An army of rakers to clear the road and gutter of autumn leaves today. Potholes filled with the gravel from the gutter too and all along the roadside was weeded. Judicial pruning to keep roadside visibility. It looks great - amazing what a couple of week's of wet weather can do to bring it all back after the dry summer and early autumn! Finished up with morning tea in the warm sunshine at The Barn.
With quite a few people away from Bickleigh Vale for the day, we focused on a few areas rather than the whole road.
From the Lane to the turning circle Karyn and Chris raked up the leaf and bark debris created by recent strong winds. The original Sonning northern boundary post and rail fence (now Abbotsley boundary) was lifted from its side where its been lying for many years and held in place with star pickets. With a bit of weeding and light pruning to keep the road clear, It all looks much tidier.
Fred, Allan and Jan tidied up the 'triangle' and removed an old, disused and obscured metal arch from the roadside verge outside Whilstlewood before Allan demonstrated his pole sawing skills to clean up some of the dead wood along the lane.
Josh got stuck into the dead wood on the Bickleigh Vale arch cotoneasters - much better than them falling on someone or their car! A bit of light prune of the more intrusive shrubs to keep them off the road and then off to Devon Cottage for morning tea to finish up.
As well as the usual tidyup along the road, there were three bigger jobs we tacked this time:
The triangle makover - seven of us with cutting implements and a big trailer load off to the tip at the end. We found some gems under all the marauding top growth. Next - a few more plants for the gaps
When the Roadside Vegetation Management Plan was but in place in 2010, Friends of Edna Walling signed up for leading maintenance of the streetscape though replacement of large trees that have to be removed when they die or become an obstruction.
One of our Golden Rain wattles (Acacia prominens) at the north-east end of Bickleigh Vale Road had to be removed in July 2012 when it leaned too far into the road and two others died and were removed in September 2014.
It's taken us a while to find a source of replacement trees or the same variety but we finally got there and found three in 150cm pots. Since the original trees were removed, the stumps remain and other plantings have taken place so the new ones couldn't go into exactly the same spots but the end result should faithfully reproduce the look and feel of the streetscape which is what we set out to do.
Of course, we now have to wait 10 years for them to grow!
Tree #1 - Southern side of Abbotsley entrance
Tree #2 - Northern side of Abbotsley entrance
Tree #3 - Northern side of Abbotsley entrance
To our dismay, late in the day on Tuesday, the Coastal Tri Tree (Leptospermum laevigatum) that formed one half of the iconic arch in Bickleigh Vale Road outside The Shielan and Mistover developed a serious lean across the road and had to be removed overnight.
The Arch as it was in May 2016...
The weather was terrible - stormy and wet - and quite a few people were away from the village so it was a limited scale working bee this time.
Other than the usual filling of pot holes, weeding and pruning the special job we wanted to tackle this time was to reduce the jasmine build-up along the Homeleigh fence line (as per the Management Plan maintenance guidelines.)
It's topping and grading time again and with Lilydale topping now unavailable, Coldstream topping was used for the first time. Aesthetically, it looks pretty good and consistent with the heritage. We'll see over the next few months how durable it is.
It was a pretty good turn-out again with workers big and small and we gave the roadside a good tidy-up:
Unfortunately, the edge of our beautiful new surface at the end of Bickleigh Vale Road is being damaged by the weekly garbage truck run as it completes its 3-point turn. It would seem that the only way to avoid damage here is to put rebuild part of the Wimborne driveway with heavy material such as rocks or sleepers.
Food for thought!
As planned the contractor from the Council came yesterday with truck of 6-8 m3 topping and a bobcat and levelled the bowl at the Bickleigh Vale Road turning circle. They have built up the Wimborne side so that run-off will flow into the gutter on the Abbotsley / Littlewood side and have checked the fall with architect levels. Today, They came back with a rammer and packed it down.
This completes the work outlined in our earlier blog posts (road-maintenance-problem-and-solutions.html and december-topping-and-grading.html)
Looks pretty good!