Norwood Lodge, by the Norwood Gate, was lived in by the head gardener’s wife (Doris) for a number of years. She was the last person to live there and she maintained the garden.
The aim of the BPCP Biodiversity Group is to create a cottage-type garden, using the kinds of flowers that would have been common in gardens in the early 20th century in order to provide forage for pollinators and to improve the habitat for them and other invertebrates. Ultimately we hoped to encourage sparrows to live around the Lodge but they seem to have heard about the plans because a small number have already settled in.
The ground has not been cultivated for more than 20 years and is heavy clay so in the first year we have planted mostly annuals, which will be removed at the end of the season, allowing the ground to be dug over again and improved before winter. We are grateful for the Community Payback people for doing the first, very hard, manual dig of the ground in the right hand bed.
At the moment the planting is largely of Nicotiana (tobacco), Cosmos, Achillea (yarrow) and Rudbeckia but we have included a few Amaranthus (Love lies Bleeding), borage and hollyhocks. A few poppies, seeded from the poppy display in 2014 have also put in an appearance.
On Saturday we noted a large number of honey bees, hover flies and a few bumbles as well as some Large White butterflies, a Comma and a Gatekeeper.
The recent rain has given the biodiversity team a watering holiday and has much improved the life chances of a number of small bushes along the Norwood Road railings.