To boldly go where no perennial has gone before
You may have noticed changes to the ‘Star Bed,’ located just to the left of the entrance from Buckingham Road.
For many years, the Star Bed has boasted a memorial Cherry Tree in its centre and, in summer annual bedding plants in the 5 points of the star and its corner border.
After some discussion, this past spring (2023) the Friends group decided to move toward perennial plants because:
- Many bedding plants, such as colourful and long-lasting begonias have no nectar, thus failing to provide any food for pollinators, so not adding to efforts to make the Heatons more sustainable.
- Usually the bedding plants are supplied in dozens of plastic pots, adding to plastic pollution
- The Friends’ time and effort to plant and remove the annuals each year is time that could be used for other areas of the park.
The plan to plant perennials ran into some delays – the dry weather in early spring, followed by heavy rains in July and August – so the star started to return to its grassy roots for a while.
However, in September 2023, the a group of Friends Volunteers bought a set of perennials and planted up the Star and most of its border. We look forward to its development over the next few years.
The Star Bed was the only flower bed with annuals, partly to retain a bit of the look and feel of the park, when it had full-time gardeners and was planted up with annuals every year, so there was some debate as to whether it was important to keep annual planting after all. However, the group decided maybe keeping the look and feel of the planet might be slightly more important than retaining certain practices of days gone by.
As you may know, Stockport Council does not contribute to ANY upkeep of flower beds. This work is entirely down to the efforts of the Friends of Heaton Moor Park on ‘Gardening Days,’ and the services by a professional gardener that Friends finance. The group raises money fund-raising events and the kind donations received from the public.