons.

I also rescued a leafless 6ft acer. I am doubtful about this surviving (it may well be dead!) but I will give it a bit of TLC and see if it comes into leaf next spring

Sharing the passenger seat of my car with the acer was also a rather dead looking bamboo. I am more optimistic about this one surviving as bamboo are very tenatious .It’s not suitable for the Three Pigeons (it will become too big and too vigorous) but it will be a good for somewhere in the borders surrounding the huge car park at the Hounslow Mosque.

Adam, Friday 31 July .

Following the news that Friday was set to be one of the hottest days of the summer so far, a staggering 33 degrees! I felt it was more important than ever that the guests of the Richmond Insect hotel were well nourished. **

That news in mind and fuelled by Nero’s caffeine I made sure that the residents were stocked up ahead of the warm few days ahead. What I found most pleasing, however, was that one guest I spoke to was absolutely buzzing to give the hotel and it’s facilities five stars and would certainly recommend it to his colleagues!

Cathy & Kate, Friday 31 July.

Thank goodness for a bit of temperature drop Friday evening when I went to do the watering at Three Pigeons! Kate was also there: so lovely to have some company and inspiration for the watering which being my first time, looks easier than it is! Especially with the steps to descend and climb when tide is low. Well worth the effort to see how much growth in the plot as well as guests in insect hotel! Also, many a passerby stopped to admire and even a word of praise for the watering! We also did a bit of tidying, taking out some garbage that had found its way in the plot and Kate rescued the hotel sign which had gone a walk about.**

James, Friday 31 July. “Thirsty work

Under the sweltering sun of Friday afternoon, JP headed down to the 3 Pigeons plot to give the bed a much-needed drink. The hot weather this week has dried out the soil and it took a fair few buckets to be satisfied - which was thirsty work in the heat!”

Anita, Saturday 1 August: WaterColour.

I dropped off some red bricks and broken pots that I had collected from Homebase and did lots of watering.

Whilst I was collecting water from the steps down to the river, Dorothy from The Artful Dodgers art group, was painting the plot and gave me permission to photograph her and her watercolor.

A lady who lives nearby also dropped off a bundle of bamboo that she had promised the previous week. I put them in the Beuccleuch lock-up where they can be cut to size to fit the plastic BOL pots during the next group session.

Anita, Sunday 2 August 9am.

This should have been a small group session but I listed it for next week by mistake (doh!) so this was a long solo session before Harry joined me:

  • Weeding.

  • Watering (lots).

  • Planting (nigella,candytuft, sunflowers, , morning glory, cornflowers and poppy.

  • Relocating stones.

  • Dead-heading . Perhaps more accurately described as 'dead-stalking' in this case.

  • Chatting. I chatted to Anthony, a retired nurse from Isleworth, who used to enjoy a pint of Guinness in the Three Pigeons when it was a pub some 40 years ago. He gave permission to be photographed for the run report, as did Carey, from the Richmond Society, who had come to take a photograph of the plot. She had been involved when the Richmond Society first took over the bed and started to turn wasteland into wildlife garden.

Harry. Sunday 2 August midday. 'If it’s not nailed down....' Harry drilled and then screwed in place the two new insect hotel signs . One had been pulled off during the week and had disappeared but by good fortune Kate found it in Terrace Gardens. Reinstalled, they were an immediate success with the first passer-by reading and announcing loudly ‘oh look, it’s an insect hotel’.

Report written by Anita

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