STANLEY CRESCENT GARDEN COMMITTEE
54 Ladbroke Grove W11 2PB
MINUTES – GARDEN ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
Wednesday 15 May 2013
The meeting held on Wednesday15th May at 8.30 p.m. at St Peter’s Church, Kensington Park Road, London, W11 was attended by 19 residents.
Apologies for absence
Jean Gustafsson, Jacqui Lane Jenkins, Linda Clifford, Joe Joseph, Geordie Greig, Chloe Milton Hicks, Cornelia Von Scheven, Sheila Robertson
Minutes of the last meeting
Minutes of the last meeting were agreed – proposed by James Lipton and seconded by Joyce McKenzie.
The Chairman, Sandra Kamen, welcomed everyone to the meeting but voiced her surprise and disappointment at the low turnout. She reminded all present how blessed we are to live on such a beautiful garden – a rarity in big cities. She urged all residents to walk around the garden particular at this time of year when there is so much to admire and enjoy.
The Chairman went on to thank the members of the Committee for their work over the last year. She asked that all raise a glass to Sheila, who was unable to attend the meeting, and who is taking a sabbatical after 40 years on the Committee. Sandra offered her thanks, encouragement, and toast to both Gordon and Stephen.
Lawns – much needed renovation work will be done this month to the middle lawn. The lawn will be scarified to clear the thatch, aerated, seeded and top dressing and feed will be applied. The lawn will be out of commission for 4 to 5 weeks to allow the seeds to germinate and the lawn to recover. During this period the lawn will be cordoned off and parents were asked for their cooperation and understanding. In the meantime children would be allowed to play on the bottom lawn. Gordon will protect the beds with plastic netting.
New trees – 7 new trees were added to the garden over the last year. A prunus ‘The Bride’ and a malus ‘Rudolph’ were planted in the circular bed on the top lawn. A sorbus ‘vilmorinii’, a prunus, and a cornus kousa were planted on the Stanley Crescent side of the garden and on the Ladbroke Grove side a prunus ‘Spring Snow’ and a magnolia stellata.
The use of insecticides, pesticides, and weed killer – the Committee is keen that the garden should go green and SK asked Gordon to refrain from using weed-killer on the pathways. After some discussion, it was agreed that Gordon would research alternative non-toxic weed-killers and also give the Committee an idea of the number of extra hours needed to hoe the path to stop the weeds from seeding and spreading to the flowerbeds and lawns. Until a final decision is made, it was agreed that an acceptable compromise would be forGordon to post a sign when using weed-killer to alert dog and cat walkers.
Wendy House – sadly the Wendy House was trashed over the Christmas holidays. Sheila Robertson kindly donated some new furniture. SK thanked the mysterious donor who contributed a pink dressing table.
Summer Party – Sandra Kamen, Linda Clifford, Jean Gustafsson, and Gry Osness are organising this year’s summer party which will be held on Sunday 30th June. The format will be similar to last year with a children’s party and games in the afternoon and evening drinks, canapés, and 60s disco for the adults in the evening. The party is subsidised by generous donations from garden residents. SK encouraged everyone to come along, contribute donations, and help to run the event on the day.
Fireworks Party – Geordie Greig has kindly offered once again to organise the Fireworks party which will be held on 3rd November .
The accounts for the year 2012/13 were presented by the Hon Treasurer, James Lipton. JL reported that in 2012-13 we spent £2,800 less than estimated. Our biggest expense remains the gardeners’ wages. Gordon has now returned to full-time work and Stephen is working 10 hours a week. To meet this increased expenditure in wages, calculated at £8,000, we will need to dip into our reserves. JL projects a loss of £5,000 next year. The garden reserve stands at £31,000 down from 8 to 5 months. JL re-iterated the importance of having a year’s reserve as a cushion against major unforeseen expenses. The garden rate for 2013/14 has not been increased and remains at £38,000.00.
Jonathan Searle proposed that the accounts should be adopted, the motion was seconded by Charles Greene.
Elections to Committee
Joe Joseph and Geordie Greig came up for re-election and they were duly re-elected. Jonathan Searle, Michel Robert, and Stephen Montague put themselves forward for election and were duly elected.
The Committee now has its full complement of 12 members. SK welcomed the new members on to the Committee.
6Any other Business
Dog pooh – JL expressed his dismay at finding dog pooh in the garden. This has been a persistent problem over the last few months – as confirmed by a number of attendees. JL reminded everyone that the bye-laws forbid dogs in the garden but they are tolerated as long as they are kept on a lead and owners pick up the mess. This privilege may be withdrawn altogether unless all dog owners make an effort to clean up after their pets.
Horse Chestnut trees – Charles Greene asked about the state of the horse chestnuts. Bartlett, our current tree surgeons, will be visiting the garden in June to assess the health of the trees. All seemed to agree that the trees were looking in pretty good shape. While it appears that the treatment for bleeding canker has been successful, it is debatable whether the treatment carried out against leaf miner has made any real difference. Gordon who has been comparing our trees with those in Ladbroke Square and Kensington Gardens, where no treatment for leaf miner was used, reported that some trees looked better others worse. Furthermore, as Gordon pointed out, if we wanted to have a toxic free garden we shouldn’t use a company like Bartlett which advocates and employs chemical treatments. JL reported that he is currently discussing the needs of our garden with a small local arboricultural company which may be able to provide us with a more personal service than Bartlett does at present.
After some informal general discussion the meeting was brought to a close and SK thanked JL, CP, and IK for bringing wine and food and organising the meeting.