Every few months, Yarra Ranges Council and their contractor grades Bickleigh Vale Road and adds more Coldstream topping when necessary to keep it in good condition. Its a bit of a tight squeeze for the grader but the end result is perfect for the village's newest bike rider!
With all the rain along with moderate temperatures over the past month or so the village is looking particularly lush and beautiful for this time of year. Of course this also meant there was more tidying up that usual!
As last Tuesday's quarterly meeting, we planned the tasks needed to be done at the working bee today:
After a couple of hours or so of hard work by everyone, we finished with a realaxing cuppa at Devon Cottage. A great way to spend the morning.
Edna Walling Lane becomes a divided road half way along with a beautiful centre plantation - one side leads to Devon Cottage and the other to The Barn. For the convenience of the postie and visitors, the mail boxes are both located where the road divides rather than on the property boundaries. Unfortunately, this means that just about every time the Council's contractor resurfaces Bickleigh Vale Rd and the Lane, they miss out the divided part - probably believing its actually driveways rather than Council property.
With the village Open Garden happening a month from now, and with five properties banding together to get their driveways re-surfaced, we also decided to re-surface Edna Walling Lane our of our community fund.
The end result looks terrific and after a shower or two and a few weeks to settle down, should look even better.
After a few weeks of welcome rain and with spring just around the corner, the weeds are growing strongly so this working bee is a perfect time to get them back under control. But its also only 6 weeks to the village Open Garden where eight of our gardens will be open to the public (check out the details on our OGV2019 page here) so there's another level of excitement this time.
These and others plants which were planted outside Whistlewood and Badgers Wood were kindly supplied by Yarra Ranges Council (thanks Aaron Roberts) and arrived just in time for the working bee. Great job, Coral, to organise this with Aaron!
Outside Abbotsley, it was really about pruning to keep the road clear and restaking the young Golden Rain wattles with two wooden stakes rather than the one star picket that was there before.
Further along Bickleigh Vale road, Homeleigh is looking good with Russel's re-mulching and the pot holes in the road from the recent rain have all been filled as part of our regular maintenance program.
And as always, getting together for morning tea is a highlight of the morning - this time in the Devon Cottage carport.
Another very satisfying village working bee!
The rain has come at last and everything is looking fresh and green - including the weeds!
Jan and Allan are working hard and having fun!
It certainly looks better outside Abbotsley and Littlewood with the ivy and wandering trad gone along with the weeds from the gutter!
In November last year, we identified that the Red Oak (Quercus rubra) at the Pembroke Road entrance to Bickleigh Vale Rd outside Hurst, was looking very unwell and we've sought advice as what to do to help it survive.
There is a lot of growth from other plants around it for possums the gain access. so we thought that, perhaps we could clear surrounding plants to stop the possums flight path to the tree. There is no power line access to the Oak tree for possums which is one positive.
Our community has rallied around and are implementing the following plan:
With the hot and dry conditions, growth of most of the roadside vegetation - including the weeds - has been limited but the gutter along Bickleigh Vale Rd needed clearing of gravel in (optomistic) preparation for the next heavy rain.
Whilst all the road construction work was going on, a small party worked on our two other items:
And then it was over to the Sonningfield carport for morning tea!
A dead Red Oak in Bickleigh Vale Rd and Golden Rain Wattle in Edna Walling Lane were earmarked for removal during last November's working bee and the Shire's contractor came today to remove them.
To our surprise, when the contactor had packed up and gone, we found the trees with their tops removed but the dead trunks and roots still in place. We'll have a chat with the Shire and find out why!
It was a busy working bee today with potholes filled, gutters cleaned out and culverts unblocked. As usual for this time of year, there was plenty of weeding and pruning - especially at the Pembroke Rd entrance. (Must get that sign straightened though... )
Two trees were replanted to replace dead and dangerous trees removed last May.
We have a sick Red Oak needing attention
At the Pembroke Road entrance to Bickleigh Vale Rd outside Hurst, the Red Oak (Quercus rubra) is looking very unwell. After it's winter hibernation, there are leaves on the bottom half but the top half is bare. Perhaps it's getting attacked by possums or perhaps the dry winter has affected it - we're not sure and are seeking expert advise as to what's the best thing we can do to help it thrive again.
Two more dead trees identified for removal
Friends of Edna Walling at Bickleigh Vale Village