Spring Newsletter

In the current crisis, more people than ever are enjoying the Green.The spring flowers of primrose and cowslip are at their best and the riot of colour from the tulips is just beginning.

Spring 3

The refurbished pond is showing signs of life. It’s fun to spot the tadpoles but please leave them there to develop into adult frogs and toads. In previous years some parents have encouraged their youngsters to fish for them – as the pond is new, please do not do this, please leave them to thrive.

To enable us to keep the Green open, please respect the need to maintain social distancing. Please keep a distance from others and do not congregate in groups. Please respect the signs and keep your dog on the lead – it is impossible to maintain space whilst chasing after it.

Spring 2

We have had to postpone Open Gardens to the Autumn. It will come but at the moment no one knows when we are going to see an end to the crisis and perhaps this, together with other fund-raising events will need to be cancelled. We will need your financial support in maintaining the Green and so please encourage everyone you know to join as a Friend and “Fund a Day”. See under 'Background' above for full details.

Spring 1

Spring Coming To The Green

Although battered by the recent storms, the Green is starting to come out of winter hibernation and the first signs of spring are appearing. The newly planted anemones are showing promise, the little daffodils we planted a couple of years ago are looking good, and there is blossom on the trees that were part of the original planting twenty years ago. The unusual early white prunus is in full flower and is now at its best.

The heavy rain is making the grassed areas rather fragile (we have sympathy with the keepers of Dyrham who have had to close most of the park to prevent damage!). We will be putting up some notices reminding people to keep their dogs on the lead – there has been quite a bit of damage as a result of people exercising their dogs vigorously. We do not like having notices around the Green and we keep these to the minimum but when there is damage, we need to act.

Snowdrops on the Green

Although February can be rather a bleak time of year, the Millennium Green is a tranquil place to see the new year’s growth beginning – the snow drops are in flower, the refurbished pond is looking inviting for a new generation of amphibians, and the spring bulbs are starting to push their way into the light. Click on images below to see full size.

Minutes & Reports from the 2019 AGM

The 2019 Annual General Meeting of the St. Stephen's Millennium Green Trust was held on November 25th 2019. The minutes and reports from the meeting are available as follows:

Millennium Green Update May 2019

The grass has started to grow and when he mows, John our gardener is making
the distinctive pattern, which he does every year. The intention is to
allow as many as possible of the beneficial wild flowers to flower and seed at this time of year.


Mowing patterns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wildflowers are naturalising well in the grass strip alongside the allotments; the cowslips are doing particularly well.

Wild Flowers

Although the tulips are nearly over, they are now followed by the many alliums that we have planted, which are putting on a spectacular display.

Alliums

Next month we hope that the planned restoration of the pond will go ahead. All the funds raised through donations and sales of cards at the Easter Egg-Hunt as well as proceeds from Lansdown Open Gardens (Sunday 30 June) will go towards paying for this work.

Look out for the peonies - last year they hardly flowered, perhaps because it was so dry. After the recent rain we have noticed that buds are coming open on several plants and we hope that this year they will be better.

John has planted some new geums which we hope will not only look good in the bed by the cascade but will also attract plenty of pollinating insects.

Current Projects

A lot has been going on at the Millennium Green and this a busy time of year on The Millennium Green, with lots of pruning and weeding – but a time when it is looking its best.

Have a look at the stage; John, our gardener, has refurbished it over the winter.

More recently he has planted some Miscanthus Sinensis, which will form clumps producing tall flowers that become attractive seed heads. In Japan, where it is known as susuki, it is considered an iconic plant of late summer and early autumn.

A big project about to start is the regeneration of the pond. It has been leaking badly for a couple of years and needs to be reconstructed. The first step will be to drain it completely. Some buckets of mud from the bottom of the pond will be carefully set aside as a means of retaining some of the dragonfly eggs and nymphs, which otherwise would take a long time to re-establish. For the relatively short time that the pond is drained, other wildlife should be able to find a temporary home.

The Millennium Green is using a specialist contractor for the work and the money raised in subscriptions, “Fund-A-Day” and events (look out for notices!) is being channeled into payment for this project and for the regular work to maintain the beauty and diversity of our green haven.

Take a look at the old photos below which show the pond being constructed over 20 years ago. The current project will return the pond to close to its original size.