Friends of Memorial Park Task Days in 2013
Here are details of our task days in 2013.
Fantastic weather for probably the last formal task day of 2013 - and what a busy year we've had!
Today the Diamond Jubilee Bed was fully replanted with perennials that we hope will put on a great show of colour outside the library next year and for many years to come. Earlier this week the skateboard wax was blasted off the coping with the Jet Washer that we won in the Karcher Cleans Britain competition in June this year and in the near future we will be installing skate-stops to prevent it from being abused in this way again.
Leaves were cleared from the car park, around the library, the Breathing Places Area and the Infants Play Area. The Play Area flowerbed and the toilet bed were given a good tidy-up and more perennials planted in these beds and at the War Memorial.
In the meantime, others were re-installing some of the ground sculptures that had been pulled out by vandals and several others have been removed so that they can have new rods inserted before they are found in the canal too. We've also removed one of the picnic benches because it has been damaged by drug-users. This will be re-installed after we've repaired it.
Marple Allotment Association members were very busy today installing a paved pathway alongside their adopted bed using surplus slabs that we obtained for free from Etherow Park. This is in preparation for the extremely popular Allotment bed, which has been one of 2013's great successes, to be doubled in size for next year.
Today's special task was to ensure that the War Memorial and Ornamental Flowerbeds looked their best for the Remembrance Service tomorrow. We also planted 20 additional rose bushes around the rear borders of the Memorial beds. These are part of our "Rose Wall" hedge and were replacements for those that didn't take when planted in the spring / early summer.
Marple Allotment Association were in attendance and tidied up their Allotment bed too. The Ian Rice Bench down by the canal entrance was also sanded and treated and this means that every single wooden bench in the park has now been refurbished, replaced or maintained by Friends of the the Park.
At one point this morning it rained so heavily that we thought we might have to abandon the task day but thankfully it was short-lived. We had a very good turn-out despite the wet start and focused on tidying up the War Memorial and Ornamental beds so that they will hopefully look the best that they can for the Remembrance Service in November. We have a special task day on 9 November to give it a final once-over and hope it will be dryer!
We also had a photo-shoot with Marple in Action representatives Di Jackson and Mick Mcphee, who presented us with a share of the group's surplus funds following a public vote on how they should be distributed. We received 36% of the vote, which earned us £161 and would like to thank MiA for their support - the money will go towards the Marple Skatepark Development Project.
Our main task this month was to transplant most of the 800 Polyanthus we planted in the Jubilee Bed in February to other locations within the park, including the toilet block, the sensory garden, the small bed at the side of the library, the bed in from of the offices and also in between the Senior Citizens' Hall and the Scout Hut.
The Polies have been removed to allowed us to plant hundreds of bulbs including Daffodils and Tulips in the Jubilee Bed for next spring. This is the first step in our planned permanent display for the Jubilee Bed and in the near future we will also be planting a large collection of perennial plants too.
The picnic benches inside and outside the Infants Play Area were given another coat of preservative and we also treated the swings to get rid of the green algae. The last of the three Boules Court Benches were sanded and treated too.
Arthur Procter came along to take some photographs, including a nice group shot of most of the volunteers who attended.
A busy day in the park with a much needed heavy pruning of the ivy growing around the toilet block and lots of maintenance work done on the ornamental flowerbeds and around the Bowling Green. The roses around the war memorial beds are becoming well established and looking really good so we removed the temporary barrier that has been in place to protect them over the summer. Around a dozen of the roses have not taken and replacements for these are due to be received in November.
The picnic benches just outside the Infants Play Area were sanded down earlier in the week by one of our volunteers and given another coat of treatment today. The first of the French Boules Court benches was refurbished and a number of other benches were also re-treated too. Planting was also done in the Infants Play area and the woodland area behind the library.
Marple Allotment Association were out in force and we discussed the possibility of increasing the size of their patch next year.
The main focus of effort today was on widening of the borders either side of the Woodland Reading Circle pathway. This improvement will hopefully give the borders a better opportunity to grow and took advantage of the availability of lots of Polyanthus from the Jubilee Bed in front of the library. We will soon be embarking on re-planting of the Jubilee Bed and some of the Polyanthus were transplanted to the pathway and some to the Infants Play Area. The latter also received a good pruning to the shrubs around the fence-line.
Other tasks completed include the application of a 5 Star wood treatment to the Tree Sculpture to combat woodworm that has recently become apparent. There was also more treatment of benches, including making a start on the Boules Court benches, and the fitting of the final plaque to the refurbished picnic benches at the Recreation Ground.
Marple Allotment Society's bed is really flourishing and a sign has been fitted encouraging people to sample the produce!
Another hot day with a small group of volunteers achieving a great deal in a few hours. The refurbishment of Jim Heald's commemorative bench was given the final touch with a coat of black Hammerite to the metal work - and doesn't it look great again! There was some touching up done to the Breathing Places display panel and several lamp post bases and litter bins too.
The small wild flower bed at the side of the library was given a good tidy-up, hedges were trimmed along the pathway near the Junior Play Area and the War Memorial Flowerbeds were given more TLC. The rose wall is really putting on a good show now and we are getting lots of positive comments about the way the beds are looking.
Marple Allotment Society were again in attendance and we can now vouch that their onions and gooseberries are very tasty!
On the hottest day of the year we were joined by 207 (Manchester) Field Hospital (Volunteers) - one of 11 TA field hospitals in the British Army, with centres in Manchester, Stockport, Ashton, Bury and Blackburn - who helped us to trim and prune the shub beds near the Council Offices. Other volunteers trimmed more shrubs near the main entrance to the park.
We also sanded down and treated Jim Heald's bench behind the library, gave the sculpture in the woodland a second coat of treatment and splashed some on the acorns and beechnuts too.
Below are some pictures from the task day plus some shots of the Allotment Association bed, which is looking fantastic. The War Memorial beds are also looking great and the first roses on our new Rose Wall Hedge are beginning to bloom.
After our huge Karcher Clean-Up Day on Thursday we had a quieter Task Day today with a good weed and tidy up of the flowerbeds in preparation for the Marple Locks Festival on Sunday. We also planted some new additions to the small bed in the Infants Play Area and re-installed the temporary barrier around the War Memorial beds that is protecting the roses. These are growing well apart from around 15 of the plants that seem to have died. We've contacted the supplier about these and are now waiting to learn how they propose to deal with the problem.
Most of the wooden benches in the park were also given another coat of preservative along with the stocks and the sculpture behind the library.
Marple Allotment Association were also in attendance and did more work on their adopted bed. On Sunday at the Marple Locks Festival we received lots of positive comments about this and generally how well the park is looking.