Cultivation & maintenanceNews from the Nursery 2021
Urban Garden will be opening the garden centre on Good Friday and Easter Saturday, and then after will be opening on Thursday to Sunday. These plants will be grown on site by the council staff with extra help from Grow for Life who attend the Nursery every Tuesday giving adults Horticulture therapy whilst completing City and Guilds level 1 in Practical Horticulture.
Within the month of March, Bathwick Traffic Island will be replanted, using plants to provide 12 months of interest. Spring bulbs will be added to this display later on in the year.
Work continues at Botanics, clearing a large area by the Main entrance, this will also be planted in the month of March.
Non Stop Begonias will be returning to our flower beds this year both at Brock Street and Parade, using the scheme of Appleblossom and Rose with a Pink edging. With the usual assortment of Dot Plants..
Also at Parade Gardens the Butterflies will be returning to the 3D Bed.
And for the second year the Nursery will only be using Peat free compost with a Biological control to help minimise the threat of any pests that may want to eat off the plants..
Orange Grove is to also be restocked with perennials this Spring.
Parks and open space areas are maintained either by site-based operatives or mobile teams on a scheduled basis. The extent of cultivation/maintenance is determined by the type of area in question – grass areas, annual beds, or herbaceous/shrub borders. We are fortunate to have some areas where ‘friends’ groups assist with maintenance – for example, some excellent work is being done by the members of Entry Hill Golf Course, where they are raising the canopies of some of the trees and shrubs and clearing the undergrowth.
Quality of plants
Our nursery continues to grow and supply bedding plants that are used in beds, baskets and boxes. Growing in-house means that we can ensure the quality and variety of plant material to use in our displays. Wherever possible, we try to grow plant material that is either different to the norm, or that will help us interpret a particular theme. The nursery is diversifying by taking cuttings of plant stock from specific locations such as the Botanical Gardens and Georgian Gardens so that we can grow and replenish stock rather than purchase from an external source.
- In the main we use Bulrush as our growing medium; it is 100% peat-free compost, pre mixed with added nutrients;
- We use Bulrush in approximately 85% of the current crops we grow, with the exception of Non–Stop Begonias/Cyclamen/Impatiens, where we have to add 40% peat to the mix to aid growth to the standard we require;
- We have to use a peat-based mix in the wire baskets because of the weight issue (even with a peat-based mix, the 18 inch baskets can get to a weight of 25kgs);
- Compost from boxes and baskets is recycled at Lansdown recycling tip. Soil is removed when planting trees and shrubs and is re-used to line the base of window boxes in the forthcoming year, or used for minor repairs to grass areas.
Bath in Bloom has continued the theme of Sustainability and added beneficial plants to its schemes. Bath and North East Somerset Council has continued to review our parks and open spaces to see whether a more sustainable approach could be adopted, either through planting schemes or how green waste is recycled. A number of projects throughout the city have been added to or extended:
- A reduced mowing regime around trees has been introduced to promote the growth of wildflowers;
- Surveys have been carried out to identify the most suitable habitats to promote future wildflower growth;
- Flowerbeds have been sown with ‘Meadow Mixtures’ at many sites.
- Annual beds have been replaced with sustainable rose varieties around the fountain at Terrace Walk, the bandstand in Parade Gardens and at the obelisk in Royal Victoria Park.
- Spent bulbs that have been forced on for internal decoration purpose are then given out to local schools and community groups to replant for future enjoyment of their area.
Leaf clearance from parks is either:
- Left in shrubberies to degrade and for use as mulch/weed suppressant;
- Collected to take to Lansdown site tip for recycling as part of an on-going process;
- Collected and taken to various allotment sites for allotment users to utilise;
- Kept onsite in various areas, (such as the Botanical Gardens), to degrade and use as leaf mould.
A wide variety of new planting has taken place over the past year, including wildflowers on our roundabouts and parks, many new trees across the city and a new herbaceous border in Parade Gardens.
Bath Riverside Development
The first phase of Bath’s biggest ongoing development has been completed with mostly sustainable planting, 2 living green walls and a new park,
Bath Riverside green living wall