OiB is trying to maintain the town’s barrier planters so there is always something interesting in them, using perennials wherever possible. The week of 10th May was a good opportunity to upgrade all 31 planters, which we did in three mornings. Despite ongoing restrictions we had an enjoyable time followed by coffee in the market square. The very kind Otley BID has stepped in to provide the money for watering roughly half these planters this year.
The 2021 lockdown continues. Last year we planted up the barrier planters in Otley (32+) in the late spring. The half to the west suffered from poor compost (not our supplier’s fault, very much all there was available) and the plants have never done as well as those on the eastern side of town.
Back in November we spread daffodil bulbs around them all, which are now coming up. Just to enhance these planters for the spring, we added a few more trays of plants during a rainy day.
Thank you to everyone who stopped to say thanks, and for giving us social distance to work.
At the start of 2020 OiB, Wildlife Friendly Otley and Otley 2030 were working together to provide Leeds Parks department with a guide on how to introduce more trees and wildflowers to Otley. We were especially interested in changing road verges from barren green grasses to more interesting wildflower areas which would offer friendly places for wildlife and reduce the carbon footprint of maintaining verges.
Leeds Parks found other areas of Leeds to plant up before Otley and then…. Covid struck. Despite this, the Otley organisations kept talking and looking for alternative groups to work with. It was with great excitement that we found that the BT telephone exchange on Charles Street was happy to let us intiate a wildflower meadow in their garden. We considered planting up the garden in the Spring but the weather had been beautiful and dry so we were concerned we would not be able to keep it watered, hence we let the Spring pass.
Autumn looked a better bet and so, in September, six socially-distanced members of OIB and WFO started with this roughly mown area.
Focusing on the front rectangle of grass we mowed the grass again, and again, and again. This allowed us to get down to the turf of the garden. Then we used a turf cutter to slice strips out which we flipped over. The addition of 0.5 kg of wildflower seed and about the same of dry sand scattered by hand over the newly exposed earth seemed to work well. Over the coming few days the British weather did the right sort of things and watered the seed in. Some of it will require colder weather to trigger germination.
We will sign-post the area to help guide the official mowers to cut the grass/wildflowers correctly. We will also put up a sign explaining what we have done so everyone can see how well or badly this is doing.
For those who are interested in the details;
seeds purchased from https://www.naturescape.co.uk/
“N5F long season meadow mix”
|Latin Name||English Name||Mix Composition|
|Centaurea nigra||Common Knapweed||5%|
|Centaurea scabiosa||Greater Knapweed||3%|
|Daucus carota||Wild Carrot||5%|
|Echium vulgare||Viper’s Bugloss||2%|
|Galium verum||Lady’s Bedstraw||6%|
|Geranium pratense||Meadow Cranesbill||2%|
|Hypochaeris radicata||Common Catsear||2%|
|Knautia arvensis||Field Scabious||3.5%|
|Lathyrus pratensis||Meadow Vetchling||2%|
|Leontodon hispidus||Rough Hawkbit||2%|
|Leucanthemum vulgare||Oxeye Daisy||5%|
|Linaria vulgaris||Common Toadflax||1%|
|Lotus corniculatus||Birdsfoot Trefoil||4%|
|Malva moschata||Musk Mallow||3%|
|Plantago media||Hoary Plantain||2.5%|
|Prunella vulgaris||Self Heal||7%|
|Ranunculus acris||Meadow Buttercup||5%|
|Ranunculus bulbosus||Bulbous Buttercup||5%|
|Rhinanthus minor||Yellow Rattle||6%|
|Rumex acetosa||Common Sorrel||5%|
|Scabiosa columbaria||Small Scabious||3%|
|Silene dioica||Red Campion||4%|
|Succisa pratensis||Devilsbit Scabious||2%|
|Trifolium pratense||Wild Red Clover||2.5%|
|Verbascum nigrum||Dark Mullein||1.5%|
|Vicia cracca||Tufted Vetch||2%|
|29 Wildflower species||100%|
This is just some of the rubbish we found in and around Kell Beck last weekend. A few Otley in Bloom volunteers, along with some local residents, spent a couple of hours dragging a miscellany of items out of the beck and picking up litter in the area.
When we’d done that, we planted a few daffodils, which we hope will brighten the area up in Spring.
Once again Otley in Bloom will be giving away daffodil bulbs in the market this Saturday 10 November, this year they will be miniature daffs in celebration of our Silver Gilt win in Yorkshire in Bloom 2018.