This week in the garden, we will be practising our bricklaying. The winter months are traditionally a time when gardeners work on the hard landscaping aspects of their gardens. This includes jobs like repairing the wooden structures of compost bays, cold frames, garden sheds and in our case the brickwork on some of our raised beds. So gardening can involve learning a whole new set of DIY skills!

You can watch many a bricklaying demonstration on Youtube, but there is nothing like trying it out in reality! There are a few things to consider when aiming to repair our raised beds which are constructed from brick. Firstly, it is important to remove any loose bricks and mortar so that we start our repair with a clean firm surface. The same is true of the recycled bricks we will be using. These need to be clean and free of old mortar.

The next step is to gather the tools  and materials we will need for the job. These are a builder line, spirit level and brick trowel and of course the cement and sand to make the mortar. Naturally we want to end up with our brick wall being level, which is where the spirit level comes in, and a bricklayers line to ensure that the row of bricks is straight.

Then it is time to mix the mortar which is made up of sand and cement. There are various different mortar mixes but the one we will be using will be four parts sand to one part cement. On this occasion we are taking a shortcut and will be using a ready mixed product which contains both sand and cement in the correct quantities, so all we need to do is mix in the right amount of water.

The other DIY job for this week is working on the seating circle near the garden entrance. Here we will be aiming to make the wooden seating slabs stable so that they do not move around when people sit on them. This is another job where we will need to use a spirit level.

The other activities for this week are more of an arts and crafts nature. We will be using the willow rods we harvested about a month ago to make bases for winter wreaths. We have kept these willow rods subtle by storing them with the ends of the rods in water. We will be dyeing more of our dried flowers and once dry, we will be arranging them to make attractive displays to put in our shop.

If you are working in the garden you will notice that we have a new colour of pots which are GREY. These grey pots are recyclable. They are to be used ONLY for plants that are ready to be sold at our shop. Any other plants that we are growing for ourselves for the various areas of the garden shoud be ONLY put into our existing black pots which we can re-use on site again and again.

In other BPCG news, we are re-starting our monthly volunteer meetings – intended as a forum for discussion of all things concerning BPCG for all of us who are involved with BPCG but often don’t overlap with each other. We are going to try running these on the last Thursday of the month at 6pm on Zoom.  November’s meeting will be on 25th November 6pm. The link to the Zoom meeting will be circulated in our Wednesday email on 24th November along with the agenda.  Please email kate@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk if you intend to attend and send Kate any proposed items for the agenda by Friday 19th November,

For those who are not able to attend the Zoom meeting, the minutes of the meeting will be published in the Wednesday email, and will also be shared at tea breaks the following week.

Do join us for for part one of our two-part Ferment Your Christmas event. This Saturday November 13th ,2pm to 4.30pm we will make a spicy sauerkraut to go with your holiday roasts and deliciously sour turshiya to serve with starters or at the end of the meal with cheese. We’ll even share an anecdotal folk remedy for counteracting Christmas indulgence.  Book here https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/fermentation-workshop-for-november/

We are getting ready for our Wreath and Xmas Decoration Making Workshops which will be on the weekends of December 4th and 5th and on December 11th and 12th. These are bookable on the website here  https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/events/?tribe_paged=1&tribe_event_display=list&tribe-bar-date=2021-11-11&tribe-bar-search=Wreath If you are doing any pruning over the next few weeks, we’d love any of your dried / dryable ornamental seedheads/ flowers / leaves for use in our wreaths. Thank you!

There’s another lovely part 2 write up from Young Propagators’ Society Roots and Radicles Event at BPCG in the Summer. Tonnes of interesting footage and write up to mull on and stimulate the grey cells! https://www.youngpropsoc.com/post/roots-radicles-2-part-ii-from-sweetgrass-to-sanctuary

In other news, Oasis Farm are currently recruiting for a new part-time Education Officer to lead our work on the farm with school groups. The work is largely focused to supporting the Social, Emotional and Mental Health of young people. https://www.oasisuk.org/job/farm-education-officer-oasis-farm-waterloo/

Wolves Lane Flower Company @wolveslaneflowercompany is
looking for a Grower & Coordinator (maternity cover). The role will suit someone with at least 2 seasons of growing experience and expertise under their belt and ideally within floriculture. You’ll be energetic, ready to get stuck in alongside us with scheduling, horticulture, harvesting, spotting opportunities, jobs that need doing and taking initiative. There will be scope to get creative and get involved in floristry projects. Apply by 12 November, 5pm at wolveslaneflowercompany.com

Surrey Docks Farm is advertising for a Youth Worker to deliver their established youth club that welcomes twenty 8-13 year olds on Sundays. Salary: £25,000 pro rata Contract: Part time (one day/week)
Closing date: Midnight, Sunday 21st November 2021 https://www.farmgarden.org.uk/jobs/youth-worker-london