Local gardens still pushing up daisies

Marc Perry studies the effects of an unseasonal autumn on Bournemouth’s parks an their employees, and answers the question; where do all the leaves go?

The warmest October on record has delayed the autumn leaf drop by at least three weeks according to gardeners at Central Bournemouth Gardens.

Head Gardener Rob Stanley has begun clearing up leaves with his four-man team: “Some of the trees have even started budding- they think its spring!” he said.

Mr Stanley’s records show temperatures have averaged around 14 centigrade during October: “We’re still cutting grass due to the warm weather as grass needs temperatures above 5 centigrade to grow,” he said.

“And look there!” He continued, pointing out a daisy still in flower: “We also have snowdrops out now which should be out in February, and we’ve had daffodils since the end of September!”

Garden team members Rodger Smale, Alan Scrimshaw and Jens Selke took a pause from clearing leaves to point out azaleas and camellias still in flower.

The team gather all the fallen leaves from the gardens into a compound where they are turned and left for 12 months.“They go through three stages before turning into compost: Mesophylic, thermophylic and maturation,” said Mr. Smale, semi-joking. This means they breakdown, warm up and turn into compost. The compost is then stored in a second bay and is used to mulch the flower-beds and herbaceous borders.

“Were pretty self-sustaining down here,” said Mr. Stanley. All green waste from Bournemouth streets is recycled too. “It goes to Eco in Christchurch.”

John Burchell, Business manager of Eco-sustainable solutions explained the process: “ We gather 30,000 tonnes of green waste from councils throughout Dorset and Hampshire.We shred it up, make it into compost and sell it on. It takes twelve weeks from tip to compost.”

For the latest Bournemouth weather click here. 

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