Great turnout today as we got stuck into two big tasks - preparation for replanting at the entrance to Bickleigh Vale and clearing out those silted up culverts!
Along our roadside verges, as with any garden, plants grow old or become diseased or perhaps suffer from possum and bird damage and the time comes for renewal and replanting. This is exactly what we face at the entrance to Bickleigh Vale so we set about preparing a rennovation plan for this area.
The plan is to remove the weedy species, more invasive plants and tree stumps in this area and then replant with varieties that remain sympathetic to our Roadside Vegetation Management Plan whilst offering greater visibiity to turning vehicles as well as resilience in our changing climate.
Here's what Bickleigh Vale resident, Carole, came up with that was then endorsed by the residents at our quarterly meeting last week:
At today's working bee, we got started on the ground work. An enthusiastic group cut down the weedy species, pruned the more unruly shrubs and removed those invasive plants as outlined in the plan. Stumps and branches for removal in the next few weeks by our management partner - Yarra Ranges Council - were tagged with red and white tape.
Its looking a little bare now but, after replanting next spring and then waiting a couple of years for things to grow, it'll be a fitting entrance to this lovely village again!
And then there was the other project - clearing out those blocked driveway culverts. After a couple of years of neglect due to Covid lockdowns etc, some of them have become seriously silted up and in recent heavy rain, grooves were gouged out of Bickleigh Vale Rd as the gutters overflowed and bypassed the culverts.
Armed with our new Wolf-Garten culvert clearing tool, three of the worst culverts were cleared after much effort whilst others dug out the excess topping that was blocking the gutters and put it back on the road where it belongs.
There is one more culvert that still needs attention but we ran out of time today.
As well as the two main tasks for the day, we also got stuck into routine pruning such as outside Abbotsley where the plants planted ten years ago are now out of control and needed to be reduced in size. Whilst not really in keeping with Edan Walling's approach to pruning, the narrow roadside verges at the eastern end of Bickleigh Vale Rd don't leave a lot of room for larger shrubs and part of the Management Plan includes maintaining driveway visibility.
From past experience it won't take long for some regrowth to fill in the brown patches and get their free-form shape back!
Friends of Edna Walling at Bickleigh Vale Village