Plants that have settled in Admiralty Mews and survived the many years of mowing now feed insects (and the birds)
The Gardens, laid out when the Mews was created from the former barracks, need substantial maintenance, fresh planting, keeping our trees trim while making sure the footpaths look attractive. The Memorial Garden retains an original layout from its days as a burial ground. Trees have been added to the magnificent plain, beech and horse chestnut trees.
The gardens around the car parks look good throughout the year. PTM Ltd is contracted to maintain the planted areas and cut the grass and hedges, adding the compost from grass trimmings and leaf-mould to the growing areas.
Major work to trim the larger trees is completed by specialist contractors; Dover District Council give advice on the Protected Trees to make sure they are safe and secure for another century of enjoyment.
Following consultation, we aim to build a balance between cut grass and spaces given over to natural planting - the borders of the Memorial Garden are a wild space for insects, birds, a hedgehog and frogs/toads. The grass in the borders is left uncut for most of the year; in Spring the area becomes a vibrant mix of annual flowers including daisy, native bluebells and other woodland bulbs all growing from another era or planted by residents.
The native bluebells, daffodils and new arrivals - primroses, snakes head fritillary and more, seen in early 2018 are joy. A rowan tree has been planted in April 2018 - a donation to the area. Other trees are to pruned over the summer.
The survey and Report
White Cliffs Countryside Partnership have given us a report on the diversity of plants in the Memorial Garden and some ideas for the future of this open space. We have had a discussion at Committee and made some proposals that are now being considered by residents - everyone has been sent a summary on 22 January 2018 and all ideas and comments will be considered in April in 2018.
The lawns have 58 species of plant - most are not benefitting wildlife as much as they could as the before the flowers can produce nectar. Yarrow, Dandelion, Bristley Oxtongue, Common Ragwort, Thistle, Parsley-piert, Yellow oxalis, Self-heal, Cut-leaved Cranesbill, Cock's grass and Rye grass are abundant and if allowed to flower and set seed (except weed species),
Insects and bees are likely to benefit from a better approach; birds would also benefit if the native trees and shrubs were planted. Additional species such a Hazel, Holly, Hawthorn, Elder, Spindle, Teasels, some fruit, Walnuts, Sweet Chestnut would give more colour, interest and food for bees, goldfinches, and butterflies. The weeds such as ragw ort and dock need to go.
A red, white and blue mix of flowers ox eye daises, poppies and cornflowers -could be planted to indicate the military connection and maintain the memorial to honour the buried as well as the more recent who have lived and died in the Mews.
The Committee agreed to:
keep the bulbs and cut walkways but to not cut the borders from December to July to allow bulbs to multiply
Keep the pathways but add shrubs to add flowers, colour and habitat
Continue to use leaf mould on beds and reduce use of weed fillers
Continue to deter the foxes and keep the area clean
Invite views and ideas for the future of the Memorial Garden.
A full copy will be sent to you on request - email@example.com
The consultation is now closed.