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This is a lovely time of the year to walk around our garden. In the woodland you will see our Quince tree is flowering. It has beautiful pink tulip like flowers which are just about to open. Down along the fern bank the Arum Lilies are flowering with their mysterious pale green blooms. Amongst them you will see the snake’s head fritillary flowers, Fritillaria meleagris – with their nodding heads. The deciduous ferns that all but disappeared over winter and now pushing up new fronds. A particularly attractive one is the Maiden Hair fern. In the perennial vegetable bed the oca (Oxalis tuberosa) is coming up along the front between the clumps of rhubarb and adjacent in the legumes bed the purple podded pea, ‘Shiraz’ are beginning to sprout. We must keep these young plants well-watered, so last week with the return of the warmer weather we started using our leaky hose irrigation systems in earnest!

This week at the back of the greenhouse we will be setting up an area suitable for growing and propagating succulents.  This is a slightly cooler part of the greenhouse. To ensure the succulents get just the right amount of water, not too much and not too little we will put up a board to record when the succulents are misted. If you are interested in learning more about succulents, please contact David on david@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk as he will be running sessions on succulent propagation, care and presentation over the coming weeks.  David will be at BPCG this Thursday.

We will sow our beans in pots in the greenhouses this week. We sow them inside because most beans, (the exception being broad beans) are frost tender, which means that we do not plant them outside until the risk of frost has passed. In few weeks’ time when they are small plants and the cold nights have passed we will plant them outside into our legumes beds. The varieties we are sowing are Dwarf French Purple Tepee, Dwarf French Annabel, climbing bean Cosse Violette, French bean Violet podded, Runner bean Firestorm and a climbing French bean Borlotto Lingua di Fuoco which traditionally has been allowed to dry, is shelled and the beans used during the winter in soups. We will be planting Summer Savoury near our beans to help protect them from blackfly.

There’s lots going on this week at the Greenhouses!  Let Kate know on director@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk if you want to get involved, or book on the website.

On Thursday 25th April 11am to 1pm, join Jelena for a Greenhouse Hot Sauce and Kraut making session.  This is a free workshop but please book so we know you are coming.  We’ll be making a hot sauce and kraut to use at our May Fete on Sat May 11th. (If you can help out at the May Fete or with baking for this before hand, do let Kate know).

On Thursday 25th April at 3pm it’s our volunteers’ meeting. The agenda so far (but please add by letting us know of items) is 1. Green Woodworking update and discussion of their proposed shelter which is outlined in this sketch 2.  Entering the RHS London in Bloom 2019. You can read more about the competition and the criteria for judging in this link and this.  Judging will be in June this year. Last year we got a Level 5 Outstanding which we definitely want to gain again this year!

On Friday April 26th, 1pm to 4pm, we are starting our therapeutic gardening group ‘Better Fridays’ again.  This is a free group for anyone feeling a bit low who would enjoy being gently guided by Cathy in gardening and other nature based activities.  If you or anyone you know feel they would benefit from taking part in these sessions, do come along. For more detail go here  or get in touch with Cathy on edu.assistant@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk

On Saturday 27th April 10.30 to 12pm, we have 5 free places for BPCG male volunteers in the 40 to 60 age range to take part in a Healthy Cooking and Nutrition workshop run by Ollie’s Kitchen.   Let Kate know if you would like to take part.

On Saturday April 27th 1.30pm to 4pm learn about lacto-fermentation and SKOBYs with Jelena in her Fermenting workshop. We will be mixing piccalilli, creating flavours for our own signature hot sauce and experimenting with kombucha. You will take home two jars of vegetable ferments and kombucha SKOBY, and be confident to set up your own fermentation station at home. There will be a lot of tasting alongside making. Book here

On Sunday 28th April, we have our first market stall of the year at Herne Hill Market. Thanks to the amazing skill and effort of the BPCG team, we have a huge number of wonderful organic plants to sell – all grown from seeds and cuttings. Please let Kate know if you can help on the market stall. It doesn’t have to be for the whole day. We will meet at BPCG at 9.30am and pack up around 4pm. Our stall is by the station entrance.

On Sunday 28th April 11am to 3pm, we are continuing work on the renovation of our lower greenhouse. We’ll be fitting guttering to the west side of the greenhouse and continuing to work on the cold frame. We’d love to see you any time between 11 and 3. Let Chris know if you’re able to attend. chris@brockwellgreenhouses.org.uk

Also on Sunday 28th April 5pm to 8pm, it’s our next Gig in the Greenhouse with Doolally Tap 5pm to 8pm. It’s going to be a fantastic performance of beautiful melodic jazz classics from the 1920s, with clarinet, trombone, saxophone, sousaphone and trumpet. Can’t wait!  You can book your tickets for the gig here.  Or let Kate know if you can volunteer with help with setting up the Greenhouses for the gig and with serving refreshments on the night.

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