IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

Leave the planting to us and see what happens

02 August, 2019

• SO sad to see that the lovely, pale pink hollyhocks I planted in the tree pit opposite (after many lengthy exchanges of emails to get council approval) had been cut to the ground for the second year running.

It seems that Islington was concerned the glyphosate weedkiller sprayed a few weeks ago hadn’t quite done the trick. My neighbour’s newly-planted michaelmas daisies, foxgloves and perennial grasses, grown from seed, were all devastated, too.

It seems workers had been told to cut back the suckers – the small branches that emerge from lime trees at pavement level – and decided to do a bit of tidying up of their own. Some tree pits were not touched, presumably because they recognised the plants in them as “flowers”.

Our street looks so lovely in the early spring – its tree pits filled with forget-me-nots, grape hyacinths and mini daffodils (all planted by locals) that our councillor, Dave Poyser, suggested entering for “Best Ward” in this year’s Islington in Bloom competition.

Sadly there would be no point. The spring flowers and bulbs die after flowering and are safely under ground by the summer, returning bigger and better year after year with minimal maintenance and no expenditure.

Unfortunately any plant that raises its head in June or July has to face the random spraying, strimming and chopping of Islington’s contractors.

Planting anything on our borough’s streets in summer seems to be just a frustrating waste of time, money and energy as all our efforts are likely to be destroyed by undertrained and underpaid contractors deciding which plants to destroy and which ones to allow to stay.

Why can’t Islington simply leave tree pits alone for a year or two, and just see what happens? It might save a bit of much-needed cash.

DOROTHY BOSWELL
N19

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