Rainbow Quays Residents Co Ltd

Gardening news May 2012

December – April Early winter was quite mild but then in February we had some cruel frosts and a little snow.

This was the driest year since 1976 so all the reservoirs are empty. March was warm and dry, in fact there was hardly any rain from January to March but then in April the heavens opened and we had the wettest April on record! This has done wonders for the garden and the spring flowers were outstanding. We bought in a load of manure which was spread around, focusing on neglected soil and on young plants. The first lawn cut was on 2nd March. We used weedkiller on the paths and garage approaches since hand pulling takes more time than we have.

Email directors@rainbowquay.co.uk Managing agent: RMG customerservice@rmgltd.co.uk attn. Martin Hellenas

March promise: the Amelanchier trees in both gardens produce delicate white blossom which has many weeks of promise followed by a quick burst of bloom.

Other flowers in March were daffodils, the beginnings of the tulips, a few snowdrops left, white hyacinths in the pots, winter flowering cherry. A single blue Agapanthus flower, out of season, appeared and stayed for about three weeks. During April, with all the rain, weeding became a priority, but also Elin spread lawn feed and moss killer, emptied and turned the compost, and trained and sprayed the roses. There was plenty of flower: masses of pink and red tulips, tree peonies, hellebores, forget-me-nots, and wild garlic; and the promise of peonies, irises, roses, penstemon, gaura and lychnis. During May, we are focusing on planting out tender plants in the tubs and pots and the raised beds by each back door, to give extra colour through the summer. A batch of new plants was bought from Coolings nursery in Kent. Of course this is the busiest time of year for weeding, tieing roses onto their supports, and generally re-arranging things. A tree specialist came in to raise the crowns of the Robinia trees between the blocks so as to reduce root damage and let in more light to the beds underneath. Email directors@rainbowquay.co.uk Managing agent: RMG customerservice@rmgltd.co.uk attn. Martin Hellenas

They were also asked to remove one of the Birch trees from the East Garden so that the central lawn can be more used for sunbathing and picnics. We were sad to lose this tree since it was one of the most beautiful in the garden, but the East garden really needed a sunny space and that single tree was shading out the most useful area. You also may have noticed some activity in the fruit/vegetable experimental ground. In this area we have planted various things which in the long term will produce quantities of fruit at one time, and the intention is to have produce available to distribute to residents and to provide for summer barbeques and parties. Last year it was potatoes and tomatoes. Please do keep your eyes open in the summer for fruit or vegetables which we will lay out in the garden for residents to help themselves. We emphasise that this is common property so do not hesitate to help yourself to any fruit (eg gooseberries, tomatoes) which you see growing in the gardens. If you don’t, the birds certainly will! The fruit trees and bushes are more of a long term project as they need a few years to mature. The garden is managed by Chris Todhunter on a voluntary basis and Elin Simonsen, who works two days a week through the year. Please feel free to talk to us.

CT 7th May 2012

Email directors@rainbowquay.co.uk Managing agent: RMG customerservice@rmgltd.co.uk attn. Martin Hellenas