The title is from a May Sarton quote, an American poet and novelist. She wrote. “Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.” 

Indeed, we gardeners can slow down a little in August when often it seems much of what need to do is harvest, eat and water our plants! How nice!

In the garden this week, the raspberries in the long fruit bed are ripening and in need of regular harvesting every day of two. Look out for the exciting new yellow raspberry plants in the middle of the fruit bed. When these are ripe they turn yellow! You can tell when raspberries are ripe because the fruit comes off easily in your hand.

Our outdoor bush tomato plants are also ready for regular harvesting. We have grown three different varieties, ‘Garden Pearl’ which is pink when ripe and the size of cherry tomatoes, ‘Gold Nugget’ which is yellow when ripe and also the size of cherry tomatoes, and, ‘First in the Field’ which is a larger tomato and red when ripe. With all these different coloured of tomatoes we can make some really attractive bowls of salad!

There are purple climbing beans and green runner beans to harvest. These need to be picked with care as there are many beans on each flower stem and if you are not careful you may accidentally snap off the younger beans which are just forming.

We have been filling in the gaps left after the end of our broad bean harvest with dwarf french beans plants. This week we will be planting out the last of these plant in the lower garden legumes bed.

In the upper four crop there are red, golden and stripy beetroot to harvest and red chard too.

After all the sales we made at the Lambeth Country Show we have more growing space in the upper greenhouse. This is a good time to clean the empty staging and removing any snails we may find, preparing the greenhouse for our later summer propagation.

We will be sowing salad and radish crops around the garden once we have treated the vegetable beds with nematodes to reduce the slug and seal population. This is an organic form of pest control.

We will be repainting some of our signs around the garden, and may even venture as far as painting the odd bit of poetry onto the side of the office container.

In other BPCG news, we have yoga sessions this August on Saturday mornings run by Sally Ramsden.  More opportunities for stillness and reflection!  These sessions are a mix of slow flow hatha yoga and restorative yoga postures with mindfulness interwoven throughout the practice.  The 1.5 hour sessions will be on the decking in our beautiful lower gardens.  There is no need to come to all  four. Come on any of the four Saturdays in August.  No experience needed. Bring your own mat or if you are new to yoga or book one in advance from Sally on  Book a ticket for any of the sessions here.

Jelena Belgave is running one of our fabulous adult fermentation workshops on Saturday August 3rd 1.30pm to 4pm. I am afraid volunteer places have all gone but paying places are still available to book here.  Next ones are: Sat 14th September 1.30pm to 4pm, Sun 20thOctober 11am to 1.30pm, Sat 16th November 1.30pm to 4pm.  Book quick to get the free volunteer places!

And finally, if you dislike plastic waste and unnecessary packaging, do pop into Jarr Market 19 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, SE24 9JU.  It’s a great Zero Waste shop with loads of choice, very decent prices and useful ingredients geniously arranged into its small space. Bring along your jars and tubs and fill ’em up. Open every day except Mondays.

*thanks to Radio 4 Gardeners Question Time for drawing Kate’s attention to the May Sarton words.