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The Voice - June 2021


Comment by Geoff

Geoff Juden

We are now entering the time when we see the fruits of all plants emerging and we should rejoice. There is a certain goodwill factor at this time of year, especially as we come out of the current pandemic.

People have been providing from their own gardens or community gardens for us all to enjoy, so we should enjoy the beauty of the Summer months as much as we can.

Remember that the parks and gardens we enjoy at this time of year have to be managed, since they constantly need attention, so join your local friends’ group and become involved in whatever way you can.

If you value having someone campaign on your behalf to protect the environment and having access to useful articles about gardening and local environmental matters, please make a donation to help us with the cost of maintaining The East London Garden Society.


Loss of More Trees

Cavell Street Gardens

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets increasingly sees the tree as an obstacle to progress, the latest example being Ford Square and Cavell Street Gardens. 

Apparently a local private school needs ‘play space’ and consider this is more important than the environment that affects everyone.

It appears there was no consultation process as the decision had been made. 

However, after fighting for their rights, the residents managed to obtain a consultation process, but only the residents immediately affected by the so-called improvement could be involved.

Four trees are to be lost in Cavell Street Gardens and no more submissions are to be allowed. No wonder the local residents are angry about losing their trees, especially when it has been determined that the trees are in a reasonable health despite the residents being told they were diseased, so had to go.

A local authority is there to manage the area on behalf of all residents, not to impose Town Hall solutions. The loss to the environment is of utmost concern as is the scenic loss which is just as important for everyone’s state of mind.


Use of Pesticides in the Garden

Wild flowers

Gardens do not exist in a bubble, which means some of the pesticides sprayed onto the land end up contaminating neighbouring gardens, fields, soil, water and air.

Even in the case of systemic pesticides, which are taken up into the plant as a whole via pesticide-treated seeds, about 95 percent of the substances end up not in the plant cells where it was intended but blown off as dust or permeating the soil and water.

The ultimate solution is not to fight against nature with the use of harmful chemicals, but rather to work with it, and even learn from it, embracing the natural tools already in existence to keep pests in check, namely wildflowers.

Read More


Rambling

London greeways map

Rambling can denote several things but essentially the word means the same in whatever context it is used, such as long and confused as in a speech or sermon.

Rambling now commonly denotes a slow amble through beauty spots. One of the many ways to see the nature of London is with rambling groups in London such as Inner London Ramblers. This way you can understand what to some is the most precious that London can offer and learn to be at one with nature on your doorstep.

Hopefully, the weather will improve during the Summer and Autumn months with several routes being promoted for the purpose of enjoying what we have and providing a wonderful way to enjoy the day, or maybe even longer.

A route can be planned with one of the routes being promoted, but an important reason for enjoying such an occasion would be to locate the local community gardens and converse with the people who care about their local environment independently of any constituted institutional authority.

Enjoy your ramble and involve yourself in London.


Stinging Nettle

Stinging nettle

We often overlook the benefits of what we ordinarily see as a problem plant since a ‘problem plant’ is usually categorised as a weed.

The Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) also called common nettle, is a weedy perennial plant of the nettle family which is known for its stinging leaves. It is distributed almost worldwide but is especially common in Europe, North America, North Africa, and parts of Asia.

The plant is common in herbal medicine and young leaves can be cooked and eaten as a nutritious potherb. Additionally, stinging nettle has been used as a source of bast fibres for textiles and is sometimes used in cosmetics.

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Cooking in a Different Way ‐ Nettle Crisps

This nettle crisp recipe can be easily adapted to use with other wild and home-grown greens.

Ingredients:

Nettles

Method:

How long the nettle takes to crisp will depend on how much moisture is in the leaves.


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