Garden Notes February 14th 2018

This week in the garden, there are a number of information signs needed around the garden which we will be making. This involves cutting wooden boards to size and painting these ready for us to write text on. We will be writing about the trees, the bug hotel, the dead hedge and much else besides. Anyone with neat handwriting, a steady hand and good spelling will be very welcome!

 

We will be sowing seeds under glass. It is time to start off our tomatoes on the heated mat in the greenhouse where we can give them an early start by providing extra warmth to enable quicker germination.

 

Other seed sowing will include broad beans which we will start off under glass and which we will need to protect from the mice that seem to be roaming very happily around the greenhouse nibbling at any fresh green shoots that they can find.

 

Our chillies in the propagator are beginning to germinate and we are keeping them at the cosy temperature of 25-28 degrees, ideal for germinating chillies. They have a lamp on a timer hanging above them to ensure that they get sufficient light until our day length increases sufficiently in a few months.

 

We will be weeding the fern bank. This is especially important because ferns, quite ancient plants (early arrivals on the evolutionary tree of plant life) have rather rudimentary roots that can easily be out competed by other stronger roots. Tree roots and roots from invasive plants, in our case the Winter Heliotrope (Petasites fragrans) can make it difficult for ferns to flourish. So we will be ensuring that the ferns are well looked after and not stressed by root competition as we carefully weed out plants that are growing too close to them.

 

We have made a good start at digging the bindweed and couch grass roots out of the meadow, however there is still a bit more work to do on this.

 

We will be continuing the work of redesigning the seating area firstly by doing more cutting back and soil improvement before we can plant our new Abelia x grandifloras around the circle. Abelias are an evergreen shrub with scented flowers which should enhance the seating area with their attractive foliage and fragrance.

 

In the Green Woodworking area we’re making progress with preparations for more making in the spring, with the useful additions of a bench and cleaving break (used to split wood). Once our first chair and gate hurdles (see Marco’s one in the GW corner) are finished, it’ll then be time for workshops and drop in sessions. We’re also getting in some fresh green wood for the summer and to this end I’ll be going down to Croydon (from 1st March) to mill (make boards or planks from the main trunk) a felled Ash tree (ideal for chair making). We’ll be bringing this, as well as some branch wood, back to BPCG. Have a look at the recent blog (https://www.brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk/journey-black-ash-ealing/) on the BPCG website for an account of something similar. Would you be interested in helping out? If you’d like to be involved please email Paul on greenwood@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk  and I can explain more. Or do get in touch about anything else!

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