ST ANDREW'S CHURCHYARD 2006-7RoseMary Musgrave
This is the eighth year that CHIS working parties have been busy in the Churchyard. We cut the commitment from monthly to quarterly and despite being unable to work on one of them because of the weather we have just about managed to keep on top of the brambles and ivy, both of which grow with great vigour. We have had great success and almost eradicated two strongly invasive plants, Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) and Alexanders (Smyrnium olusatrum).
The length of the east wall was cleared and three trees planted. Nearest the fountain is a Davidia involucrata (Handkerchief tree), next a Betula albo-sinensis ‘China Ruby’, with attractive pink, papery bark. Near the gates is a Maytenus boaria. This is a small, graceful tree with slender branches an pleasant shining green foliage. These will provide variety in flowers, bark and foliage, and increase biodiversity.
The site of the medieval church (by the War Memorial) has been cleared and opened up. We will plant more shrubs and small trees but the contractors have not yet ground out the stumps. The outline of the church of privet bushes was reduced in height and will be replaced in due course. This area was being used frequently by substance abusers and did need drastic clearance. We are most grateful to a close neighbour who paid for half of the work to be done.
The Council is keeping an eye on the state of the fountain. We continue to press for proper repair.
This year the scented bed near the Fosseway in the northwest corner and the nearby roses on the wall repaid David Speller’s hard work. The rambler ‘Open Arms’ kindly donated by Clifton Garden Society, flowered well. It is encouraging to see the number of insects hovering around the bed. Our aim of biodiversity looks as if it is working. As always, we are very grateful to the regular few and those who come for shorter spells – every hour helps. Without this work the restoration would not have been possible