This week we will be attending to our wildlife pond. The pond is an important part of an organically maintained garden as it provides water for mammals to drink, and attracts many beneficial animals and insects to the garden.

One of the important features of a wildlife pond is that it has plenty of vegetation to provide cover for all the creatures that use the water like tadpoles, newts and dragonflies. However the pond has become a bit overgrown and this is the best time of the year, causing least disruption to the wildlife and insects if we get into the pond and thin out some of the plants that have a rather invasive habit. If we do not do this annually we will be in danger of our pond turning into a bog garden! We will begin by removing some of the native sedges (Carex pendula.)

Hopefully if the weather is dry enough (with little or no rain forecast) we will be able to prune our stone fruit trees, damson, greengage, and apricot.

The other tree that needs pruning at this time of the year (late summer) is the walnut. Walnuts are prone to ‘bleeding’ (sap oozing from the pruning cut) especially in spring when their sap is rising, so they need to be pruned in late summer when the sap pressure is reduced, and even then they do not tolerate hard pruning.

There is still some harvesting to do. We still have tomatoes that are ripening on the vine, as well as grapes growing in the herb garden which are ready to be harvested. There are also more raspberries to pick.

We have attractive new garden signs that have been varnished and now need posts to be attached to them to make them ready to be positioned around the garden.

On Saturdays throughout September, Andy Petch is running his outdoor Tai Chi Classes at BPCG.  Join him at 9am to 10am for a great start to your weekend.  For more information and to book, go here.   If rain is forecast, the canopy on the decking will keep participants dry.

Also on Saturdays and now on Wednesdays too, there’s Outdoor Yoga with Sally. Saturday sessions are 11am to 12.30pm, and 2 pm to 3pm for a gentler session.  Wednesday sessions are 2pm to 3pm. For more information, go here 

Fancy running a snail race, some twig weaving and berry ink writing?  We’ve brought out a booklet ‘Fun for Families’ putting together many of our best nature games and activities for you and friends to do with kids this summer and autumn….. We have also put together some lovely Nature Trails around the gardens. There’s a Sound Trail, Summer Mini Beast I-Spy and Herb Snap.  Ask at the BPCG shop for these free leaflets and trails and a pencil and clipboard to use around the garden. Thanks to the London Community Response Fund for funding this.

A job opportunity – Are you or anyone you know interested and qualified in using nature and wildlife activities to support wellbeing in people with dementia? If so, there’s a very interesting job being advertised by Froglife. For more information go here.  Deadline to apply is midday 16th September.

An apprentice opportunity – Fulham Palace are recruiting for a new garden apprentice at Fulham Palace.  If you or you know of anyone who might be interested, please pass go here for more information. Closing date Monday 14th September.

Last but not least, at the shop we have lovely Masks made by MakerSpace South London.  You can take one of these for free or you can take one and donate something to Makerspace who are just over half way to a £10k goal to make as much PPE as possible.You can donate by cash but we would prefer card if possible.

A date for your diary: – 103 and 105 Dulwich Village raise money every year through the Open Garden scheme for St.Christopher’s Hospice.  This year the gardens couldn’t open but on Sunday September 20th, 2-4pm, they are holding a plant sale outside 103 and 105 Dulwich Village. There will be many of the plants prepared for sale in June this year, largely perennials, which will mostly no longer be in flower but will be suitable for planting out in time to establish properly before the winter for flowering next year.   Most will be bargain-priced at £5 to clear before next year!  Masks and social distancing will be in force.  Payment by credit card only. Please bring your own bags for carrying purchases away