This week in the garden, on Thursday 22nd November, 11am to 2pm, Jelena Belgrave has very kindly offered to run a volunteer workshop on Fermenting. Learn how to make Kimchi, Sauerkraut and Kefir!  If you would like to join this workshop, please let Kate know on The workshop will run from 11 to 2. Please bring along 3 glass jars with you. We will provide the veg. Jelena is a trained macrobiotic and wholefoods chef with a passion for fermentation.  Jelena has run very popular Family Fermentation workshops for children at the Greenhouses.  This time it’s the grown ups’ turn!

Then on Sunday 25th November, 11.30am to 2.30pm, Jelena is repeating this workshop as a fundraiser for BPCG and for her nephew who has cerebral palsy and needs an operation to learn to walk.  Come along and make your own Brussels sprouts Kimchi, Chipotle Sauerkraut and “Mulled wine” lemonade water Kefir.  If you wish to use your own jars, do bring.  Otherwise we can provide.  Book here 

When walking around the gardens you may have spotted our bird boxes. Well now is the right time of year to take them down and clean inside them. It is important not to disturb nesting birds, however by November we can be sure that the birds will have finished nesting.

We will remove any old nesting material and wash the empty boxes out with boiling water to kill any remaining parasites. We will dry the boxes, and then store them under cover over winter ready to be put back on the trees in the early spring for the birds to use. If you would like to find out more about having a bird box in your garden how to decide on a good location for it, plus how to maintain it, go here

Now the leaves are falling fast, there is a lot of leaf raking to do around the garden. We are clearing the leaves from paths so the paths don’t become slippery, and we also clear them off the herbs in the herb garden. This is particularly important for the herbs that originate from the Mediterranean such as sage, thyme, lavender, rosemary, and oregano all of which do not like to be covered with a layer of damp leaves. We will be putting the leaves in our leaf litter bay, where in a couple of years’ time they will make excellent compost for growing seedling or be ideal leaf litter for mulching our fern bank.

It is time to cut back our raspberry canes. They have kept producing fruit late into the autumn. Even now there are still a few fruit on the canes! We will be cutting the canes to about an inch above ground level, and thinning out the plants. Once thinned, we will be applying a layer of well-rotted manure to the raspberry bed.

We will continue to work on preserving our wooden furniture for the coming year. Other indoor jobs will be to pot up some of our Tradescantia and other house plants into attractive clay pots. These will make great Christmas presents.

This Sunday 25th November at 3pm there will be a volunteers meeting in which – amongst other things – we will be discussing the annual garden plan. Please come along and join in with your ideas for the coming year.

We now have a Christmas Gifts Table in the upper greenhouse. Please help keep this looking good by making sure we replenish the display with jars of lemon verbena, pickled chillies, pickled walnuts and nocino.  All stocks of these jarred and bottled products are kept in the kitchen on the high shelves.  Soon we will have Christmas wreaths and table pieces to put out too! If, year round, you’d like to be involved in making BPCG products for sale and/ displaying and selling them whether at BPCG or at markets, please get in touch with Kate on Meanwhile we have 2 markets coming up on Sat 1st Dec (Herne Hill) and Sun 2nd Dec (Brockwell Hall).  If you’d like to help at these, let Kate know.

Our Wreath workshops are coming up! We will be making wreaths and table centre piece decorations.  If you are pruning back for winter and come across attractive seed heads, pine cones, and foliage that will dry well (e.g.spruce pine or eucalyptus) please do bring it up to the greenhouses. And if you have any bits and bobs of ribbons, coloured wires and other random decorative Christmassy twiddles like chillies that you’d like to clear out and you think would look good on our wreath or table piece, the greenhouses are the place to bring them.
Thursday 29.11.18
Friday 30.11.18
Saturday 1.12.18

For some practical work and a work out join the Renovate! Team on 25th November 10am to 1pm when Chris, Andy, David and Rolanas are getting down and dirty renovating our lower greenhouses and may also be assisting the Arup team on our lower decking.