Bats, Cabbages and Canna

This week in the garden, we will be sowing some brassica seeds that require no additional heat for germination. These are three varieties of kohlrabi – Kohlrabi Blue Azur and Purple and White Vienna Mix. We will also sow two varieties of kale which do very well in our garden – Cavolo Nero and Pentland Brig. These will join our three varieties of cabbages which we sowed last week – the fast growing and appropriately named leafy spring cabbage ‘Greyhound,’ the slower growing savoy cabbage January King, and the pointy shaped red cabbage Kalibos.  We will also be sowing our canna seeds – these require additional heat for germination so will go in our heated propagators.

In addition to our lovely new 5 Star bug hotel replenished last week with loads of hollow Arundo stems, this week we are going to create more nesting spots for solitary bees by drilling deep holes in fallen wood stumps around the garden. To do this we need extra long drill bits (20cm) to drill particularly deep holes.  These holes will need to slope very slightly downhill towards their entrances to ensure water doesn’t get into them and the bees’ nests therefore remain dry.  We will also need to clear out any wood splinters, which could injur a bee.  

We will be writing out large informative signs about the bug hotel, solitary bees and bat boxes for visitors to understand all about these wildlife habitats around the garden. 

We will be doing more work on the children’s natural kitchen, constructing windows onto the woodland and transplanting the willow arch.

In other BPCG news, do join us for a fascinating online talk from urban bat ecologist Jo Ferguson on Tuesday 9th March at 7pm.  Jo is the Built Environment Manager for the Bat Conservation Trust and will talk about her almost two decades’ experience of researching and helping to protect Britain’s only flying mammals. The talk will focus on her passion, how bats live alongside us in the built environment and what we can do to help them. Book an online ticket here (free or by a donation if you can) https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/urban-bat-ecology-and-conservation-an-online-talk-by-jo-ferguson/

We are also happy too to let you know that from Saturday April 3rd, we will be able to open up the whole site for public visiting again from 11am to 4pm.  Until then, the gardens are still closed for public visiting but do pop by, if you can, to the outdoor shop open 12 to 2.30 on Saturdays, and 10.30 to 2 on Sundays for plants, honey and other BPCG goodies.

In other news, our partner Healthy Living Platform, a social enterprise offering activities which benefit the health and wellbeing of the community, still need more volunteers to help with delivering nutritious hot meals to families. If you live near Brixton, are available Tues/Weds/Thurs afternoons, generally 2-4pm, Healthy Living Platform would love to hear from you! Bicycle deliveries are their preferred means of transport, but HLP are also happy for deliveries to be made by foot or car. Sign up here http://healthylivingplatform.org/volunteer-with-us 

A reminder – With the London elections going ahead in May make sure your voice is heard. Register to vote here https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Vauxhall Farm ask if you or someone you know age 16 – 25 and looking to learn more about looking after animals and pathways into the food & farming industry? Head here to apply for the 8 week course: https://www.keits.co.uk/vacancy-traineeships-traineeship-vauxhall-city-farm-572

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