This week in the garden, we continue making semi ripe cuttings by taking cuttings from a rather beautiful shrub Coronilla valentina ‘Citrina’. Coronilla is a member of the Legume or Fabaceae family. It’s an evergreen winter flowering shrub which likes to grow in sunny locations, is drought tolerant and flowers from December through to April. It has sweetly scented, yellow flowers and provides food for bees in the winter when many other plants are not in flower. Coronilla can grow to around 90 cm tall with a 90cm spread.

In July and August many plants in our meadow and elsewhere in the garden are reaching great heights, and some need the assistance of plant supports so as not to topple over!  Recent heavy rain has presented a challenge to keeping some of the plants upright. For the meadow plants we have been using some of the willow rods left over from last year’s willow weaving because these make naturalist looking stakes for our meadow plants. In the woodland we have been using bamboo canes to support our Logan berry plants. We will need to do more staking of the Logan berries this week as they are again flopping over and obstructing the pathways.

The raspberries are ready for their first harvest. You can tell that a raspberry is ripe because ripe raspberries easily pull off the plant. If the raspberry is reluctant to be removed then it is still under ripe and should be left on the plant for longer. If you are harvesting the raspberries please remember to put the net back carefully over them once you have finished harvesting!

We have been steadily working our way through our cabbage crop. The original wild ancestors of cabbages were bred to produce varieties that mature at different times of the year, so that you can have all year round cabbages. Perhaps this is the reason why cabbages are defined by when they will be ready to harvest: spring, summer, and winter cabbages.

In preparation for next year we will start sowing our spring cabbages which will be ready to harvest in the spring. A common misconception about spring cabbages is that they should be sown in spring. Actually, they’re one of the slowest maturing types of cabbage, being sown in late summer for a harvest early next year. They put on a growth spurt as the weather warms up in spring, providing an early crop of tender greens when not much else is available in the vegetable garden. Spring cabbages are usually pointed varieties such as ‘ Greyhound’, Spring Hero’, Durham Early, and you will often find them referred to as spring greens or collard greens.

Continuing the cabbagey theme, on Friday, we are going to be making coleslaw out of our cabbages, Kohl Rabi and Horse Radish, as one of the dishes on offer to our gig go-ers at Faith i Branko on the evening of Friday 30th July.

If you are free to help for all or for some of the time from 5pm to 11pm on Friday 30th July for our gig with Faith i Branko and on Saturday 31st July for the Mambista gig with Soothsayers and Youthsayers, please contact Kate on kate@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk

Mambista is sold out, but there are still a few tickets for Faith i Branko, so do spread the word to other people about the gig – it’s going to be great, full of lyrical, virtuosic Roma influenced tunes played by Faith on accordion and Branko on violin. More information and booking is here https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/faith-i-branko/

And on Sunday 15th August, there’s also another great Mambista gig on with Alvorado.  Let Kate know if you are able to volunteer to help at that and again do spread the word about the gig. https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/event/mambista-at-the-community-greenhouses-2/

Photo: St Faiths PlayScheme at BPCG – Arty Cabbage with Calendula