The bright blue autumnal skies couldn’t have been more of a contrast to last week’s rain as 15 green gymmers plus a couple of local volunteers met for today’s session at the Elizabeth Daryush Memorial Garden up at Boars Hill. On arrival, we discovered a couple of large branches had come down from the sweet chestnut tree where we gathered, and vandalism was briefly considered before being dismissed.
The warden, Rachel Sanderson of Oxford Preservation Trust, wasn’t able to make the session, but had given us a map showing us what needed doing and where: mainly cutting back the nettles, bracken and brambles to stop them from encroaching onto the grassland of the garden, and to make way for where the daffodils come up in spring.
We spread out in all directions, taking on the various tasks, slashing, lopping, raking and piling up the debris to rot down. Graham and Ursula dragged larger branches through the undergrowth to add to the ‘dead hedge’ along the roadside which creates a habitat for wildlife. Elsewhere, Janet and Joan bashed brambles, Kate attacked the bracken and frenetic activities of various kinds could be observed right across the garden.
We had our tea-break in dappled sunlight, with Carolyn and Janet retreating to a bench by the pond. The rest of us took our tea and coffee beneath the trees, while gobbling up a few biscuits.
Back to work, with more lopping and slashing – a great way to release any tension and get the heart rate up! The sun continued to provide some lovely warmth all the way to the session's conclusion. More of the same next week, please!
-Joanna and Andrew
Photos by Joanna and Andrew:
|Gathering by the bench.|
|Rosie with new Green Gym attire (and haircut!).|
|Session instruction including map!|
|Joanna rakes some cut bracken.|
|Kevin in the undergrowth.|
|Janet and Joan bramble bashing in the sun!|
|Heather basking in the beautiful weather.|
|James working up a sweat.|
|Time for tea?|
|Janet and Carolyn take a seat.|
|Some beautiful hips.|
|A lovely pair of acorns.|
|Still sunny at the session's end.|
|Some tools waiting for a lift home.|